[Techtalk] Trouble with DVD

Linda illini.engineer at att.net
Fri Dec 31 00:04:43 EST 2004

On 30 Dec 2004 at 14:39, 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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Is the DVD you bought a DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW?
DVD-ROM drives, ie ones that cannot write to a disk may 
not be able to read any of these newer formats. The same is true
for the standalone DVD player especially the older ones.

The best suggestion is to try to read the DVD in someone
else's DVD writer.

Also the TV standard in Thailand is PAL2; USA is NTSC.
Again as others have said, not sure whether this is what is causing
your problem. So to rain on your parade, after you are able
to extract your files from the DVD, you will have to do 
even more work to convert the files into a format you can "see".

My hunch it is the inability of your DVD drive to read newer
media that is the most likely culprit.


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