Welcome to the DVD Section

I've decided to add a few pages to my site dedicated to a select number of sources for DVDs in Canada, the States, Europe and Australia. I hope you like it. And here are a few common questions that you might like answered, including information on foreign DVDs.

Click Here To Go To The DVD sources

What Is This Site About ?
This site is primarily dedicated to Canadian sources for music but I may expand this section in the future to offer additional sources for music compilations and concerts on DVD.

How much does it truly cost to order DVDs in Canada ?
(Information for Canadians)

Other than shipping and handling, some purchases are subject to the goods & services tax (gst) or a combination of both the provincial sales tax (PST) and goods & services tax (GST), these taxes having been replaced with the Harmonised Sales Tax in some of the Atlantic provinces. Most out of province orders are only subject to GST but provincial sales tax may be added or HST may be substituted (instead of PST and GST) in some instances (where the dealer's chain is registered in your province of residence). Always ask for your total with taxes.

How much does it cost to import DVDs into Canada ?
(Information for Canadian Residents)

It depends on the value and origin of the CDs :

All shipments valued at less than $20 Canadian are exempt from duties, fees and taxes.

All orders valued at more than $20 Canadian are subject to taxes (GST/PST or HST) and a customs handling fee charged by Canada Post or the courier service you used to import the merhandise (Customs handling fees range from $5 with Canada Post to $10 for most couriers but UPS is known to charge more).

All CDs manufactured outside of Canada and the United States that are included in a shipment valued at more than $20 Canadian are also subject to a 6% duty.

Note that Canada Post does not use the commercial exchange rate to determine a shipments value in Canadian dollars. They use their own rate, determined by a system in which a rounded off rate changes only when a new rate has been stable for two days. (CCRA Postal Importation Information)

My Recommendations
Importing works best with foreign releases, especially CD & DVD singles, that aren't available in Canada. Chances are you're probably going to save more time than money, most imports taking a minimum of four to six weeks to reach Canadian dealers. But you can save a few bucks from time to time.

How much does it truly cost to order DVDs from Canada?
(Information for Foreign Residents)

Other than shipping and handling, you will probably have to pay a customs charge and possibly other customs and/or postage/shipping processing fees once your order arrives in your country. These vary from country to country but the exchange rate may be so favorable as to offset these additional costs. Information on these fees can be obtained by contacting your country's customs authority and shipper/postage authority.

How much is Shipping and Handling ?

The rate depends on the dealer's location, your location and the chosen shipping method. The most popular shipping method in Canada is standard post or "Express Post" via Canada Post, but courier/delivery services are available for shipments to both Canadian and foreign addresses, some dealers offering excellerated shipping via Federal Express (Fedex), UPS, DHL, CanPar and Purolator Courier, thought it should be noted that these courier/parcel delivery services may not deliver to smaller communities and some foreign residents may be subject to customs processing fees. Ask the dealer for details on what shipping options are available to you.

My Recommendations
Canadians should use Canada Post's Expresspost. It is the most economical excellerated delivery service in Canada and they deliver to most Canadian communities within a few days, but insurance is recomended on parcels that are fragile or shipped in peak mail periods like December. Delivery status is available via an toll free number so always try to obtain the nessesary codes to access this information.

Foreign residents should use courier/delivery services like Federal Express and Purolator Courier but overnight and next day services would be a waste of money as it will not likely reach a foreign destination for a few days, minimum ; Use their two to three day services and consider insurance if the item is fragile. Always contact the courier's head office for details on any processing fee they might charge on importations.

What DVDs are compatible with my DVD Player ?
(Information for Canadians)

DVDs sold in Canada and the United States are compatible with Canadian DVD players, who are all Region 1 compatible. DVDs from another Region cannot be played on unaltered DVD players. But Foreign Region 0 DVDs in the Pal video format may be viewed on a few North American DVD players and some of these DVD players may require PAL compatible televisions or monitors to view the content of these DVDs.

Note that Region 0 DVDs in the Pal format can be viewed on most computers equiped with DVD-Roms. Consult your dvd player's software manual for details.

Why can't North Americans play most DVDs that originate from outside North America ?

Most DVDs are encrypted to prevent a DVD from being played in a region other than the region it is distributed because of piracy. This is why we can't play anything but Region 0 and Region 1 DVDs on our players.

How do I find out what Foreign DVDs are Region 0 ?

This takes a bit of effort because many foreign retailers don't bother to label these DVDs as Region 0 (a.k.a "All Regions", "Toutes Zones"). Most are simply labeled as being in the region the dealer is located and some don't include any information related to region coding at all. You should probably look for confirmation that a DVD is region 0 from people who have purchased the DVD in question from the source you're interested in. This information can be found or requested on web sites, both official and unofficial, on forums and on the usenet.

Note that blockbuster films distributed by the major studios would not likely be released on region 0 DVDs but some concerts, music video compilations, documentaries and older foreign films may be available on region 0 DVDs.

Can you recommend a Region 0 Pal compatible DVD Player ?
(Information for North Americans)

The first thing you should do is consult your current DVD player's manual, to make sure it isn't compatible with Pal DVDs. There are a few North American DVD players that play Region 0 (a.k.a all region) DVDs in the Pal format, some of which convert this format to NTSC. Your manual will tell you what additional equipment you might need to view Region 0 Pal DVDs, if any.

If you are unable to play these DVDs on your current player, then you've got a two options : You can either buy a Pal compatible player and let your television convert the signal or you can try to find a DVD player that converts Pal to NTSC.

Several of the more modern, expensive televisions will convert the signal and some HDTVs will display the video in the original Pal format. But there are dvd players out there that will convert Pal into NTSC.

A list of pal compatible and pal-ntsc converting DVD players can be found by clicking here. Players that convert Pal into NTSC will not require Pal compatible television sets to view Region 0 dvds in either format but players i've listed as only being "Pal Compatible" will require a Pal compatible television set to view Region 0 Pal DVDs.

Are Canadian DVDs compatible with my DVD Player ?
(Information for Foreign Residents)

Most DVDs released in Canada and the United States are coded to play only on DVD players sold in those countries ; Players compliant to Region 1 coding. But many DVDs, including older films and music video compilations, are not coded (Region 0) and may be viewed on most DVD players ; And some multiple region compatible players are available in some countries. Consult your DVD player's manual.

What are Multi-Region/Code Free/Region Free DVD Players ?

Multi-Region/Code Free/Region Free DVD players are altered DVD players that can play DVDs originating from any region. These players have their region limitations removed by a third party allowing individuals to play DVDs that they would usually not be able to play due to the DVDs region coding.

Please note that multi-region players may have had their warrenties voided by this alteration.

What are VCDs ?
VCDs are the predecessor of DVDs, a format on which audio and video information is stored using a lower compression than on DVD. This lower compression results in limited amouts of space for information resulting in lower quality audio and video and restrictions as to the lenght of this material ; Only 70 minutes worth of material can be stored on VCDs.

The VCD format is quite popular in Asia but it has failed to penetrate the North American market so VCD discs are rare in North America. A few North American DVD players play VCDs but many will not convert the PAL video signal used on Asian VCDs. Consult your manual.
How do I submit a DVD source to your site ?
I'm not currently accepting DVD source submissions. Sorry.
Will Columbia House's Video club information be added
to your Canadian Appendix soon ?
No. The Canadian Appendix was written for the CD Club FAQ, a document whose subject is only Compact Disc clubs. Additional information on that club is available at Columbia House Canada's official site though.
I have additional Questions and/or Suggestions.
How does one submit these ?
You can submit your questions, suggestions and general comments to me by e-mail.I will try to respond to any feedback a.s.a.p. Thanks for your interest.
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Click Here To Go To The DVD Sources
Click Here For Some Recommended DVDs
Region Free Players At Amazon.com
Copyright 2004 Rob McIntyre