Some DVDs play on my DVD player, others don't

I have an LG streamline DVD player.

I have played a few DVDs on it and they have worked fine, but tonight when I tried to play “The Matrix: Reloaded”, the contrast would rhythmically go low, high, low, high (not randomly, but rhythmically), and the audio and video kept cutting out (periodically) and the whole screen would go blue. But when this happenned, the DVD would keep playing, and the video and audio would keep dropping in and out. All the while it was doing this rhythmic contrast thing.

Anyways, I tried playing another couple of DVDs on it (Reservoir Dogs and The Great Escape), both worked seemlessly. Then I tried “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, the rhythmic contrast alternation came back along with the constant blue screens and loss of audio.

What’s going on?!

I’ve noticed this a few times, myself, and it got me wondering: Are rental DVDs vs purchase DVDs over copy protected like rental VHS was? The only DVDs I’ve ever had problems with were rentals.

Just adding to your OP, Beastal, instead of starting a new thread. Hope you don’t mind.

Sounds like Macrovision protection. Is the signal going direct from player to TV or is there something in between?

DVD --> VCR --> TV.

Macrovision protection?

Try taking the VCR out of the chain.

Undoubtedly. Macrovision works by screwing with a VCRs automatic gain control, causing the symptoms you mentioned. Not all DVDs exhibit the problem since not all DVDs have Macrovision.

But I can’t, coz my TV doesn’t have the required ports :frowning:

Grrrr… last I checked, it was 70 bucks for a “converter”.

It’s really a shame how many people are having this problem. I’ve heard of people returning perfectly good DVDs and DVD players because of Macrovision. It’s amazing to me that manufacturers and salespeople aren’t making the information available to consumers. . .

Anyway: Macrovision is a copy protection scheme that is intended to keep you from copying those DVDs onto video tape. Macrovision includes a signal in the video stream that messes with the Automatic Gain Control circuit in a VCR (some details omitted for clarity). The AGC’s normal role is to keep the picture brightness uniform even with variations from tape to tape, but Macrovision takes advantage of it’s function to distort the picture by sending ‘fake’ compensation signals.

Some VCRs will ignore Macrovision, some DVD players won’t send the signal, and some DVDs aren’t Macrovision encoded. So, you can get away with running your DVD player through the VCR on occaision. But as a general rule, you can’t chain the DVD player through the VCR. You’ll need to find a way to run the DVD player directly into the TV.

If your TV is relatively modern, it may have multiple inputs that you can switch between. This is the ideal solution, usually. Older TVs may only have the coaxial input, in which case, you’d need an RF adapter to translate the output from the DVD player to the TV. There are pretty inexpensive RF modulators and video switches available (even at places like Radio Shack), so this isn’t too bad an option. But if your TV will accomodate a composite or s-video signal input, you’ll get a better picture that way. If you can give some details on your TV, we’ll be able to come up with some more specific suggestions on the best way to get hooked up.

Ok, of course, a few more replies sneaked in while I was typing my epic tome. . . I’m posting from a laptop, and I can’t type very quickly on it!

Beastal, unfortunately, you will either have to live with a limited DVD selection or add/replace some piece of gear. But, RF modulators are NOT expensive these days. I got one at Target for $9.99 a couple of months ago. $70 is way too high! What kind of ports does your TV have on it?

Ah… so it is copy protect!

Does this mean I can’t record a VHS of a DVD I own for my Mom?

I’m reconnecting the leads on my own system. My TV has S video, I just didn’t have the cables. [on my way to Radio Shack]

Ah… so it is copy protect!

Does this mean I can’t record a VHS of a DVD I own for my Mom?

I’m reconnecting the leads on my own system. My TV has S video, I just didn’t have the cables. [on my way to Radio Shack]

>> Does this mean I can’t record a VHS of a DVD I own for my Mom?

That is exactly why Macrovision exists. They want your mom to pay for her own rental or purchase.

You can, there are various ways to defeat Macrovision, especially on DVDs, but it is currently illegal to defeat Macrovision under the DMCA.

Gotcha! No Pirating talk on the Dope. :wink:
And my DVD is now hooked up direct to TV.

And mine is now hooked up through an older VCR, that has no built in Macrovision protection.

Beastal, as has been explaine, it is not that the VCR has a “macrovision protection”. It is that Macrovision works by messing with the AGC of your VCR. It may be that the older VCR has no AGC but then that would mean it would yield much worse quality overall.

Hmmm, that’s odd, I watched a DVD on it tonight, quality looked the same as it always had when it was working fine.

It now runs through an older VCR… no probs.

Either way, I ain’t complaining.

“Grrrr… last I checked, it was 70 bucks for a “converter”.”

Well, $19.95 at circuit city. For $99 you could probably get a dvd/vhs player & those come with RF out usually.

This happened on my Aunt’s TV, and with out a doubt, it was the VCR’s fault. The DVD manual even says this, and talks about “copy protection”.

I recently bought a new dvd player because my old one wouldn’t play certain dvds. I got 3 different discs at the video store of “Shallow Hal” and none of them worked. This happened with “The Ring” too, so I just bought a new one. I like my old one better so if anyone has any ideas what happened, I’d like to know too. The dvd player was hooked directly to the tv btw.