Monday, April 21, 2008

Watching German DVDs

German movies and TV shows are a wonderful way to increase the amount of German input your children receive. One of the most frequent questions I get from people is how to watch German DVDs.

Multi-Region Required
First, you must be aware that most (95%?) of all German DVDs require a multi-region DVD player. (For more technical information on all this multi-region stuff, see DVD Regions Explained) The good news is that you may be able to convert your own player to multi-region, if you don't mind a little research. has "hacks" or instructions for many DVD players on how to "unlock" the multi-region capability for your DVD player. It all depends on the player - some are easy to do, some are harder, and some can't be changed.

If you don't want to update your own player, maybe your computer can play the DVDs! Most computer DVD players will play Region 2 (which is Europe) DVDs. The catch is that you have to switch between regions when you play different DVDs and the number of times you may switch is limited. This isn't a problem if you designate the computer as German (Region2) only. If you still want to be able to switch without limitation, you can install software which will bypass the region setting entirely. I use VideoLan for this purpose. It's not super-intuitive to use but it does the job.

In case none of the above options works for you, I do sell a multi-region DVD player on my website.

So grab some German episodes of Sendung mit der Maus, Biene Maja, Harry Potter and the like and have fun! It's an easy way to increase German exposure in your home.

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