Client’s Having trouble playing discs (-R) but work fine in mine.

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Technique Editing Client’s Having trouble playing discs (-R) but work fine in mine.

Viewing 26 reply threads
  • Author
    • #41600

      The past couple times that I have given a client their approval disc, it would not play in their DVD player. When I first started out, I was using DVD-R’s exclusively.

      These are the discs that I have been giving them their approval copies on (to make sure everything works/spelling/functionality/etc).

      When I re-burned their DVD on +R, everything seemed to work fine.

      I have 4 different DVD-players, all of varying ages and brands. Memorex, Philips, magnevox, and a small Sony portable as well as my computers.

      The DVD’s ALWAYS work fine in all of my DVD player, then when I give it to them it ceases to work. This has been a more frequent problem.


      I usually use Memorex Inkjet printable DVD-R’s.

      I’ve noticed something strange. When I burn onto a -R, there seems to be more used Disc space than on a +R. Just from eyeing the burnt part of the disc. What is that? Does it have anything to do with anything.

    • #176180

      The only two brands that have NEVER given me a playback issue have been Taiyo Yuden and Fuji dash-R. I have had luck with Memorex, but have also purchased cakeboxes with apparently bad runs.

      Like you I have a couple of pro players, and three consumer decks – even a cheapo $27 dollar player from WalMart that has played everything I have thrown at it. So, after testing my disks on several, and playing them through on the cheapo, I would assume it is the fault of the client’s player, not the disk, and suggest they run a cleaner through the system, or ask them how old the system is and if it is more than a few years, suggest they might want to test the DVD on a friend’s or another family member’s player, or even take it to an electronics store and test it. I tell them that because it plays on everthing I have, from expensive to cheap, and my computer, and works in my duplicator, I HAVE to assume the fault lies with their player in some way or another. Clients might not LIKE that suggestion but often that IS where the problem lies.

      In one instance several years ago I brought three of my players to a particularly troublesome client’s home, hooked them up, even brought a portable one – all played, still theirs didn’t. I asked for permission to run a Philips brand DVD cleaner through theirs and voila, it played. Everyone was happy.

      Occasionally, also in years past, when delivering projects in the $1.5K or better arena, I’ve included one of the WalMart $27 players with the package. I’ve shied away from doing that for the last 16 months or so.

      At one time I used plus+R disks exclusively because I was using Philips brand burners that called for them, but I have long since converted to dash-R exclusively. I also, however, never had a client playback issue with the TY or Fuji plus Rs either. I have tried virtually all other brands from crapocheapo to Watershed TY and gold standards, and ONLY the TY and Fuji have been totally trouble free for me.

      I don’t know enough technologically about the difference in the two formats, their burning processes or laser elements to respond to your last paragraph. Sorry.

    • #176181

      Thanks for the advice.

      My most recent issue was today. He said they played it in his wife’s old DVD player, but he didn’t know how old it was.

      He said he also played it in the an XBOX 360 (which is fairly new).

      He said that when he put the disc in, it hesitated when it got to the main menu. It then froze on the main menu. He was only able to get one track to play because he pushed stop the play really quickly. It didn’t realy make sense to me but…

    • #176182

      Hi Brandon

      I have foundthat the authoring programme makes a difference also.

      I always use DVD-R, either Verbatum or Sony inkjet printabledisks. I used to use DVDit Pro and never had a disk that would not play back perfectly on any player, menues and all. Since upgrading to Premier Pro 3 which had Adobe Encore bundled with it, I started using Encore for authoring and found that the odd disk would stagger on playback on my old Panasonic DVD player which is about 10 years old, but would play OK on a more recent players. If I burnt the same assetts using DVDit, on the same computer, in the same burner, it would playback fine on my old Pioneer player.

      The difference in the apparent burnt area on the disk (assuming that the bit rates are identical)is to do with the leadout. I don’t profess to know why but sometimes, especially on short length disks the leadout will be quite long. I specialise in promotional videos and some are only two or three minutes long yet burn an area on the disk which is as big or sometimes greater than a 20 minute video.


    • #176183

      Earl has given spot on advice again…. quality media is a prime component in ensuring compatibility. Another is burn rate. Just because the DVD can be burnt at 16x doesn’t mean you should. I have always burned my dvd’s at a slower rate to ensure a good burn.


    • #176184

      I have a JVC DVD player that is ten years old and plays everything. I also have a Sanyo that is seven or eight years old that will not play any CD/DVD +/-R. And I have tried every brand. This is a cheapo player that I bought at a walmart.I think that a clean DVD player will give you a better chance to play, as will a slower burn or a reliable brand. But some players just will not play +/-R media. It seems to be a rare occurrence if the DVD player was produced in the last few years. But someone could have bought a player eight years ago like me and it won’t matter what you do, it just won’t play because it was not designed to.

      It is an easy fix if you only need to show them the project on that one visit. Bring your own. But what if that is the place they plan to view the project all of the time? Then you need to address it from the get go. I don’t know what type of project you are creating but if you break 1K in profit, it might be a smart move to do what Earl suggests and provide one for them to keep. It doesn’t have to be a blu-ray up converting top of the line player. Just one that will allow them to view the +/- media. And you don’t have to do this for every client, just the rare occurrence lie this. It will go along way with this client and they will sing your praises of your professionalism. They primary source of advertising in our industry is word of mouth so this could go a long way.

      So check your burn rate, swap media, and maybe even try another brand of software. But in this rare example, if it doesn’t do the trick, consider being the hero.


    • #176185

      DVD Editing Software:

      I use MAC DVD Studio Pro (what ever the most current version # is) and FCP to edit. Regarding write speed: I have not been able to find a setting on the MAC software to slow down the write speed. It’s almost as if, the software reads the disc info and sets the speed accordingly.

      Can anyone help me on this feature if there is a way?


      I went to my client’s house today (with my portable player in hand just in case). The +R played fine in his player. And yes his DVD player was an 8 or more year old APEX player. I’m guessing that it is not-R compatible. He never tried it in his computer. He said his Drive was messed up and couldn’t read discs.

      Here’s the kicker… He had a new DVD Rec / VCR combo in the other room but he said that that didn’t matter if it worked in there or not. He didn’t even try it. He said that if the DVD’s don’t work on the one in the living room then they usually don’t work on his family members’ DVD players. I’m guessing that his family’s players are old or crappy to.

      I have tried to be as compatible to my clients as I can, but I may just need to tell them (if neither DVD type, +R or -R work) that, as stated in their contract that they signed, “The DVD media is not 100% compatible with all players and it will be your responsibility to make sure you have the appropriate hardware.” That is a summary. The actual entry on my contract is about 1 page. Luckily the switch in disc type has fixed it to this point. But if not, I will have to refer them back to there.

      I was seriously considering just going to Wal-mart and finding a sub-$30 compatible DVD player and adding that to the package.

    • #176186

      Sounds to me like you have a handle on things, this one turned out OK, and that you are set for how to deal with potential future problems. IMHO there comes a point in time when it is the cllient’s responsibility to ensure that his video production will play on whatever system he/she elects to prefer. (after the service provider has followed through with all know possibilities, and has established the the production plays properly on a variety of players)

      Providing a player that works is always a possible solution, as well as wording in the agreement that (like you said) stipulates non-liability after reasonable efforts have been made to establish compatibility.

      Sound to me like you’ll deal with most instances in a manner that is both professional and appropriate.

    • #176187

      The past couple times that I have given a client their approval disc, it would not play in their DVD player. When I first started out, I was using DVD-R’s exclusively.

      I have burned hundreds f DVDs and my fail rate is near zero (no coasters), and my return rate is well below 1%.

      Branded DVDs by Magnavox, Panasonic, Memorex or even Sony, JVC, etc are all a commodity item. Unless you run a program like DVDID, you DO NOT know what you have. Some boxes of Panasonic DVD-Rs could be made by Ritek, Verbatim or many other unbranded manufacturers. The box next to it could be from another manufacturer. I’ve never seen Ritek or Ty cakes that were not Ritek or Ty.

      DVD recordables should never be burned at the max rate, nor the minumun rate. Pick one in the middle.

      If your video content is short (ten or fifteen minutes, for example), the DVD player may think that it is reading a defective disc. If you burn +R, a long burn-in is automatically added per the protocol. This is why some people have better luck with +R products.

      Your bit rate should never go over 8Mb/s, even though the DVD spec says 9Mb/s. 9 Mb/s works fine for replicated discs that are encoded with the best software that money can buy.

    • #176188

      I never set my bitrate above 7MB/s. That is as high as I will go because of what Stevemann stated.

      My problem though, is that I use DVD studio pro. I have made numerous posts in the MAC forum (on these forums) as to how to change the write speed within the software or on the computer, but I have never received a response as to how to do it. Otherwise I would lower the write speed.

      I honestly don’t think that has ever been the problem though. At least not with this particular situation. As I said above, I tested my DVD’s in 4 different players before giving it to the client and it worked fine in all of them.

      At least with this recent one, their player was just to old.

      Now I am still confused with the other client last month. I gave him a DVD-R (after testing it in my players) and it didn’t work either of his player and he said they were all fairly new.

      So if someone could give me some advice on changing the write speed in DVD Studio Pro that would be just dandy.

    • #176189

      “At least with this recent one, their player was just to old.”

      My deliveries include a card that states: “If your DVD player is more than three years old it may have problems playing this DVD. In general, the newer your DVD player the more likely that it will play recordable discs.”

      It works for me. No customer complaints – ever.

    • #176190

      Below is what I have on my contract. I think I may make up another card to put in each DVD case with the final product. Since they will be handed to other people other than just the bride and groom. I think I may also hand it to the Bride and Groom when they receive their approval copy.

      Thanks for the advice.


      Event Videos by Brandon makes every effort to use high quality recordable media, but we make no guarantee toward

      the compatibility of the DVD media to which the final DVD is recorded.

      Currently DVD (+R) and DVD (-R) are the two standard formats for recordable DVD media. Neither of which is 100%

      compatible with every set-top DVD player on the market.

      If you own a DVD player older that 2006, it is possible that your final DVD may not be viewable.

      If this is the case, your only solution will be to purchase a brand new DVD player.

    • #176191

      You really think that anyone reads the technical details in the contract? This statement is quite blunt, and really, the customer doesn’t give a crap about +R and -R and probably don’t know the difference anyway.

      You can see the card that accompanies my discs at:

    • #176192

      When I go over the contract with them, I explain each section to them and then have them initial each page that states that I explained it. Then they sign the contract at the end. That way I know that I have told them.

    • #176193

      This forum string has given me some very good information, and although I have had zero defect burn run when using DVDit, I have had one or two disks stagger on my very old Panasonic player, which i use as a test bed, (if they play on that they will play on anything)using Adobe Encore as bundled with Premier CS3.

      Since reading this forum string and the comments by SteveMann, re burn rates, I reburnt a project on Encore, that I new I had previously had tore authoron to DVDit to get a DVD that would play perfectly on my old Panasonic. The difference was that this time I outputed it as a disk image and then burnt the DVD at a medium burn rate using Nero. The result was a perfect DVD.

      This could be the solution for those using authoring programmes that do not allow them to set the burn rate.

      Thanks everyone foryour constructive input.

      Cheers Ian

    • #176194

      “The difference was that this time I outputed it as a disk image and then burnt the DVD at a medium burn rate using Nero. The result was a perfect DVD.”

      Consider this – the maximum burn speed spec is the best the engineers could do in the lab under perfect conditions and with price-is-no-object tools. It’s not unlike Detroit advertising 35MPG highway. With brand new cars, finely tuned, professional drivers and a tailwind.


    • #176195

      I have found that Memorex DVD’s don’t work well with DVD Studio Pro. Using the DVD settings in Compresor with a couple of tweaks will burn to Memorex DVD’s but they won’t play in any player, period. But burning using iDVD has no problems. I believe someone else has already alluded to the fact that different authoring software works differently, and I’ll second that notion, especially in the above example.

    • #176196

      I am NOT a professional in DVD authoring, and I had a problem with “bad DVD” from a friend for whom I did some VHS-to-DVD conversions.

      The issue my friend (client) had was DVD “freeze” or “skip”. I was using Sonic MyDVD to create the DVDs, and was usingstore-bought DVDs (Sony, Memorex).I decided to re-do the project from scratch: I put the source .avi files thru either Sonic MyDVD again, orthrough Sony Architect Studio 5. I’m nervous about a repeat “freeze” issue. In the event that it happens again (despite the measures I took to control the burns — unfortunately, I didn’t have the benefit of this Forum before I did so!), I’d like to understand exactly why this “freeze” happens and what a professional would do to remedy the issue. (I assume some of the remedy is to use better quality DVDs and slower burns — but I’m curious about the WHY. For example, what if I just copied the faulty DVDs with a slower burn rate?).

      Your help and advice will be appreciated.

    • #176197

      two things I’ve learned over the years….

      High end dvd players are more prone to disagreeing with burned discs than cheap dvd players.

      I try the disc in several players from a high-end sony to a cheap walmart brand. if it plays it plays.

      I ask the client to play it in a different player, if it works they’re happy.

      the second thing is when burning, do not go for the “Fastest burn possible” 4x seems to be the happy medium between speed and disc failure rates… so if a disc fails, try a slower burn.

    • #176198

      Thanks, D0n,

      I’m curious … if I took a “failed” DVD and copied it at the safe 4x speed, would it work? Would it fix the “freeze”? or would I HAVE to go back to the start of the project, transcode then burn (slower)?

    • #176199

      don’t know.

      I make a master “disc image” and keep it on hd so i’d make copies off that….

    • #176200

      Thanks, I’ll start doing that.

      I can’t resist a follow-up question (for anyone reading this post):

      If I make a disc image of a DVD that is known to “freeze” or “skip”, will the DVD made from the disc image also “freeze” or “skip” (or will it be OK)?

    • #176201

      Hi everyone,

      I used to have this problem with a failure rate of about 10%, but I believe that I have completely fixed it in that I have had or rejects over the last several hundred DVDs. Here are my “secrets”:

      Use only Taiyo Yuden -R 8X white blanks and burn them at 6X.

      Inkjet print the label on the disc, do not use any type of paper label.

      Use VBR 2 pass with a target speed around 6.5-7 MB/sec and a top speed 8MB or lower. If you know this DVD will be viewed on a PC, set the target speed no higher than 6MB and the top speed no higher than 7 MB. Also, if you know that the DVD will be projected, raise the color saturation and lower the max white level because some projectors will blow out peoples’ faces if they are too high a value and color is often weak on older projectors.

      Use a Pioneer burner or better

      ULead Movie Factory software (Record Now seems to work well, too)

      Author in Encore

      This has worked for me.

      Please note that bit rate and burn speed are unrelated. Bit rate is set when you make the .ISO file and is not changed by varying the burn speed. If the bit rate of an ISO file is too high for a player, reburning it at a different burn rate won’t help. Which means, if the disc freezes because of too high a bit rate (data rate), then copying won’t fix the problem. But, if the freezing is caused by the blank, then copying it to a different blank at a lower rate will help.

      Good luck,


    • #176202

      “I’m curious … if I took a “failed” DVD and copied it at the safe 4x
      speed, would it work? Would it fix the “freeze”? or would I HAVE to go
      back to the start of the project, transcode then burn (slower)?”

      Probably not. ALL DVD’s CONTAIN ERRORS. this is an inescapable fact that even the Hollywood disc replicators have to deal with. (It’s also why dvd replicators do not like to work from a burned DVD as a source.) When you burned at the higher burn speeds, you probably introduced errors into the data on the disc.

      The “freeze” is likely that the player could not correct the errors in the data stream, so it continues on the last good frame until good data resumes.

    • #176203

      I use Imgburn from the, keep updating it and donate to the owner of the software to allow him to survive during tough economic times. It’s free download BTW, the software recognizes your drive and the media, applies necessary settings, tries to write, tests the writing, sets the speed, burns your project, and then, by default, reads the content to verify integrity.

      As for the birate, some old classic players would not take anything higher than 7 Mbit/sec even if your authoring software may offer 8 Mbit/sec for a short project. Bringing bitrate to 7 or lower may increase compatibility.

    • #176204

      I produce instructional videos and I use the following: Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate for editing/authoring, Aleratec 7:1 stand alone duplicator with hard drive, Brave SE Auto Printer for labeling and I use Taiyo Yuden x16 -R hub printable discs. I usually make a master disc directly from Studio after editing is complete, then I put that master disc in the Aleratec duplicator and upload it to the hard drive, then I put in as many blank discs as I need for that run and make copies from that hard drive, then into the Bravo SE auto printer. This has worked for me 98% of the time, but I still get the odd customer who says the disc freezes up in their player and supposedly they have tried it in other players.

      The thing is, they may have already purchased other titles from me before, which were produced exactly the same way as described above, and they worked fine. I send them a replacement disc, requesting return of the “faulty” one, and voila, the replacement worked for them, and so did the “faulty” one when I got it back.

      This has been happening more recently than before, and I don’t understand why. It’s costing me time and additional postage to keep replacing discs that are not faulty. It is very hard trying to convince a customer to clean their players because they say, well the other disc you sent worked fine, so it must have been the disc itself.

      I have been using the same set up since I started my business, and only changed to Taiyo Yudens the past couple of years, because of burn failures in the Memorex and Phillips discs I was using before. The failure rate went down after using the Taiyo Yuden discs, but the problems described above only just started happening this year.

      Is there anything I could be doing differently??

    • #176205

      Some older DVD players had problems with the +R and some had problems with the -R (and even more have problems with the DL). For the past several years just about every DVD player I’ve seen plays both + or – just fine, but your clients may have one of those players that is finicky.

      FYI – Same goes for BD-R and BD-RE – My Sony will not play BD-R’s (even though it claims to be able to do so) but will play BD-RE’s.

Viewing 26 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Editing’ is closed to new topics and replies.


Panasonic LUMIX GH5s w/ Leica lens

Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide