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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:53 AM   #1
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DVD-R Compatibility Issues

How do you make this very clear to your clients?

It's in my contract and I include a notice with the DVD copies that I send. Yet I get e-mails saying "the DVD doesn't work" or "it works for 5 mins then stops". What's your policy?
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 10:15 AM   #2
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Maybe I've been lucky, but no complaints for at least 2 or 3 years now. Most people have gone from no DVD player to having at least two or three. There used to be compatibility issues with the early generation players, but the newer players seem to handle home-burned dvds okay.

Sheldon, if a lot of clients are complaining about disks not playing, it could be you have your max bit rate set too high. I set mine at 7.1 max. Also, I always do a test run of at least one disk on my oldest dvd player, which I think is now about 4 years old. If it works on that, I start grinding out the rest of the copies.

Back in the days when a problem was reported, I'd do a CBR (constant bit rate) burn. Again, some older players seemed to choke doing the speed up/slow down when the disk was recorded at a variable bit rate (VBR). CBR at about 5.5 as I recall fixed that.

My personal philosophy is to keep the client happy, or at least try within reason.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 10:29 AM   #3
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Hi Sheldon,

I've been doing the DVD-R thing since they came out. They have been the most compatible, but still, some machines won't play them.

When I've gotten complaints ( just a few out of a few hundred DVD's), I always get the DVD back to test it out, so I can figure out what the real problem is. I've either found a problem with my burning of them, of one sort or another, or simply a bad DVD media.

If you can verify that a particular DVD-R is good, but will not play on their unit, then consider burning a DVD+R for them to try. I always want a happy customer.

Harold
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 10:33 AM   #4
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From what I have read it appears the biggest issue concerning DVD playability is the burn speed. There are two general opinions on this subject. The first is to burn at slower rate; the idea being a slower burn rate will insure more accuracy. The other is to burn at the disc's rated burn speed. For example, a 16x disc burned at 4x suggests the laser could burn completely through the recording media within the disc. This would likely render the disc useless. Burning too fast would not make data crisp enough to be read by a player.

I really don't know the answer, as I am usually pressed for time and can't experiment. I allow my burning application (DVDSP) to make the decision for me. In setting up a project I always select best quality over faster processing. Interestingly, however, I recently set the burn speed of my disc duplicator to 4x while using a 16x disc. The duplicator automatically reset the burn speed to a closer match to the disc, but didn't indicate on the LCD panel what speed was actually used.

In my experience DVD players play a critical role. The really inexpensive players do not seem to be able to consistently deal with burned discs. I have several players and the cheapest always seem to lock up at some point as well as display error messages like "bad disc". The same disc played on a more expensive player plays flawlessly.

After posting I remembered something about bit rate. I'm a bit fuzzy on the actual details, but bit rate is an extremely important setting, and the minimum to maximum range should be 5.0 to 7.5, or something like that. Going beyond this range is an invitation for problems later on.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 10:55 AM   #5
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My personal experience is that no matter how hard you try you won't get 100% compatability with burnt discs (we get over 95%).

If a customer says the disc won't play and it sounds like a compatability issue then we send a DVD+R with the book type set as DVD-ROM; in 99% of cases that solves the problem.

If a customer has a disc with compatability issues then as far as they're concerned it's faulty, and I want to solve that (a) to retain them as a potential customer for the future, and (b) I don't feel good about them going round telling their friends they got a faulty product from us.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 12:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
From what I have read it appears the biggest issue concerning DVD playability is the burn speed. There are two general opinions on this subject. The first is to burn at slower rate; the idea being a slower burn rate will insure more accuracy. The other is to burn at the disc's rated burn speed. For example, a 16x disc burned at 4x suggests the laser could burn completely through the recording media within the disc. This would likely render the disc useless. Burning too fast would not make data crisp enough to be read by a player.
This has been my experience recently. I've got 16x discs but I've been burning them at 8x or even 4x to ensure the best burn possible. Some of them that I have burned at the full 16x have trouble in several DVD players I've tried them in. Which is sad, as you'd think you could burn at the supported speed. I have a Sony DRU800 drive and it works great. But since I usually have the extra time I just burn them at the slower rate. Saves me and my clients a lot of trouble.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 12:51 PM   #7
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I have the same issues myself playing DVD-R's in my 2 DVD players. The more expensive one, plays 99% without problems (and that's the one I do my testing with), the cheaper one has issues. I guess DVD players are just really particular about the discs they'll play. I'll try slower burn speeds and the max bit rate limit.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 04:38 PM   #8
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There are many issues that can effect disk playback that are in your control.

1 burn speed, as has been stated (generally the slower the disk burn speed and the speed of the burn the better.

2 the burner (some dvd burners seem to work better than others, the sony I use on my pc works really well

3 the media (not necessarily the most expensive disks, but certain disks work best with certain burners. If you find a good combo stick with it.

4 bit rate (as stated in a previous post, I keep my max to 7.2)

mike
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 08:20 PM   #9
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I sent 40 DVDs out of a dance recital. One did not work and the client called me up. I sent him another burnt at a slower speed. That didn't work. I sent him another without chapter markers, menus, and menu audio. It worked. We were very happy to discover that we have a solution ot the odd ball DVD players.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 02:52 AM   #10
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I posted about the same issue a few weeks back. It was suggested that I use the Taiyo Yuden (TY) DVD-R discs.

They were totally correct. I've used them in my 1st generation Panasonic DVD player that RARELY plays any +R/-R discs, without ANY problems, and they're really not any pricier than Verbatims out there that I've been using.

Highly Recommended - Case Solved for me!
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