Quantcast Problems with DVD Player - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
07-21-2007, 04:57 AM
Kent Kent is offline
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We have a business that converts analog pitures and video to DVD. We experienced some player problems with a reel to reel to DVD conversion.

Our workflow involves capturing the reel to reel into and AVI format. We use Edius 3.6 to edit and add music. Procoder 2.0 renders to MPEG-2 with 16 bit stereo files. Ulead DVD workshop is used to add menus and burn to DVD. We use 6x to burn to a DVD-R. This project had a total of 5 disks. These were viewed from start to finish on our DVD test player which is about 5 years old. All played fine with good audio

The client had a Toshiba SD-2200 DVD player. Most of the info I found showed it should be ok with the current standards. Commercial DVD's played fine. Never a problem. On our first set of DVD's we delivered the video was fine but there was no sound. We were told they were using the digital out into a receiver to play the sound. The second attempt was burned using the AC3 template in Ulead DVD workshop. It had the same problem as above, no sound. On our next attempt we purchased and used Nero to burn the disk and used AC3 5.1 surround. The disk would play with video and sound, but some would skip or freeze. Others would try to load and display "disk error". These disks all played fine on our test player at the ofice and our home system. The client had a family reunion and really wanted to play the DVD's so they bought a new player and everything works fine. Buying a new player was a problem. The gentleman had won the Toshiba in a golf tournament and was a point of pride. We lost some future sales with the client over this.


I can't have a repeat of this type problem. Why would the commercial DVDs all play fine and the ones we authored not work? What can we do different

Kent
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  #2  
07-24-2007, 03:48 AM
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I'll work backwards from normal to answer this one, and give you the conclusion first, then explain details...

Basically, there is nothing within your power to guarantee 100% compatible discs. It's just the ugly nature of the technology.

There is one more option available, and it is explained at the very bottom of this message. But read this post in order to understand the issues you face...

You have done everything in your power (within reason) to give your client a good disc. In fact, you tried a few things that were unreasonable (Nero).

The problem is not your software.

While I would like to know more about the AVI files captured, I assume they are DV or uncompressed, as a normal workflow would be (if not, please explain).

Procoder 2 is by far one of the most compliant MPEG encoders around, and it create MPEG Layer II (MP2) audio. I use Procoder regularly, and have for many years.

Now MP2 audio is not 100% compliant to NTSC video, but it is unofficially supported because pretty much every single MPEG hardware decoder used in DVD players can decode it. I don't recall the last time I saw an MPEG decoder that only did the video, or was soft-disabled in a player.

Ulead DVD Workshop ... version 2, at least ... is an excellent authoring application. It is easy to use, has many advanced functions, and creates compliant DVD-Video discs. The AC3 encoder is officially licensed from Dolby. I assume you told DVDWS to convert the audio to AC3. I use DVDWS, and have since summer 2004. I use it almost daily, both for work and personal projects.

Nero is one of the most horrible pieces of software out there. Once upon a time, Nero was burning software. It burned data, it made audio CDs, life was good. As years went by, it bloated itself with half-quality additives, such as the ability to convert video. The word "Nero" and "problem" used together will bring back millions of results in a Google search. It's almost not worth trying to solve a Nero problem, it's better to use something else known to work correctly. It's nice that you tried this method on behalf of the client, but it was basically doomed to fail from the start.

Commercial DVDs all play fine because they adhere to a very rigid method of hardware-based encoding that has not changed much in 10 years now. The pressing of discs alone makes a difference, as compared to burned discs. But all of this costs considerable amounts of money to do, and a lot of specialty training. Talking a 5-digit minimum investment and months of time. And even all that will not guarantee a disc will play 100% of the time in all players, although it's easily in the 98-99% range.

It's not that commercial products are "better" but rather that they are done different.

A burned disc, by nature of the disc alone, only works about 90% of the time on average. About every 10th person I deal with has one player in one room somewhere that refuses to see the disc, or plays it badly.

I can encode a video and create a menu that would easily rival or beat out a commercial product. And to ensure it plays in the widest array of players, I use Verbatim DVD-R (MCC discs), and Taiyo Yuden DVD+R (booktyped to DVD-ROM, preferably). One of those is going to work, almost always. If not, it's the player not being cooperative.

I know precisely what the problem is, I've seen it before.

That Toshiba SD-2200 is ancient, from at least 1999-2000, if not earlier. It is a player built around an early revision of the DVD-Video specification, and is therefore missing many aspects found in modern players and allowed in modern software and hardware. I don't know of any analogy to explain it better than simply saying "it's dreadfully old". Also realize I'm not one of those folks who likes to upgrade or thinks "newer is better".

Toshiba makes great players, but it was not until the SD-2800 model in 2002, that Toshiba started to use later DVD-Video spec revisions. For example, it was the first player to officially support DVD-R and DVD-RW, fairly new tech at the time. This is my favorite player.

Your client will have to upgrade eventually. I had a similar issue with a family member, who won a DVD player and was quite proud of it. It was a major name brand player, but it was also fairly old and irritating to use. Even my stubborn family member eventually gave up, and bought a new player. It may just take hassle after hassle for this client to finally see the light.

While it might be worth little comfort, know that this client will not be able to go elsewhere and "get it done right" as he might think. He'll have to just understand his player is too obsolete for modern DVDs. He'll eventually run across a commercial DVD that won't play either, and that'll probably tip the boat on a replacement decision.

The Pioneer 300-series DVD players were infamous for their ability to only play some AC3 streams. They would not work with unofficial AC3, non-hardware-encoded AC3, or MP2. It would only play fully uncompressed WAV or hardware-created Dolby AC3.

Now then, that's another option for you! You can create the disc with PCM WAV audio 1536k uncompressed. That might work. Then again, maybe not. You'll have to limit your disc content to less than an hour if you're using 720x480 resolution MPEG-2 at about 5000k 2-pass VBR. It might be worth a try.

But it's always going to be an uphill battle, and it will be compounded by those who refuse to get better players. Luckily, the issue will be infrequent. Most of those older players tend to already be broken and replaced.

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07-26-2007, 11:26 PM
Kent Kent is offline
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Thank you very much for the detailed response. It is appreciated.

I am not familiar with DVDWS. I will look and learn more about it.

I must have stumbled onto some old information touting NERO as the best burning software. I will can it and move on

Kent
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07-27-2007, 02:20 AM
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Nero used to be good at burning, but just the burning, nothing else (authoring, encoding, etc). These days, burning is best done in either ImgBurn or RecordNow, as they will correctly gap the data for DVD-Video burns. ImgBurn is free software, so many use it.

"DVDWS" is an abbreviation for Ulead DVD Workshop, and version 2 is the current version with all the features. It's easily one of the best authoring programs.

Good luck on everything!


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