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Old January 9th, 2008, 07:48 PM   #1
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Problems with DVDs already sold and out there. Please help me.

Hi,
Somebody please help me because I'm about ready to pull my hair out. I started a little home business making photo montage. I have Dell and Premiere CS3 which I burn with Nero the latest version. Well, one customer bought 24 DVDs I made for her of her family and sent them out as Xmas gifts. I watched one of the DVDs like three times on my tv before I gave her hers. She called me tonight and said that her family members say the DVDs are messed up and that the picture is sometimes skipping or that sometimes the music skips. We didn't burn all of the DVDs in one batch, maybe I should have. It took us so long to find something to burn AVIs onto DVDs, Encore is such a joke. Now this. I'm thinking about getting out of this business endeavor all together if I can deliver a worthy product. It's been nothing but a pain. Does anyone have any idea how I can control results like this?
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Old January 9th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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Some of the things that I have found to cause glitches. bad media. burner-media mismatch. some burners prefer certain media types. multitasking during burning. what percentage are failing? 24 out of 24? 2 or 3? its hard to tell the problem without more details.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 08:25 PM   #3
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Our DVD player is a Sony Progressive Skan, it's a couple years old, but we haven't used it hardly at all, maybe ten times. The CD's are DVD_R Memorex, the DVD burner is a Philips in the Dell. My husband knows all the computer tech stuff, I know we had to shut off everything else to get the file burned. I think she said like five that she knew of had failed. She said she didn't want to call and ask other family members, because she just didn't feel like calling them and talking for an hour when all she wanted to know was if her DVD failed, ha, who can blame her. What am I going to do? I'm going to burn another one of her DVDs and take it over to her house and watch hers and then mine and see what happens. But any ideas at all are so greatly appreciated. Please just tell me if this can be done, becuase it seems very frustrating for me.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #4
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I am not a favor of memorex media. I personally use ridata dvd-r 8x discs ( I need the printable discs) and a plextor burner. I started out with a expensive sony burner, and had about 1 in 4 errors. I read several forums about memorex, and most users claim similar results to yours. I had some trial and error before I settled in a routine. I have had about 500 discs shipped with my current setup, and zero discs returned. check what philips recommends for media for your model, I would guess memorex is not on the list.

If this was easy, everyone would do it.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 10:23 PM   #5
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Yeah, you should find something better than memorex. The problem is, when you do some research on the web, you'll discover people say that you can have one brand, but multiple manufacturers. Sometimes you get bad ones, sometimes you get good ones.

I only use taiyo yuden brand dvd-r. You can get them at a good price at supermediastore.com. I have almost no failure rates with their value line ones. The only other brand I trust that I know other people use with no problems is Verbatim. The benefits of Verbatim are that you can go to a store and buy them. Taiyo Yuden you have to order somewhere, but not a big deal.

Also, dvd players are finicky. Some don't like when you burn at higher bit rates, which could be a possibility especially if the montage was short and the encoding was done at an automatic setting.

Another possibility is I know Apex dvd players tend to overheat and get weird. When you shut them down and start them up again and go to that same section in the movie it's fine.

I'm also surprised you don't like Encore. I have 1.5 and it took me a long time to get used to, but I like it now. Just gotta get used to its quirks. Its automatic transcode feature is a really good one, produces excellent results. If you want to save a preset just save it as a different file name and go in and delete transcodes to save hard drive space.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 07:11 AM   #6
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Well, Mary I'll have to agree with Matt. I can't find a single reason why you don't appreciate Encore, especially the version that comes with Premiere Pro CS3. I think it's great and working perfectly and is by far better than any of the previous versions and certainly miles ahead from Nero. But that's another story. Let's concentrate on your problem...

At first when you mentioned "skipping" it occurred to me that perhaps something is wrong with your encoding software. But you also said you watched your master DVD before delivering and it was OK, so that rules out my assumption.

This leaves us with two versions. It's either the DVD burner or the discs you use, or, most likely, both :-) If I were you, I'd switch to a different burner than the Philips. Even today they cause many problems. I agree with Allen about the "preference" of certain burners to certain media. (Allen, I disagree, though with your view that "if it was easy everyone would do it". It's not like it is nuclear science! Give Mary some credit... :-) In fact, some time ago I also had a Philips burner that "liked" Sony and Verbatim discs but tended to "dislike" all other brands. Throw your Philips burner away. Trust me... Go for a NEC or a Plextor (in that order)

Also use TDK and Verbatim media. They may be more expensive but are also very reliable. And, better yet, go for +R. Experience has shown they are better for video.

Finally, don't go mad. Be cool. We have all been in your place maybe more than once in the past. That's what made us work more professionally in the future. When one loses a battle it doesn't mean he's lost the war, too. Call up your client, apologize and tell him you'll send him a larger set of DVDs in no charge. When you do so, let it go and move on... :) Next time just remember to check all of the DVDs you send out and... keep your head up. We all make mistakes. It's just our human nature.

Hope this helps
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Old January 10th, 2008, 07:28 AM   #7
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Oh, and something else... Encode your material to ONE single directory on a different hard disk through CS3 and then open Nero, create a new DVD Video project, add the files and burn your disks (that is after replacing your burner and your media, of course :-) That way you maximize the possibilities for all the discs to be OK.

If it's very frustrating for you, don't go over to your client's house. Just check all your new discs and send them accordingly. At least you'll know it's not your fault...
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #8
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Great advice folks. Thank you so much. Guess I'm going shopping this weekend! I am going to make her up a new batch with a new burner and new media, and refund any of her mailing fees. After that, if she has problems, I will refund her the total and that's that. She still got all seventy photos indexed on CD, many restorations, a handful of free five by sevens, plus twenty four DVD, all the while, I worked for about two dollars an hour. Oh and free music too.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:59 AM   #9
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One other thing. Certain disks players, the older ones in particular will , will not play DVD +R or vice versa. The people having trouble may be dealing with that issue. In stuff I burn and sell like that, I put a label on the disk advising that certain models of disk players my have issues with playing of the type of media. I usually try to use -R because in the old days, they were rated the most compatible with the older players.

I would talk to the customer to ask if the people who had received the disks had tried to play them in a computer DVD player, so you could get a better read on whether it was an encoding problem or a player problem.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:02 AM   #10
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Stick with it, Your first few customers will be a lot of trial and error and probably will not make you much but once you get your system down you will make more profits. I have never made use of the feature but I know that Encore CS3 has a slide show function, have you tried that? I use Encore almost every day for making DVDs and have not had any issues with the latest version. The other suggestion I have is the same as others with picking a different brand of disk, as well as burning slow. I buy the I stick to 8x burns when doing large batches. If its a one off Ill slow it down to 4x. Disks seem to do better when burned slow in my experience. I buy taiyo yuden Water Shield DVDs from Super media store and print on them with an HP inkjet :)
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Old January 10th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Mailler View Post
Great advice folks. Thank you so much. Guess I'm going shopping this weekend! I am going to make her up a new batch with a new burner and new media, and refund any of her mailing fees. After that, if she has problems, I will refund her the total and that's that. She still got all seventy photos indexed on CD, many restorations, a handful of free five by sevens, plus twenty four DVD, all the while, I worked for about two dollars an hour. Oh and free music too.
Mary, that's also wrong. If you've checked the DVDs and they work on at least one of your players (try them on a friend's DVD, too, if you like) and your client still has troubles, it's absolutely unprofessional to refund her the total. Obviously, her DVD would not work correctly or - consider that, too, it's happened to me before - she's trying to get you to give her as many copies as possible... for free, claiming on purpose that they're unplayable. When you make sure that the DVDs you give her are 100% OK, then it's her job to watch them properly. If her DVD doesn't work, it's her problem to solve. Your work would be OK and you should be paid for it. Always think twice!

On the other hand, don't consider the offer of "free music" as a gift because more than enough that will be part of your work, should you choose to continue doing it. And, finally, an agreement is an agreement between two honest people. Your client agreed to pay you what you asked for. It is not her fault that you only charged two dollars an hour. Sorry for being so blunt, I don't want to sound rude, just to tell you the truth. As a professional in the editing business, even still today I tend to lower my fee but I also place a limit I never cross. Think about that, too...

All the best and don't give up
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Old January 10th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #12
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Memorex use unreliable manufacturers like CMC Magnetics and others for their discs. I wouldn't use them for the world.

Verbatim always has the same manufacturer code (you can read that code with programs like dvdinfo pro) because they make them themselves (well, Mitsubishi Chemicals, which is part of the Verbatim family). I know of one type of multi-colored Verbatim DVD-R that had another manufacturer, Tayo Yuden, which has an even better reputation for high quality discs. Tayo Yuden don't sell under their own name, and since the rise of 16x DVD-Rs Tayo Yuden seemed to lag behind. I think they now have 16x media as well.

btw. the code for 16x Verbatim DVD-R is "MCC 03RG20", for 8x Verbatim DVD-R "MCC 02RG20". You can see these codes often with cheaper discs labelled differently, but you can't be sure these are not b-grade discs that Verbatim wouldn't want to use themselves.

I have very good experiences with Verbatim 16x DVD-R media and an LG multi-format burner. I always burn 8x (16x really isn't that much faster, only a minute or so per disc). We also use Verbatim discs at work where we burn dozens of DVDs per month and never had a complaint. Well, except the usual stuff like "the DVD won't play on my laptop" - "What DVD player software are you using, sir" - "What?" ;)
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Old January 10th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #13
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Bit rate and older DVD players

Just to add another angle to this discussion. You experts out there can chime in if this is garbage or enlighten us if it's worth more investigation...

It might depend on what bit rate the DVD's have been done at. Modern DVD players seem to handle VBR targeted around 8000, even 9000 (I think the absolute max is about 9,500.)

However, older players (i.e. several year older and back) can, I've read, sometimes exhibit "choking", i.e. sounds like the jumpy symptoms that these DVD's supposedly give on the clients extended family DVD players. The other offender in this is sometimes encoding at an incorrect field order - but if they play fine on some DVD players Mary has then that's definitely eliminated.

My advice would be to (NEXT TIME!) target a lower bit rate (e.g. 6000 or 7000) if you're unsure what the discs will be played on to ensure a wider safety margin. Personally I typically target 8000 as I want to get the best quality.... and practically everything will play them fine. At this rate I just get the odd glitch (jumpy motion) on 2 of my older laptops that have DVD drives. At 6000 bit rate these will otherwise play fine.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 04:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Themis Gyparis View Post
(Allen, I disagree, though with your view that "if it was easy everyone would do it". It's not like it is nuclear science! Give Mary some credit... :-)

Hope this helps
I think my comment was taken wrong, I was not implying Mary could not do it, I was pointing out the reason she can get paid to do it is because she has to work out glitches. once the problems are sorted out, and she can send out discs that play in 98% of peoples players, she should be able to make some money from home with a minimum cash outlay. I definately did not mean any offense by the comment, if anything I was hoping it would give incentive to get over the hurdle. obviously several of the people posting in this thread (including me) have has similar difficulties finding a reliable product at some point. If something is simple to do, the efforts do not pay off as well.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #15
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I would encode the files to a mpeg format for viewing on dvd's and then burn to your disk at the slowest write speed. It will take a bit longer but the end result is worth the time.
I use Verbatim dvd-r and TDK dvd -r disks.

Good Luck

Simon

Last edited by Simon Denny; January 11th, 2008 at 02:59 AM.
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