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Why doesn’t disc X work in player Y?

The DVD specification is complex and open to interpretation. DVD-Video title authoring is also very complex. As with any new technology, there are compatibility problems. The DVD-Video standard has not changed substantially since it was finalized in 1996, but many players don’t properly support it. Discs have become more complex as authoring tools improve, so recent discs often uncover engineering flaws in players. Some discs behave strangely or won’t play at all in certain players. In some cases, manufacturers can fix the problem with an upgrade to the player. In other cases, disc producers need to reauthor the title to correct an authoring problem or to work around a player defect. Problems can also occur because of damaged or defective discs or because of a defective player.

If you have problems playing a disc, try the following:

1. Check the list below to see if it’s a reported problem. Also check the list of problem discs in DVD Review’s Film Vault and at InterActual’s tech support page. Try a newsgroup search at Google.
2. Try playing the disc a few more times. If you don’t get the exact same problem every time, then it’s probably a defective or damaged disc. Make sure the disc isn’t dirty or scratched.
3. Try the disc in a different player. (Visit a friend or a nearby store that sells players.) If the disc plays properly in a different player then your player is likely at fault. Contact the manufacturer of your player for a firmware upgrade. Or, if you bought the player recently, you may wish to return it for a different model.
4. Try a different copy of the disc. If the problem doesn’t recur, it indicates that your first copy was probably damaged or defective. If more than one copy of the disc has problems in more than one player, it may be a misauthored disc. Contact the distributor or the studio about getting a corrected disc.
5. If it’s a recordable disc (R/RW), your player might not be able to read it.

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