DVD TIPS
Hologram Sticker Removal
Pronunciation Guide
Step-By-Step Buyer's Guide
Quick DVD Start
HOLOGRAM STICKER REMOVAL

Almost all Hong Kong DVD's, especially those from Mei Ah and Universe, have special hologram stickers in order to prove they aren't pirated. Whilst being a good idea in theory, these stickers are also a pain, as removing them often leaves a residue on the case.

To remove the residue, take a longish piece of sellotape and roll it into a small ball.

Using the "ball", rub it over the remaining pieces of sticker.

As you do this, the "ball" should pick up the sticky bits, and restore your case to its former glory!

PRONUNCIATION GUIDE

This guide was created to help those of you who are having trouble pronouncing the often confusing Chinese names featured on the site.

NG - This is pronounced as in singalong. Try taking the si off the beginning of the word to get the NG sound.
TS or TZ or Q - This is pronounced as in its, but without the i. A simpler way to pronounce it is like the letter j.
AI - This is pronounced as in eye.
AU - This is pronounced as in cow.
E - This is pronounced as in fairy.
EI - This is pronounced as in day.
EUI - This is pronounced like her evening (don't pronounce the r)
I - This is pronounced as in see. If it's followed by K it sounds like more like the word sick.
IU - This is pronounced a bit like through, but you can get closer to the sound by saying see you very quickly.
O - This is pronounced as in thaw.
U - This is pronounced like a cross between too and cook.
UE - This is pronounced as in tune.
UI - This is pronounced as in the term phooey.

Please note: Words which end with an A, as in Andy Lau Duk Wa, are pronounced as in are. In all other cases, A is spoken as it would be in English.

For example:
Tsui Hark = TS + UI + Hark (Rhymes with bark).
Yeung Chi-King = Y+EU+NG (said as one word) + CH+I (rhymes with tree) + King.
Yuen Biao is slightly more difficult as this is the Mandarin version of his name, but AO is exactly the same as AU.
So, Yuen Biao = Y+UE+N+B+I+AU

This is by no means an in-depth explanation of the ways to pronounce the different names, but it's a good introduction to the general sounds which you'll encounter.
If you have a particular name you are having difficulty pronouncing, then email me.

STEP-BY-STEP BUYER'S GUIDE

Having been through many of the ups and downs of online buying, this guide will hopefully go some way to help you avoid many of the potential pitfalls found when buying HK DVD's from abroad.

NOTE: All HK produced discs are released in NTSC format, so check that your TV and DVD player support this playback standard - otherwise you'll be greeted with an unstable, black-and-white picture upon loading the disc.

1) Once you've decided which titles you're interested in, check with a few websites for reviews of those particular discs - paying particular attention to whether the disc is in its correct aspect ratio, has removable or burnt-in subtitles, is cut/edited, and includes its original language soundtrack.
The Asian DVD Guide is one of the best resources for review links, and you could of course keep an eye on HK DVD Heaven!

2) Ok, so you've got your list of "definites", and now you're looking for a place to buy them from...
Firstly, unless you live in Hong Kong, HK DVD's are usually more expensive when bought from your local Chinatown (£20-£25 in London).
Secondly, avoid buying releases which have been marked with a "Tai-Seng" sticker, as the majority of these are just repackaged, overpriced versions of their Hong Kong originals.
Thirdly, consider the possible additional costs you may incur from Customs, when placing orders with companies who are stationed outside the UK.
The amount a package can come to, if marked as a "Gift", is £32, and £18, if marked as "Merchandise".
However, the majority of big internet companies will only mark their packages as "Merchandise", which will limit the number of titles you can order without further costs being incurred.

3) Once you've checked the above, it's worth emailing the company you'll be using, to ask them whether they can mark their packages as a "Gift", so as to give you an idea of what your price limit will be.
The legal requirement is that packages are correctly declared, for Customs purposes. However, individual companies may be willing to offer suggestions on how your order could be processed more cost-effectively...

4) Order those discs!

In my opinion, HiviZone.com are one of the best HK DVD Internet companies I've used, along with DDDHouse.com. Excellent disc prices and service, reasonable shipping rates, a huge selection of titles, and some great sale items.
The two companies above generally take about 2 weeks to deliver your order - if you've not received anything after this period, email to find out where your order is.
If you really want your discs quickly, you can use a courier service, with guaranteed delivery within about 3 days. However, courier services often bump-up the total order cost, along with your chances of being being stung with a large Customs charge.

5) Receive films, and enjoy!!!

Please note: I have no affiliation with either Hivizone and DDDHouse, and have based my recommendations and opinions on personal experience.

QUICK DVD START

One of the most annoying aspects of DVD's are the copyright warnings which appear upon starting the disc. To make matters worse, these warnings are often unable to be fast-forwarded, leaving you to sit through them each time you insert the disc.

In order to avoid this, follow the steps below:

1) Open the disc tray, and the place the DVD onto it.

2) Making sure you have your DVD remote to hand, close the tray and continuously press the "STOP" button.

3) In almost all cases the disc will stop spinning, and your TV will let you know the DVD is no longer loading. At this point press your "MENU" or "TITLE" button. This should take you directly to the discs main menu, by-passing all of the copyright info. etc.

The trick to making this work is to very quickly and repeatedly press the "STOP" button as the disc's tray is closing.