HD-DVD Import FAQ - High-Def Digest Forums
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-13-2007, 03:29 PM
Sporadic's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,289
Exclamation HD-DVD Import FAQ

I wrote this for another forum but I figure it could do some good here.

If you think I have missed anything, just post and I'll add it in.

HD-DVD Imports & You: Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why should I import HD-DVDs?
A: Good question. There are many reasons why you may decide to import a HD-DVD title from a different country.

There are titles available overseas that haven't been released anywhere else in HD (for example: Band Of Brothers, The Machinist, Mulholland Drive, etc.)

There are titles that are exclusive to Blu-Ray in America but available on HD-DVD elsewhere (for example: The Prestige, Silent Hill, Terminator 2, Rambo, etc.)

There are titles that are only available in America on a HD-DVD combo disc while available elsewhere on normal HD-DVD disc (for example: Children Of Men, Hot Fuzz, etc.)
Q: Will these work on *whatever HD-DVD unit I own*?
A: Yes, any import you buy should work on whatever HD-DVD unit you own. The only title I can think of off the top of my head that has some playback issues is Enemy At The Gates with HD-A1/X1 & HD-A3/A35 players.
Q: But aren't these in the PAL format?
A: No, PAL/NTSC formats are a thing of the past with HD. Most movies are encoded in 1080p24 with the signal (50 Hz or 60 Hz) determined by the player.
Q: But *my store of choice* has it listed at a Region 2/PAL release!
A: Again, there is no such thing as region coding with HD-DVD. Most of the time when a store has a title listed as PAL or some different region, it's because they just copy & paste'd the DVD info.
Q: Do these movies have their original audio or are they foreign dubs with English subtitles?
A: I have yet to hear about a import title that doesn't have it's original audio. Every American made movies should have it's English audio. Now, that doesn't mean that every import is English friendly. There are some foreign films that only have it's original audio and no English subtitles. Do your research before you purchase a movie and check this thread over at High Def Digest which is very well maintained by kannisto http://forums.highdefdigest.com/showthread.php?t=3010
Q: So, they have English audio, what about their packaging?
A: Almost all of the time the packaging is in the language of the country you purchase it from.

Here's a photo of the back of some of the import HD-DVDs I own as an example. In the photo is The Machinist (Japan/Toshiba), Band Of Brothers Vol 1 (Japan/Toshiba), Mulholland Drive (France/Studio Canal), Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer (Germany/Constantin), The Prestige (UK/Warner Bros UK) and Terminator 2 (France/Studio Canal)

Q: How about their menus?
A: Same thing as the packaging but alot of Studio Canal movies have an English menu choice. Even if the title doesn't have an English menu, it usually isn't very hard to figure out what is what.
Q: How about forced subtitles?
A: Some titles do have forced subtitles. Off the top of my head there's disc 1 in the Terminator 2 set, Serpico and some extras on other movies. The cool thing about Terminator 2 Disc 1/Serpico are that the forced subtitles are resizeable. On the Terminator disc you can just shrink them down to sit solely in the black bar or with Serpico you can shrink it down and push it to the bottom of the screen so it doesn't effect your movie experience so much.
Q: What about this pitch correction/issue I've been hearing about?
A: Some of Studio Canal's releases have a "pitch issue" from where they corrected the PAL soundtracks to match the now normal video. The audio is 4% higher in pitch. Is this a big issue? Well, it depends on who you talk to. Some people don't even notice it, some people roll around the floor as if they have just been set on fire while screaming it sounds like Alvin & The Chipmunks. With me, I didn't notice anything was up until I got to the really high pitch noises (like the police sirens in Rambo or some of the ambient noise in Mulholland Drive) and even then it wasn't that distracting. It just felt like something was slightly off. I guess if you are a professional singer or if you have seen the movie a million times, it could be a problem for you but as always, YMMV

Titles with this issue are:
Basic Instinct
Elephant Man, The
Graduate, The
Mulholland Drive
Rambo: First Blood
Rambo: First Blood Part 2
Rambo III
Total Recall
Q: I'm now well informed, and I believe I want to partake in some import goodness. Where should I go?
A: Depends on what you want.

- If you are getting multiple titles from one region like the UK or France, the foreign Amazons are usually the best.
- If you are getting one title, a German title or a mismatch of titles from different regions, XploitedCinema.com (which is based and ships out of America) would be your best bet.
- Australia is worth checking out (specifically EzyDVD.com) due to their dollar being weaker than ours but they only have a handful of titles.
- If you are getting Japanese titles, it depends. For older titles, you usually can't do better than HMV Japan price-wise. For preorders/new releases, you should check out Amazon JP.

Be sure though when dealing with an actual overseas site to take in account VAT tax.
Q: VAT tax?
A: Value added tax. Most (not all) foreign sites have VAT tax (up to 22%) added into the list price. When you go to the checkout page (right before you confirm your order), it will see that the item is leaving their country (if you are located in the US) and the system will remove VAT from your overall price.

The exact amount of VAT or even the inclusion of it depends on the store/country you are purchasing from.
Q: Well, now I'm addicted to importing. Where can I find info on newer releases?
A: http://hddvdformat.blogspot.com/ is a fantastic blog that usually breaks import news or you can check kannisto's thread here at High Def Digest. He is continually updating his list with current/upcoming titles and where you can get them from. http://forums.highdefdigest.com/showthread.php?t=3010
Q: Anything else?
A: Yes, some misc things to know is:

- Most Japanese titles come in a normal DVD case instead of a HD-DVD case (although with the release of Band Of Brothers and other newer release, it seems the normal DVD case is getting phased out)
- Not every import looks like the latest summer blockbuster (mostly some of the older ones aren't fantastic but they are still better than their DVD brethren)
- Trend with caution before putting down the cash for a title. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Last edited by Sporadic; 06-15-2008 at 07:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-13-2007, 03:32 PM
Arkadin's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 12,401
Default

very nice. I'm sure a sticky status will be conferred on this.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-13-2007, 07:58 PM
kannisto's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,590
Default

Nice FAQ! I agree that it should be made sticky. I think some similar sections in the original sticky could be removed or modified once this is made sticky.

I have a couple of content related suggestions/comments:

- It would be good to mention about the complete lack of region codes in HD DVD and the fact that even though various online shops claim that some HD DVD discs are region this or that, they are actually always region free (with the possible exception of DVD sides of Combo releases). This question seems to pop up every now and then from those who are new to importing HD DVDs.

- There are many shops that don't exclude VAT from prices even though the delivery address would be outside of their tax area, for example sendit.com, bol.com, merlin.pl in Europe seem to be like that from my own experience. U.S. stores that I know of don't remove VAT when shipping to Japan or Europe either. Amazon shops in Europe and Japan do remove VAT though. In some countries VAT can even exceed 20 % (for example in Finland it is 22%). It might be good to modify the VAT description a bit to make it clear that it depends on each shop's and country's policies whether VAT reduction is available or not.

- Amazon Japan does quite often beat HMV Japan in price, basically always in the pre-order phase (Amazon Japan's standard pre-order discount is 26% against HMV's 20 %) and recently Amazon JP has been keeping the same discount level even after release date (for new releases) quite often. There are many earlier releases that have no discount at all in Amazon Japan though so with those HMV Japan has a better price as they basically always have that 20% discount

- Many Japanese distributors are moving away from using DVD cases for new HD DVD releases, e.g. Showgate (ex. Toshiba Ent.) and SHV are now using HD DVD cases while they used to use DVD cases. So I guess in the future there won't be so much use of DVD cases in Japan either.

- "Perfume: Face Of A Murderer (Germany/Constantin)" => English title is actually "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer".
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-13-2007, 08:31 PM
Sporadic's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,289
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
- It would be good to mention about the complete lack of region codes in HD DVD and the fact that even though various online shops claim that some HD DVD discs are region this or that, they are actually always region free (with the possible exception of DVD sides of Combo releases). This question seems to pop up every now and then from those who are new to importing HD DVDs.
I do see that alot, I'll add it in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
- There are many shops that don't exclude VAT from prices even though the delivery address would be outside of their tax area, for example sendit.com, bol.com, merlin.pl in Europe seem to be like that from my own experience. U.S. stores that I know of don't remove VAT when shipping to Japan or Europe either. Amazon shops in Europe and Japan do remove VAT though. In some countries VAT can even exceed 20 % (for example in Finland it is 22%). It might be good to modify the VAT description a bit to make it clear that it depends on each shop's and country's policies whether VAT reduction is available or not.
Can do.

One thing though, US stores don't have VAT. We have state sales tax which is usually added in after the fact if it applies (for example, I live in Florida and get hit with 6% sales tax if the company is located in Florida)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
- Amazon Japan does quite often beat HMV Japan in price, basically always in the pre-order phase (Amazon Japan's standard pre-order discount is 26% against HMV's 20 %) and recently Amazon JP has been keeping the same discount level even after release date (for new releases) quite often. There are many earlier releases that have no discount at all in Amazon Japan though so with those HMV Japan has a better price as they basically always have that 20% discount
Really? Every time I looked at Amazon JP, they were almost always outclassed by HMV when it came to price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
- Many Japanese distributors are moving away from using DVD cases for new HD DVD releases, e.g. Showgate (ex. Toshiba Ent.) and SHV are now using HD DVD cases while they used to use DVD cases. So I guess in the future there won't be so much use of DVD cases in Japan either.
That's good to know, I'll add it in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
- "Perfume: Face Of A Murderer (Germany/Constantin)" => English title is actually "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer".
Nice catch. That was a late night typo on my part

Thank you for the suggestions and I should have it all fixed by tomorrow
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-13-2007, 08:41 PM
hawaii sun's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,002
Default

Sporadic,

I agree this should be a sticky. Also as far as pitch issue is concerned, from my experience Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Polish Import) had a slight one at the start of the movie. Also one import retailer is HD Movie Source (http://www.hdmoviesource.com/catalog/).
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-13-2007, 08:50 PM
kannisto's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,590
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporadic View Post
...
One thing though, US stores don't have VAT. We have state sales tax which is usually added in after the fact if it applies (for example, I live in Florida and get hit with 6% sales tax if the company is located in Florida)
...
Really? Every time I looked at Amazon JP, they were almost always outclassed by HMV when it came to price.
...
Thanks for the clarification regarding US stores.

As for Amazon JP - Yes they are always cheaper than HMV Japan in the pre-order phase and they have recently changed their policy so that their pre-order discount changed from 25% to 26% and now that discount seems to stay even after pre-order phase. New HD DVD releases from November (e.g. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Twilight Samurai, The Hidden Blade, Love and Honor) still have the 26 % discounted price at Amazon Japan even after release date. HMV Japan is cheaper when it comes to earlier releases but these changes in Amazon's pricing policy seem to make it cheaper for new releases since November as well as for pre-orders.

I need to update HMV as source for these recent releases if they have them now in "Titles Available for Order".
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-13-2007, 09:09 PM
Sporadic's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,289
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawaii sun View Post
Sporadic,

I agree this should be a sticky. Also as far as pitch issue is concerned, from my experience Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Polish Import) had a slight one at the start of the movie. Also one import retailer is HD Movie Source (http://www.hdmoviesource.com/catalog/).
Huh, I haven't heard anything about Mr. & Mrs. Smith having a pitch issue (usually it only applies to a few select Studio Canal releases). I'll add it to the list though if some more people confirm it.

I know about HD Movie Source. That part of the FAQ wasn't to list all importers (although I could expand it in the future) but just to serve as a guide for new people on where to go first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannisto View Post
Thanks for the clarification regarding US stores.

As for Amazon JP - Yes they are always cheaper than HMV Japan in the pre-order phase and they have recently changed their policy so that their pre-order discount changed from 25% to 26% and now that discount seems to stay even after pre-order phase. New HD DVD releases from November (e.g. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Twilight Samurai, The Hidden Blade, Love and Honor) still have the 26 % discounted price at Amazon Japan even after release date. HMV Japan is cheaper when it comes to earlier releases but these changes in Amazon's pricing policy seem to make it cheaper for new releases since November as well as for pre-orders.

I need to update HMV as source for these recent releases if they have them now in "Titles Available for Order".
Glad to hear they finally started to turn stuff around.

I updated that part of the FAQ.

Last edited by Sporadic; 12-13-2007 at 10:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-23-2007, 11:36 PM
Sporadic's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,289
Default

Who do you have to contact to get a sticky?

This doesn't deserve to be on page 2 :/
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-24-2007, 11:42 PM
kannisto's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,590
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporadic View Post
Who do you have to contact to get a sticky?

This doesn't deserve to be on page 2 :/
I think the mods can make stickies so contacting one of the mods could help - e.g. Blurry who originally started and maintained the import sticky thread before I took it up.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-28-2007, 05:53 PM
Sporadic's Avatar
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,289
Default

Thank you Blurry for the sticky.

If anybody sees anything that they feel should be changed or has something they think I should cover, just post and I'll do my best to update it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Deadlands 2: March 2010 (Deadlands 2 HD DVD Project) FAQ DjfunkmasterG HD DVD Software General Discussion 800 09-07-2010 03:25 AM
High-Def FAQ: Blu-ray and HD DVD Audio Explained jed General Discussion: Both Formats 59 05-04-2008 04:09 PM
Importing HD-DVD FAQ - Can't Find it HDGator HD DVD Software General Discussion 7 04-02-2007 09:25 AM
Ps3 Faq illegalprelude High-Def Disc FAQs 4 11-13-2006 02:30 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off