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Old 28th August 2009, 08:16   #1  |  Link
ChiDragon
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Blu-ray Region Tray Tool - one-click region hack for PowerDVD and TMT



Description
Blu-ray Region Tray Tool sits in your system tray, displaying the current region setting of your PC software Blu-ray Disc player and allowing you to change it on-the-fly with a single click or keyboard shortcut.

It uses the widely-known so-called region "hacks" for these players, applying them with the bare minimum of user effort. This makes your playback software essentially "region free" or more accurately "multi-region".

Compatibility
- All versions of Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 7, 8, 9, and 10
- ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre (tested 2.1, 3.0, and 5.0; other versions should also work)



Notes
Upon opening, the tool will read the current region setting from your installed player program and update its icon. If you have more than one compatible player installed, the "lower priority" programs will be set to match the one with highest priority.

Priority is currently hardcoded as follows:
  1. PowerDVD 7.3.3516 and newer
  2. PowerDVD below 7.3.3516
  3. TotalMedia Theatre

Usage
Region switching can be done by keyboard shortcut or by clicking the icon with either left or right mouse button and selecting the desired region. There are also command line parameters that will set your specified region and then immediately close.

Whenever the tool sets a region, it also resets your "changes remaining" counter (5 changes for TotalMedia Theatre, PowerDVD 7.3.3516 and newer; 99999 changes for older PowerDVD versions).

For PowerDVD, the region change takes effect immediately. If you change region while playing a movie, PowerDVD may stop playback when you attempt to access a menu function/skip to next chapter/etc. This is because PowerDVD's region settings are greyed out during playback; it isn't designed to change regions in the middle of watching a movie. Simply hit the Stop button before swapping regions if this is a problem.

For TotalMedia Theatre, the region setting is only read back from the configuration file when the program is first started. If TMT is open when you change regions using the tool, it will be automatically closed and reopened. This may crash the player if you try it during playback.


Usage to check actual region coding of a Blu-ray Disc
Simplifying this was the primary purpose for writing this tool. Because of the complexity of region code enforcement on Blu-rays, AnyDVD's automatic region code checking is often inaccurate or incomplete. Likewise for cover art and disc labels. The only guaranteed way to see what regions a disc is coded for is to use a player set to each region and find out what happens when you play it back.

Despite common conceptions, there are more region code possibilities besides just "Region Locked" and "Region Free". All seven combinations can be set: Region A, Region B, Region C, Region AB, Region BC, Region AC, Region ABC. Discs have already been released using the less common two-region codings without noting them on their packaging (see Unofficial Blu-ray Audio and Video Specifications Thread on AVS Forum).

So to confirm the real region coding of a Blu-ray, play it back in all three regions and note which ones are locked out, if any. (In reality, only two regions need to be checked since a disc will never be locked out of the region in which it is released, but I like to be absolutely certain that there isn't some playback error.)

Steps are simply:
  1. Set the first region you want to test
  2. Open the player
  3. Select source drive and play
  4. Note whether the disc hits a region lockout screen (sometimes this is AFTER the studio logos, and some discs use only black screens)
  5. Set the next region you want to test
  6. Select source drive and play (you may be asked whether you want to resume or not; I don't think it matters because it should play from the start and tell you that it failed to resume due to a region switch)
  7. Note whether the disc hits a region lockout screen
  8. Continue from step 5 if you want to test the third possibility


Keyboard shortcuts (global hotkeys)
  • Ctrl+Shift+1 = Region A
  • Ctrl+Shift+2 = Region B
  • Ctrl+Shift+3 = Region C


Command line parameters (with or without quotes, case insensitive)
If you create shortcuts and include the command line parameters, you can match the icon to each and set your own "shortcut keys". With these you may use a remote that doesn't let you assign the regular hotkeys to buttons.
  • "A" or "1" = Region A
  • "B" or "2" = Region B
  • "C" or "3" = Region C
  • "PDVD1:" = PowerDVD Method 1 (below 7.3.3516)
  • "PDVD2:" = PowerDVD Method 2 (7.3.3516 and newer)
  • "TMT:" = TotalMedia Theatre
- Example: "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\BDRegionTray.exe" 3 (sets all compatible players to Region C)
- Example: "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\BDRegionTray.exe" PDVD2: A TMT: B (sets PowerDVD 8 to Region A and TMT to Region B)

Installation
None required. Just run it. Nothing is written to the registry or hard drive except the changes to PowerDVD and TMT registry keys/files.

Requirements
- Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 operating system
- Blu-ray BD-ROM drive
- Compatible software player

Version history
2010-12-22: Version 1.4
- Fixed support for TMT 5 MCE (Media Center versions must be reopened manually to accept the change)
2010-12-19: Version 1.3
- Added support for the Media Center version of TMT (may not work for XP MCE)
2010-12-18: Version 1.2
- Added support for TMT 5 and hopefully future versions
- Changed the TMT auto-close function to be more "gentle"
- Now reopens TMT with the auto-detected program executable instead of the hardcoded launcher name
2010-06-25: Version 1.1
- Added the ability to specify per-program region settings via command line parameters
2010-06-21: Version 1.0
- Now resets TMT's "changes remaining" value
- Now detects TMT's path so that it can be auto-reopened regardless of where it was installed
- Added support for PowerDVD below 7.3.3516 on Windows Vista and 7
- Added command line parameters to set region code and then exit
- Several minor UI tweaks
2010-05-13: Version 0.2
- Added support for PowerDVD Ultra 10
- Now works with non-English Windows versions
- Confirmed support for Windows 7
2009-08-17: Version 0.1
- Initial release

Download Blu-ray Region Tray Tool v1.4
Executable
"Source code" (a simple AutoIt script)

Last edited by ChiDragon; 23rd December 2010 at 03:45. Reason: Updated to v1.4
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