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Problems playing back commercial DVDs

Problems playing back commercial DVDs

We recently reported some problems playing iTunes-burned CDs in standard set-top players. We've now received a few reports indicating problems playing commercial DVDs on some Macs.

MacFixIt reader Michel Tavir writes "Whereas all such DVD's (usually movies, and not pirate copies) play back on my desk QuickSilver G4 1.25 Ghz (TOSHIBA SD-R1312 drive), whether in OS9 or in OSX, I more often than not experience that the same DVD's will not mount at first try on my Powerbook Titanium 866 MHz (MATSHITA CW-8121 drive). Now, what makes this really bizarre is any of the following:

  • A DVD not mounting in OS9 might mount in OSX. And... vice versa!
  • Introducing in the drive a DVD that is known to always mount often helps when introducing a DVD that wasn't mounting previously, while repeated attempts to introduce a DVD that doesn't mount usually do not help.
  • More bizarre: a DVD not mounting in the Powerbook might mount after all following having been mounted in the desk machine (I did this to see if there was something wrong with the DVD itself)
  • Even weirder: I have a commercial movie on two DVD's (the film series made after the Italian novel "The Guepard"). So far, the first of the DVD's has refused to mount, even trying all the tricks above. But the second DVD mounts and plays without hesitation!

If you are having a similar issue, please drop us a line at late-breakers@macfixit.com. Be sure to include your Mac's model name, as well as the type of DVD drive you're using (if third-party).

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