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Old December 23rd, 2009, 02:15 PM   #1
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DVDSP 4 and Snow Leopard

I recently got a Mac Pro and was experience burning problems. Movies burned without error but wouldn't play properly in a DVD player (skipping and acting weird). At first I attributed the problem to a vibration, which I fixed tightening a loose screw that attached the dvd drive.

When it still didn't work properly I started to think the dvd drive was defective. As a work around, I copied the TS folder to another computer (Windows PC) where it burned properly. Then just for kicks I tried burning the TS folder with Toast 10 on the mac in question and guess what it worked fine.

That now leads me to believe that DVDSP 4 doesn't burn dvd properly under Snow Leopard. I'm going to give Apple a call but I thought if there was a problem with DVDSP I would have already heard about it here.

(Apple answer below)

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; December 24th, 2009 at 07:46 AM.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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I got off the phone with Apple. They said its a burn speed issue. In DVDSP there is no way to control the speed of the burn so that's why its working with Toast. One other thing I didn't know is the dvd player must play the dvd back at the same speed it was burned. In my case my dvd player connected to my TV can't read at the speed at which DVDSP burned the disc. I couldn't tell you at what speed since DVDSP doesn't tell you. So the slower you burn a dvd the more compatible it is with older players. What a pain!
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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That's not a DVDSP issue that's an across-the-board issue with burnable DVD media, especially when it comes to replications. The slower the burn the less likely you'll end up with image error issues.

What I generally do when making a burned image is output an image "file" from DVDSP then import that into Toast or any other application that offers burn-speed control and make sure the burn is *no-greater* than 1x with "verify" turned on. That's eliminated all but media-related errors (problems caused by bad discs).

In general I never rely on an authoring application to handle the actual media creation and instead leave that up to specialized apps like Toast.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 04:06 PM   #4
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Toast is the most reliable way to go but I have never had a problem with DVDSP discs being unplayable except in very old DVD players that have issues with a lot of other DVD-R discs as well. You might want to experiment with different brands of DVD blanks. My experience is that some brands of recordable disc media (DVD and CD) use a dye that absorbs the read laser light beyond the player's ability to correctly read. Even mass produced DVDs can have this problem. I have a DVD player that refuses to play anything from Criterion Films, everything else works fine (and I mean everything, including some rather suspect no-name DVD-Rs).
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 04:38 PM   #5
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In this case I believe its not the media. It happen using both standard non-printable Memorex discs and the top of the line Taiyo Watershield discs. I've never had a problem burning from DVDSP on my G5 PowerMac using the same media and viewing it on the same player.

It started as soon as I moved to the Mac Pro with Snow Leopard. How old is my dvd player? Its not brand new but its also not from 1990s either. My DVDs go to all types of ppl who have varying ages of DVD players. It be unrealistic for me to require them buy a new player just watch my DVDs. I'm glad my player isn't brand new because I would have never known there was a problem and would have chalked up clients complaints to a defective player.

For me its pretty clear that the dvd drive in the new Mac Pro has the ability to write faster. DVDSP is set to burn as fast as possible and it is mistakenly burning faster than the media is rated or faster than the player can handle. The Taiyo Watershield is rated at 16x but I believe that Toast set to auto speed was burning at a lower speed.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 06:10 PM   #6
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Sounds like a good time to get that drive replaced. Do you have the G5 still? If it's collecting dust and you are the adventurous type, you might consider swapping the drives if they both use the same interface to the computer. If you still have problems then it's possibly an issue with the motherboard that would be good to replace as soon as possible.

I've had problems with Memorex in the past but Taiyo Yuden is usually beyond reproach. I send hundreds of Taiyo Yuden or Fuji DVDs out a month to all sorts of people and I rarely get a complaint that a DVD isn't working. Maybe a couple of times a years, maybe. My computer is a 2009 MacPro and it has burned dozens and dozens of DVDs without a problem.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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Don't forget that if you "recently" got the system that it's covered by Apple Care. If in fact it's hardware related then a trip to the Genius Bar is warranted.

Also: You should put in a trouble-ticket with Apple Pro Support (FCP). If there is a software compatibility bug between FCP/OS/DVD drivers then they should suss that out too.

But as I mentioned before, way before SL release we noticed that many DVDSP discs had write errors on them because they were burned too fast. To my knowledge DVDSP does not have the buffer under-run protection offered by Toast and especially with DVD-9 (dual-layer) discs write errors were becoming plentiful especially if the discs became near-full.

So far you're the first to report burn issues under SL (that I've heard of) so let us know if Apple decides this is more of global issue or specific to hardware faults on your system.
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