Hey new guy, so you wanna get into Blu-ray & DVD..
With a scene as good as the Horror Blu-ray & dvd scene, there come's a catch. Folk like the BBFC and Customs ain't to keen on people enjoying themselves in a responsible manner, so getting hold of your favourite Horror disc can often be a bit of bother.
First things first, a bit about regional coding. Dvd discs are coded to play only in their specific regions. In the UK and Europe we have Region 2, all discs sold retail here in the UK are coded Region 2 and will only play on UK Region 2 players. In the States they have Region 1, thus the idea being UK players will not play US discs. This is to stop you watching new US movies long before their UK release. Similarly, with Blu-ray discs the UK is Region B, the US is Region A but it's worth checking each release via Google as often many are 'region free'.
It's not all bad news though, as many independent Blu-ray & Dvd Suppliers now sell Multi-region players which will play discs from any of the six world regions. Shop around, there are some good deals around.
Also, it is good to note, if you have a Blu-ray or Dvd player bought from a high street store and you don't want to risk doctoring your machine, there are many Region 0 discs available. Region 0 discs carry no coding on them and can be played on any machine regardless. This is particularly good as most of the classic horror discs are released on Region 0. Though, check when buying discs to make sure which Region the disc is coded for.
So now you're ready to buy your favourite terror classics, but where the hell do you get them from. Well, there are a few options, and hopefully here at SGM we can help by sharing some of these options with you.
Firstly, in most of the big cities here in the UK now there are Blu-ray & DVD specialist shops popping up. They can be a bit pricey but they don't have to know your name and address so the paranoid among you can sleep easily at night. Though be warned, some shop staff are also paranoid, so be cool about asking around for import stuff.
Secondly, and best of all, is the Internet. Buying over the Net is the most fun way to pick up your goodies, you can shop around, there are many great Blu-ray & dvd sites with a variety of stock and prices.
When buying on the Net you have two options - either importing directly from the States/Europe or using a British supplier. The difference being :
Buying from the States direct can be cheap and speedy but be warned you will be running the gauntlet with Customs (though a couple of companies do have UK dispatch). There seems to be a bit of a gamble with Customs as they only sometimes seem to be seizing discs, and if you're discs are seized you have no comeback whatsoever, kiss your cash and your discs goodbye!! But that said, I know many people who have had no Customs problems at all, the choice is yours.
Please also note, that when ordering Stateside, you may also receive a separate bill for VAT at a later date from Customs, so sometimes those cheap prices ain't quite what they seem. But some companies will add the duty onto your package costs for you, so check this out before ordering.
Pretty much the same deal as with importing from the US, Customs may just take a liking to your discs and destroy them if you're unlucky. That said though there are some interesting discs getting released within Europe.
Buying from a British Supplier is another Net option that should be of interest. What this involves is a supplier acting as what is known as a Personal Importation Supplier. They do not hold stock of the discs but import them on your behalf. Their lists are in UK sterling and they take care of importing them through customs, taking away some of that seizure paranoia. They can be a bit pricey occasionally and sometimes a bit slow too, but often reliable and safe delivery is good news too.
No matter what option you choose, shop around and good luck.Back to the DVD Suppliers page