What Does DVD-3 Mean?

By Ty Arthur

Updated September 22, 2017

What Does DVD-3 Mean?

Each DVD on the market has a designation on the back of its case that indicates the area of the world in which it was manufactured or meant to be sold and rented within. The designation "DVD-3" indicates that the DVD is a region 3 movie which is only meant to be sold and watched in some areas of Asia.


Many DVDs that are manufactured or sold outside of the United States are encoded with a specific region code so that they can only be used on DVD players that match that specific code. Movie production companies created the mandates for regional coding in DVDs in an effort to control the price of DVDs in specific areas.


A DVD that is encoded with the region code 3 can normally only be sold in specific areas in southeast Asia and China. Region 3 coding indicates a DVD that will work on DVD players manufactured or sold in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, and some parts of Thailand. A region 3 DVD will only play in a region 3 compatible DVD player or in a DVD player that accepts all regions, such as most of the DVD players sold in the United States. Some DVDs are purposefully manufactured without any sort of regional coding at all so that they can be played on any type of DVD player anywhere in the world.


Region 3 DVDs work in the exact same manner as any other DVD as long as they are played in a DVD player that supports region 3 coding. Most region 3 DVDs will be set to automatically play in either the Chinese or Korean language version rather than in English.


Check inside your DVD player's instruction manual or look on the manufacturer's web site to find out if it is compatible with region 3 DVDs before purchasing the DVD. There are also occasionally additional break downs within the region 3 coding to prevent DVDs from being exported to specific countries or regions. Look at the DVD's regional information on the back of the case to find out if it requires a specific type or brad of region 3 DVD player.


Many DVD players can be modified so that they will play DVDs with any regional coding by entering a specific code through the unit's remote control or by opening the case and modifying the internal components. Be sure to completely unplug a DVD player before attempting to modify it. Be aware that any modification will void your warranty and may possibly damage the unit beyond repair.