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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #1
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HELP! - No sound on DVDs (in some situations only)

OK, I've searched around and not come across any thread which might help so here goes. I've always tried to help people here on DVinfo as I was given a lot of great help when I first started. Now I need your help again please!

I've a client that cannot play all 5 copies of DVD-Video discs I gave them last week (or if they can play them, it's only with picture but without any sound - not much good!). This happens on ALL their corporate HP PC's (using either WMP to play or Intervideo DVD player on the same PCs...later gives a "create overlay failed" error message or sometimes a "BUP missing"). However, these very same DVDs play fine on all their Macs and on the only non Hewlitt Packard PC they have.

I've never come across this type of situation before and obviously need to find a solution so my client can play the DVD version of the film easily - we're at near final edit and he's just about to pay me for this work! They have been very happy with it up to now, but we've always viewed edits on my Mac Book Pro or, as it happens, the only non-HP PC in their facility that seems to play DVDs I've authored, the one in their conference room with the projector.

The DVDs (Verbatim printable DVD+Rs, single layer) were made on my 2009 Mac Pro (FCS2 on Leopard, I'm not upgrading to SL/FCS3 for a few weeks as some big jobs on the go at present). They were made with Compressor to get to the .m2V video file (using the standard best quality Apple 6.2 Mbps etc. template, no alterations) and also the Dolby 2.0 Professional AC3 file for audio, again a standard template. Then it was pretty simple authoring in DVDSP4 (no menu, auto play and loop play with just a chapter marker 1/2 way through as the content is only 10 minutes and consists of 2 edit variants on a near final cut for them to choose, then a marker and then an end jump) and that's it. Like I said, all 5 copies play fine on everything I own but only on about 1/2 everything my client owns. Why???

I've double checked (I always check before anything goes out the door and checked them again when I got them back), the very same DVDs play on EVERY single DVD playing device I own which is 2 Macs, 5 Windows PCs from a recent laptop to some old ones, 2 DVD players (top end Pioneer and bottom end LG) and a small portable DVD player and even my PS3. They play beautifully and have sound in every case (in my house!). The auto start to playing, chapter marker and end jump/loop play all work exactly as expected too.

Any ideas/suggestions much appreciated! Next thing I'm going to try is authoring the disks on a PC with Vegas/DVDA (I can do this easily from a 720p QT master) and also perhaps try one with a menu as I did wonder if their very low length (run time) might be a factor. I was also wondering if the auto play/loop play without a menu was a factor but, like I said, everything else seems to find it OK and I've never had this issue with that set-up in the past with stuff made in Vegas/DVDA on a PC. I did wonder about trying DVD-Rs but PC are always happy with +Rs so I thought (it's just some TV set top type DVD players do not like them, only very occasionally now I'm finding, here in the UK anyway). Next visit I'm taking a shop bought DVD just to check that will play on their HPs too!

One other thing, the HPs the client has are all running XP (not Vista, I checked that as soon as I heard of the problem!). The IT Manager did admit they may not be fully up to date, especially the WMPlayer (I think it's 9 they have) as it's been "a long time before he updated anything".

Client is being very amicable about it but obviously wants it resolved. Over to you guys!
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Old October 15th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #2
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If need be, just by them an entry level DVD player for their usage. That shows them that your final product works. It's up to them to sort out their computer issues.

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Old October 16th, 2009, 07:46 AM   #3
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It all sounds like a bit of a jumble, but I suspect the issue is on the client's end.

I have a four year old HP laptop running XP that simply didn't like playing DVDs. Any DVDs. About a year ago I blew away everything and reloaded it all starting with the OS. Since then it's all been tickety boo. The rebuild included online updates to everything.

I suspect that your client may not have the latest stuff on their machines which could be the source of the problem. Corporate IT folks are notorious for not updating computers until they have to, at least in my experience.

You might want to have your client try playing a commercially replicated DVD in some of the suspect machines to see if the problem recurs. If it does, that gets you off the hook. If it doesn't, you might suggest that they update everything on one of their machines to see if that helps.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 04:13 AM   #4
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Thanks! Seeing if they can play a shop bought DVD on one of their HP PCs is definitely the next step to try early next week - and we'll go from there. I agree, it would seem that the problem is on their end/needs their IT to sort it but sometimes you can be "too close" to a problem.

I just wanted to make sure I was not missing something obvious that someone might have come across regarding my DVD authoring.

This is a good client / I have a great working relationship with them and I'm sure we'll find the solution.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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I think you already found the problem when you said:

1. This happens on ALL their corporate HP PC's, and
2. The IT Manager did admit they may not be fully up to date, especially the WMPlayer (I think it's 9 they have) as it's been "a long time before he updated anything".

In the corporate world, Windows is NOT updated like you update your home PC. They buy their PCs with a basic OS, and update them "as needed" for their specific needs, i.e. making sure that all the software they need to run, operates correctly.

At my workplace for example, our 2+ yr old Dell PCs never got SP2! All our IT people did was pathing Windows with a few updates strictly needed to run Office, SAP, and a few other pieces of software.

WMP does NOT play mpeg2 by default; it might if some other DVD player soft is installed, but I never got it to play DVDs with full functionality (menus, chapters).

You may want to suggest the IT guy downloading QTAlternative 1.81 (exactly this version!), which comes with a very good universal player, MPlayer Classic. This software is all legally free for any use, and it plays DVDs with menu, chapter, and multiple audio support.

I hope this helps,
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Old October 19th, 2009, 03:39 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your help. Much appreciated!
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Old October 20th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
This happens on ALL their corporate HP PC's (using either WMP to play or Intervideo DVD player on the same PCs...
Tell them to download the free VLC Media Player. It can play almost anything, including DVD.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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Just to update this thread for anyone that might find it useful in the future...

After 2 visits to the client this week they still CANNOT play my "normal DVDs" (with or without a menu), made on either my Mac Pro with Compressor/DVDSP4 on made a Windows PC with Vegas/DVDA. Crucially, they CANNOT play a "Retail DVD" I've taken along on these aforementioned HP PC's either....this definitely points at the problem at being at their end......

Luckily, they CAN play my video (actually it's near enough theirs now, as they are about to pay me for it!) as a WMV 720p HD, albeit at only 2Mbps encode (looks reasonable, way too blocky for me, and even the Managing Director's new laptop seemed to struggle a little with this - but they seem happy). They can also play it as a 640x360 2Mbps WMV I've supplied - looks horrible to me - but at least it plays as well as one could expect. I also gave them a 5Mbps WMV 720p HD encode of the video which even my wife's 3 year old Dell Core Duo laptop can handle with ease, even directly playing off a CD-R disc - but I suspect this is a step too far for their PC hardware right now.

However, they can play all my "normal DVD-Video" discs on their Mac Pros in the Design Dept., no problem, as well as a high quality 720p HD QuickTime (H.264) file, obviously once it's on the hard drive.

Anyway, their IT Manager is "on the case" - and I've supplied a printed copy of this thread with all your useful suggestions to help him. Thanks again! I very much appreciate your assistance (and I suspect he will too).
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Old October 21st, 2009, 06:04 PM   #9
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most likely the PC don't have an ac3 decoder installed, this can happen if PowerDVD or WindDVD are not installed

to get around this, encode your DVD with wav audio instead of ac3
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 06:47 AM   #10
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Thanks Anton. The Managing Director's laptop was supposed to have had "Intervideo DVD software" installed (but still wouldn't play my DVDs or indeed even the Retail one). Not sure what's going on there.

I've just made a few DVDs in Vegas/DVDArchitect with PCM (Wave) audio, rather than the AC3 audio that I've used exclusively for several years now - it's never let me down until now!!!! We will see if this (I guess older) format works on their HP PCs next time I visit.

By the way, I was not sure how to do a DVD with stereo PCM Wave audio on my new Mac Pro - as the only other options I could see in a quick look within Compressor were AIFF, Dolby 2.0 (which is what I was using up to now), Dolby 5.1 or QuickTime PCM Surround - if anyone knows a good tutorial to help me through the Apple jargon etc. I'd love to see a link. I know how to do it easily in Vegas and DVDA so went that route but I'm keen to learn more about the options on a Mac using Compressor and DVDSP4 (I'm FCS2 still).
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 07:13 AM   #11
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sorry, I am not familiar with the mac

Pal DVD supports 3 audio formats

Dolby Digital
PCM wave
mpeg audio

PCM wave and mpeg audio will play on any PC

I always use ac3 at 256kbps for DVD and ac3 384kbps for Blu-ray, never had a problem
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