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DVD/player incompatibility?


Joe Frickin' Friday

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Tried to watch a DVD movie this weekend. My DVD player froze on it repeatedly during the opening credits, requiring that the first couple of minutes of the movie be skipped altogether. The disc was a little scratched up, so I took it back to Blockbuster and requested a different copy of the same movie. The clerk obliged, but later on at home I ended up with the same results. I suspect he accidentally swapped disc two (the "bonus features" disc) instead of disc one (which contained the actual movie), but yesterday when I went in for a refund he was pretty sure he swapped the right disc. He suggested my player might be incompatible with this particular DVD (something to do with what software is used to create the DVD), and if so, it would choke even on a brand new copy of the movie. He said player manufacturers maintain lists on their website of which movies are incompatible with which players.

 

So I went to Sony's website this morning to look up info on my 8-year-old DVD player. plenty of other troubleshooting info, but nothing about player/disc incompatibilities.

 

Still, I've heard of this player/disc thing before. Is it for real? Anyone else heard of this? Please note, this is nothing to do with the "region" issue; I rented this DVD in Ann Arbor, not Japan.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
it wasn't a blu-ray thang was it?

 

No, this isn't HDTV; we're talking about old-school, NTSC stuff. The disc wasn't blu-ray, either; it played at first, we got through the menus and halfway through the opening credits before things went wrong.

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I have seen this issue. I believe some of the newer DVD's have "user interfaces" on the main menu screen that can't be translated by the firmware of some older players.

 

This of course is a conspiracy by the hardware mfg's and the studios to ensure that you must eventually upgrade your equipment.

 

Ya'll might need to spend $70 on a a newer "upconvert" DVD player. I wouldn't buy Blue-Ray for another year when you can pick-it one up for under $150.

 

 

Also remember that a "non-upconvert" player cannot display the regular 480p image on a 720p or 1080p display. But it sounds like this isn't your problem.

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Anyone else heard of this?

Most certainly. Some years back I was involved with a project involving burning slide presentations (with some embedded multimedia) to DVD, instead of using Powerpoint or Keynote.

 

During the development process, I was quite stunned to learn that no player implemented the DVD standard 100% completely, and some manufacturers were more compliant than others. A function of several variables: as mentioned, the software used to write the disc is one; also, the number and complexity of features, and programming logic, used on the disc can be a factor.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
During the development process, I was quite stunned to learn that no player implemented the DVD standard 100% completely, and some manufacturers were more compliant than others.

 

Yeah, that's kind of a shock, I'd say. Considering that my current player was purchased in early '01, is it likely things have improved since then? Are there players available now that are fully compliant with the standard?

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Yeah, that's kind of a shock, I'd say.

More than a shock. It's appalling.

 

Considering that my current player was purchased in early '01, is it likely things have improved since then? Are there players available now that are fully compliant with the standard?

I stopped doing DVD work around 2003, so I can't say for sure. According to the Wikipedia page on DVD Authoring, the reason is many companies interpret various parts of the specifications in different ways. This is the reason DVD players from different manufacturers do not always conform to the same rules – each developer understands the specifications in a slightly different way. Makes sense to me, but offers little consolation in a case like yours.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
the reason is many companies interpret various parts of the specifications in different ways. This is the reason DVD players from different manufacturers do not always conform to the same rules each developer understands the specifications in a slightly different way.

 

Wow. Sounds like the original DVD standard was pretty poorly-written if it's subject to so much interpretation. Hopefully the Blu-Ray standard is more iron-clad...

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Well, some of the problems also has to do with newer copy protection. I have a few DVD's that won't play in my older Denon reference DVD player (DVD-5000 - probably so named for the original MSRP.) Batman Begins comes to mind as one that just won't play properly. Yet, if I play any circa 2002 or older DVD, along with any that don't have copy protection on them, they play fine.

 

Nonetheless, I'd probably be better off just getting a new DVD player today than sticking with the older unit. The thing is just built like a tank and plays cd phenomenally well, (and was outrageously expensive) so it's hard to part with it.

 

Just the way it goes I suppose.

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Wow. Sounds like the original DVD standard was pretty poorly-written if it's subject to so much interpretation. Hopefully the Blu-Ray standard is more iron-clad...
Surely you jest... There have been several updates to the Blu-Ray standard - to the point that some of the earliest Blu-Ray players won't play newer B-R discs. The older players didn't have a way to update/upgrade their firmware appropriately, so those early adopters are out of luck. That's why the PS3 has long been considered the best B-R player (or at least the safest) as it has an internal hard drive to accommodate current and future upgrades and with the network connection you're sure to have, it stays current on it's own.

 

Small example

 

PS3 - future proof

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When I was making personal copies of my DVD collection, I had a heck of a time getting a DVD to play on my home DVD player. While the same DVD would play just fine on my portable DVD player or on my computer.

 

I looked up the specs on portable DVD player, it was an alphabet. DVD R/W +/-, CD R/W +/-, Kodka CD, blah, blah, blah.

When I looked up the specs on my much older home DVD player that cost 2.5-3x's more than the portable, it was very basic. DVD, CD, etc;

 

Turns out it likes DVD+R's better, even though it doesn't "support" it. :dopeslap:

 

 

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I have seen this issue. I believe some of the newer DVD's have "user interfaces" on the main menu screen that can't be translated by the firmware of some older players.

 

This of course is a conspiracy by the hardware mfg's and the studios to ensure that you must eventually upgrade your equipment.

 

Ya'll might need to spend $70 on a a newer "upconvert" DVD player. I wouldn't buy Blue-Ray for another year when you can pick-it one up for under $150.

 

 

Also remember that a "non-upconvert" player cannot display the regular 480p image on a 720p or 1080p display. But it sounds like this isn't your problem.

 

Exactly what I was going to say.

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