[Techtalk] Trouble with DVD

Adam Ingerman OZ_Prophet at internode.on.net
Thu Dec 30 15:04:11 EST 2004

On Thursday 30 December 2004 14:09, Mary wrote:
> Hey folks,
> A dive videographer in Thailand sold my partner and I a DVD of a boat
> dive we went on, but the DVD doesn't seem to work.
> The major symptom is that inserting it into a DVD computer drive (on
> Linux machines) causes all read requests to the drive to block and then
> time-out after a minute or so. (Among other things, this causes Nautilus
> to freeze -- it not unreasonably supposes that reads from local drives
> are fast.) The DVD is never recognised as a valid disk at any point.
> We don't have a lot of access to non-computer DVD players: an Xbox we
> put it in said it was in an unrecognised format.
> We assumed the DVD was faulty and sent it back to Thailand, but the new
> DVD sent to us by the maker behaves exactly the same way, so we have to
> presume it works for him. (And since he is located on Koh Lanta in the
> Andaman Sea off west Thailand, we must now assume he has more important
> things to worry about and cannot contact him to ask about it.)
> Anyone know of anything else that might cause this behaviour? One theory
> I had was region incompatibility (our players are region 4, Thailand is
> in region 3) but I wouldn't have thought that would cause a freeze at
> the level of the read() system call.
> Log messages in the syslog are totally uninteresting: all we see is the
> error message when the read call times out. (I will try and get the
> exact text of the message tonight and post an update.)
> -Mary
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I'd say it's probably not a regional issue, that only comes into play when 
viewing the video files. You should still be able to mount an out-of-region 
DVD, just not view all the files on it without decoding.
However, if you're immediately trying to view as video and this is not 
suceeding, it may be a regional issue (trying to view the encrypted data 
from a shell will give errors (though immediately, not a timeout)). Try 
mounting the disk to make sure.

Also, I would think a DVD not made by a movie company would be unlikely to 
be region encrypted. I'm not sure of the DVD (re)write issues, but I know 
that some CD-ROMs and most audio CD players would have big issues with a 
burnt CD that wasn't closed (or in some cases, even the ones burnt in 
several sessions). If your computer has a DVD writer then I'd doubt this is 
the issue, but if it's a DVD-ROM (and especially an older one) this may be 
a problem.

So, check if you can mount it, and if possible, try to load it on a computer 
with a DVD rewriter.

If it does turn out that it's region encoded and that's the only problem, 
then use something like xine with libdvdcss (but check that it's legal 
where you are first), or anything else that can play out of region DVDs.

hope this helps


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