This article is out of date but I have posted an updated summary so please continue the conversation over here.
So I was dissapointed to see that there seems to be no way to easily make the MacBook Pro’s DVD drive region free which unfortunately renders about half of the DVD’s I own completely useless. In these days of £20 multi-region DVD players this is not really on, and it is especially disappointing since on older PowerBooks VLC multi-region playback seemed to work so it means that additional time and effort is still being put into this pointless exercise to keep the movie companies happy.
With VLC for Mac out of the picture, the only possible solution was looking like a warranty voiding firmware hack which may or may not even exist (it is hard to tell if the ones that are being referred to on the internet are for older machines), certainly not worth the risk of a dead, out of warranty DVD drive.
So… no way forward with multi-region DVD playing :(
Unless, Windows to the rescue!!! VLC works like a dream playing any region DVD’s on Windows and has a really smart network streaming system built into it. So I popped the DVD in on my Windows PC, fired up VLC and ticked that little “Stream Output” button, select to stream over UDP and entered the IP address of the Mac to stream to:
On my Mac, also fired up VLC (using one of the universal binary nightly beta builds, which do seem to be generally very stable), select “Open Network…” and click OK.
Multi-Region DVD playback on a MacBook Pro, solved :)
PS. Yes there is a heavy dose of sarcasm in the whole Windows to the rescue thing for those reading with a sense of humour failure :)