Older (9/03) Panasonic VCR/DVD player won't play newer DVDs

June 22, 2012 at 23:19:14
Specs: Windows XP
I have an older Panasonic VCR/DVD player, made in September 2003, that plays older factory-produced video movie DVDs just fine. However, it doesn't want to play some new DVDs (ABC's "Castle" television series) I recently bought. It tries to play them, initially stopping and starting, but it then seems to "hang up", completely stopping play and showing just a black screen. These same new DVDs work fine when I play them on my desktop or laptop computers.

Anybody have any ideas on this problem?

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June 23, 2012 at 06:06:37
They may be cheap pirated copies on DVD-R media, made to look like commercial DVDs with professional-looking disc labels & inserts. Old DVD Players cannot read DVD-R media, but they may be able to read DVD+R media.

Using your computer (if it has a DVD burner) and some burning software like Nero, copy the problem discs on to DVD+R media using disc-to-disc copy, then trying playing those on your DVD Player.

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June 23, 2012 at 08:09:51

Thanks for the input, but I'm absolutely certain that the new DVDs are legitimate.

I am going to try the new DVDs on another DVD player to see if they'll work on that one. I may still try your suggestion when I get a chance, but I have never been able to copy any commercial DVDs with my Roxio Creator software. I assumed that was because all newer commercial DVDs had anti-copy protection built in. Is that not correct?

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June 23, 2012 at 15:56:52
Sometimes DVD players can be "brand sensitive" or react badly to higher speed recording.

You could try cleaning the DVD disk. There are also lens cleaning kits available for the player itself. One or other might help.

You are probably right about copy protection. One quick way to find out (without wasting disks) is this:
Pop the disk in your computer, close the screen that pops up, then right click and select Explore. In one of the folders you will find large VOB files. If none of them play but the screen is scrambled then it is copy protected. You usually find the sound is rubbished too.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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June 23, 2012 at 17:10:16
Thanks for your input Derek.

The DVD is absolutely spotless (as are others in this set of five for the third season of the show). Just to be safe, I already took the DVD player apart and cleaned it (although it was pretty clean, and I used an alcohol swab to clean the "lens"), and it made no difference.

I'm pretty sure the DVDs are copy-protected, but I will check when I get some free time.

Any other helpful thoughts, anyone???

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June 23, 2012 at 17:41:34
Re #3 - my bit about checking copyright.

I should have said that VOB files might not play at all by clicking files using the computer, unless you have them associated with a suitable player (such as VLC Player or Media Player Classic). So if Windows asks what you want to play them with, that in itself is nothing to do with copyright.

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January 8, 2013 at 12:16:35
Castle dvd season one, brand new, bought from amazon, same problem in my samsung bluray player.

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January 8, 2013 at 18:28:04
That's interesting, because I bought my Castle DVDs from Amazon as well. I wonder what's up on this issue!

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