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  1. I'm trying to rip the House of Sand and Fog but with no luck.

    DVD Decrypter 3.2.2.0 reports "InterfaceThread Runtime Exception!" "Message = EAccessViolation" while checking for RCE protection, right after I open the disc.

    SmartRipper 2.4.1 reads the disc up until "Authentication successful" and then reports "Access violation at address 0041FAEA in module 'SmartRipper.exe'. Read of address 014A8001". Can't read the disc anymore.

    DVD Shrink (tried 2.3 and 3.0 Beta 5) locks right after the Analysis phase starts (about the same time the movie starts; analysis of the menus is fine). If I cancel the analysis and backup anyway, it stops at around 4% with the message "CDvdCSS::Read failed!" "The reason is: Data error (cyclic redundancy check)".

    I tried two different drives and both report the same things.
    The DVD plays fine on a standalone and with WinDVD.

    Win Explorer can read the VIDEO_TS directory OK but it can't copy the files to HD. I know the files would be useless because of CSS but the strange thing is it can't copy them at all; it reports error - "Cannot replace or create VTS_<whatever>: File system error (-2147351799)" when I drag a VOB file to my desktop.

    Disc is region 2, the edition for videoclubs (not pirating, I own the videoclub). In fact, the disc has been rented quite a few times and no customer reported a problem viewing it.

    A friend of mine told me he couldn't rip the same movie (different disc) and had the same symptoms with DVD Shrink (he didn't try other tools). So it's not a faulty disc I've got. What's going on? Did they come up with some new type of protection?
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2002
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    The cyclic redundancy error is sometimes caused by a dirty disk. Also, try ripping while playing the main movie.
    Hello.
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  3. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    There ought to be a sticky on this subject. It seems that whenever someone can't rip a dvd, it's "New type of copy protection?!" I've helped several people rip discs (some that were even their own home-made) by simply telling them to flip them over and wipe the thumbprint of pizza sauce off of the DVD.
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  4. Member
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    Originally Posted by Tommyknocker
    ...sometimes caused by a dirty disk.
    Originally Posted by Supreme2k
    ...flip them over and wipe the thumbprint of pizza sauce off of the DVD.
    It's never too soon to invest in a simple can of compressed air...
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  5. OK guys, I appreciate the responses but please read my post in full. I own a DVD rentals store, I know perfectly well how to clean a DVD (and repair it from light to medium scratches).

    I did a search before posting and, yes, I did come across several topics where people suggested possible new type of protection because they couldn't rip a disc and, yes, I agree these were all cases of dirty/damaged disc.

    But this is not the case here. I have ripped many hundreds of discs (virtually all new releases in the last year or two; that way I can watch them at home but have the DVDs available for rent in my store) so I have a lot of experience in this.

    Also, exactly the same thing happened to a friend of mine. So look at the facts: different PCs, different drives, different discs, same movie, same problem.

    The only explanation I can come up with is a bad batch of discs and both my friend and I got them. But before assuming this, I thought I ask if someone else has seen something similar or heard a rumour of some new protection method.

    So please before posting unnecessery comments like "wipe the pizza sauce off the DVD" read my post in full. Also if you look at my previous posts you'll see that I'm quite experienced with DVDs and I've been involved with the technology since the early days. A dirty/damaged disc will show symptoms when played to start with. I played this disc at normal speed and at x2, x4, x8 and x20 both forward and back. No problems. No customer reported a problem when they rented the disc either.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate if you'd look at the problem in more details so here's some update on the issue.
    I downloaded the trial of AnyDVD 3.8.1.3 and found the following: when I try to copy a VOB file to my HD, it does it fine with the VTS_xx_0.VOB files (i.e. the menus) but it locks with the VTS_xx_1.VOB to VTS_xx_y.VOB files (i.e. the movie and extras vobs). But there's no error message like before (when trying to copy without AnyDVD).

    There are 6 VTSs and no title VOB from any of the VTSs can be copied. But all menu VOBs can be copied without any problems. What are the chances that the disc is damaged/dirty only on those places where the title VOBs are (and exactly all of them without exception) but no problems with the menu VOBs or the IFO/BUP files? Something's strange here. Leads me even more to think it's a protection issue. Any ideas?


    EDIT:
    The error message from DVD Shrink is somewhat interesting. The way I read it, it discovered a CRC error while reading the CSS. Also what's interesting is that DVD Decrypter reports the error while checking the protection. I'm no expert on CSS but if someone is, do you know if CSS has error checking method built in (like CRC)? If so, when the player/reader discovers an error, what should happen? Maybe a player is required to ignore the CSS in this case and play the disc as normal, whereas the ripping tools cannot ignore this error, therefore cannot remove the protection. Just a wild guess.
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  6. Member
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    I had no problem with house of sand and fog,so it must be your copy.I use anydvd,and there were no errors.
    bmiller,ont.canada
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  7. Member
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    Maybe it's new protection to stop people from ripping...:

    Originally Posted by petar
    ...virtually all new releases in the last year or two; that way I can watch them at home but have the DVDs available for rent in my store...
    Welcome to the Grey Zone...
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  8. Welcome to the Grey Zone...


    Though I don't think I'm doing morally anything wrong (or am I?)


    bmiller, thanks for the reply but you're in Canada so that would be region 1 and NTSC, I believe. That means your disc is produced completely differently from mine. I'm in Spain, region 2. The movie is not yet on sale here so I'd image not many people would have tried ripping it. If someone here has rented the disc, could you please do me a favour and try to rip it? I know it goes against the forum rules but it would help me determine if my friend and I have a copy of a bad batch or they really came up with a new protection trick. I hope the mods will treat this as experimenting rather than pirating.

    (Though even if we have bad discs, it would be difficult to explain the distributor that we want a replacement because we can't rip the disc but otherwise it plays fine )
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  9. I Doubt it's a new protection, have you tried Sector Extractor ? it's not easy to use, and it's a bit on the manual side, but i've never seen it fail, even if the big guns failed, this one always worked.

    From the information you provided, it seems like there is an error on the CSS itself, therefor the program which tries to decode it runs into a little problem, as you said, they all freeze up around the same point.

    I Don't suppose you have Windows98SE available for testing it on ? i'm not a big fan of 2000/XP systems, the first thing they do is freeze up on errors and 98SE just crashes like a good OS should

    Anyway, if possible, try with Sector Extractor and also on another PC if you can.
    Email me for faster replies!

    Best Regards,
    Sefy Levy,
    Certified Computer Technician.
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  10. I Don't suppose you have Windows98SE available for testing it on ? i'm not a big fan of 2000/XP systems, the first thing they do is freeze up on errors and 98SE just crashes like a good OS should

    No, I don't have any PC with 98. My friend, that found the same problem, also has XP like me.

    Where can I download Sector Extractor? The link here doesn't work and a google search found few sites but same thing - link doesn't work.

    BTW, tried vStrip_08f_css, same problem.

    It probably is some error on the CSS as you suggest but it seems like it's done on purpose. What I found with AnyDVD is that the menu VOBs can be ripped OK but not the title VOBs. For example, tried:
    VTS_01_0.VOB, OK
    VTS_01_1.VOB, locks after few seconds
    VTS_01_2.VOB, same thing
    ...
    VTS_01_7.VOB, same thing

    VTS_02_0.VOB, OK
    VTS_02_1.VOB, locks after few seconds

    VTS_03_0.VOB, OK
    VTS_03_1.VOB, locks after few seconds

    and so on (you get the picture...)

    So it seems, AnyDVD can deCSS the menu VOBs but not the title VOBs.

    Another strange thing I noticed on the disc. I opened the VIDEO_TS.IFO file and noticed that there are only 4 VTSs defined. However, the disc contains VTS 5 and VTS 6 as well.
    IfoEdit won't even open the VTS_05_0.IFO file (crashes each time I try, even if I copy it to my HD and open from there). It can open the VTS_06_0.IFO file but it doesn't make much sense what's in there. There is a title PGC with a 20 sec cell but there's no VTS_06_1.VOB file. So what cell is the IFO file refering to? Also the commands are all wrong. There's a post command in the title PGC calling VMG PGC 15 but there's no such PGC (the VMG only has 5 PGCs).

    So there are only two possible explanations I can find. (1) They've found some new way to protect the disc from ripping or (2) they've made a real mess in the authoring of this disc. The next movie from the same producer is coming out on the 30 June over here. If it has the same issues, I guess it may be the former (though I hope it's the latter).
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  11. From what you've just said at the end, sounds like a bad authoring of the DVD to me, and that could be why the programs are crashing, I would suggest you try using "Backup" or "Files" mode instead of "Movie, since that looks into the IFO's and tries to rip the movie itself and because of the bad authoring, it's having problems.

    Either way, here is a link for Sector Extractor, hope it helps!
    http://carpcenter.iespana.es/carpcenter/DivX.htm
    Email me for faster replies!

    Best Regards,
    Sefy Levy,
    Certified Computer Technician.
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  12. Member adam's Avatar
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    This is not a new form of copy protection. The DVD standard is defined and doesn't leave room for clever tricks on the part of the studio. If a disk is not able to ripped its almost surely because the disk is damaged or defective.

    There are 2 possible scenarios which might be causing this problem.

    1) Both you and your friend just happen to have a disk with unreadable sectors on it. This could be because both of you have a disk which was just damaged during normal use, or because there were mastering errors during production. This happens all the time. Using a different dvd-rom might get around the errors. The same thing applies to DVD players. A mastering error might present itself on one player and not another. My guess is that this is what is happening. Its just a defective disk, no alterior motives on the part of the studio.

    2) The CSS key differs from one vob to the next, or some are encrypted and some aren't, and this is throwing off your ripping software. It seems obvious that this is the case with your menu vobs. This is common. When this happens simply adjust the decrypting routines. Try telling it to search for the CSS keys for every vob as opposed to just the first vob. Try taking the reported key from the first vob, and telling the ripper to force that key for all vobs. Try increasing the retry #. Try using brute force decrypting. Most ripping programs have all of these options.

    Have you tried ripping in other modes? If the IFOs appear to be so whacked (your description doesn't really sound weird to me) then don't rip in IFO mode. If you rip in file mode or iso mode it makes no difference what is stored in the IFOs. It won't read them at all, it will just copy the files from one location to another.
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  13. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by petar
    But this is not the case here. I have ripped many hundreds of discs (virtually all new releases in the last year or two; that way I can watch them at home but have the DVDs available for rent in my store) so I have a lot of experience in this.
    Looks pretty straight-forward to me. I don't see the "grey zone".
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  14. Adam,

    1) I don't think the discs are damaged. I can't speak for my friend's disc but I've tried eveything with mine (FF/FR at all speeds, for the movie and the extras, jump to each chapter, call the menu from each chapter) and it's fine. I tried two different DVD-ROMs and none could rip it. No standalone had a problem playing it. Several customers had the DVD rented and nobody reported a problem.

    2) Tried it but no luck.

    I didn't say all IFO files are whacked. Those that matter, the VIDEO_TS.IFO and the VTS_01_0.IFO to VTS_04_0.IFO, are fine. It just that there are two VTSs, 5 and 6, which shouldn't be there and their IFO files don't make much sense. The VIDEO_TS.IFO file doesn't make any reference to these two VTSs at all. I'm not ripping in IFO mode. I was just checking what's in the IFO files with IfoEdit. The title PGC of the VTS_06_0.IFO file contains a post command call VMG PGC 15. The VMG has only 5 PGCs. That sounds pretty weird to me.

    This suggests that there's an authoring issue. I don't think that a mastering error can simply add two VTSs to a DVD structure. But what I'm puzzled about is whether this authoring issue is intentional. The movie had 3 oscar nominations. I doubt they've given it to a second rate DVD producing company that screwed up the structure and then they said "ah, what a hell, it works, leave it at that". It seems intentional to me, especially because of the fact that it can't be ripped.

    Don't get me wrong. I hope I'm wrong and the discs are faulty (though this doesn't explain why they play fine on all players) because I like the fact that I can make a copy of my own discs but I just can't find an explanation of what's going on.


    Sefy, I already found that site through google but the download button links to another site saying their server has moved and I can't find Sector Extractor on the new server. Any other links?
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  15. Darn, if that link is dead i'm propably one of the only ones who still got it
    Email me for faster replies!

    Best Regards,
    Sefy Levy,
    Certified Computer Technician.
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  16. Member
    Join Date: May 2004
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    The House of Sand and Fog,region 2,PAL.
    dvd decrypter,3.2.2.0----ripped movie only,and full disc.
    no problems at all.
    rental version.
    hardware was,
    DFI NFORCE II ultra 400 mobo.
    xp2500+(at 2.36gig.)
    radeon 9700pro.
    pioneer dvd107.
    dvd decrypter 3.2.2.0.
    fresh install of xp(just bought that mobo.)

    i reckon you have a badly authored disc.
    as im sure that this half arsed piece of shit movie wouldnt be the tester for a "new" copy protection.
    and as for you owning a hire shop,dont you get trade papers,im sure it would be in one of them.

    *EDIT*
    The next movie from the same producer is coming out on the 30 June over here. If it has the same issues, I guess it may be the former (though I hope it's the latter).

    i really dont think the producer has jack shit of a say in which protection is used.
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  17. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    I believe it may be a local problem. I was able to obtain an R2 House of Sand and Fog, and it ripped fine with DVDDecrypter, DVDShrink'ed, burned (to -rw) with Nero, and played fine. Didn't like the movie, so there wasn't even the temptation to keep it :P (that, and my -rw supply is dwindling.)

    My guess is that you and your friend have faulty discs.

    My suggestion is to buy a retail copy. Less hassle than what you've experienced, and being in "the biz", you could probably get it very cheap.
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  18. i really dont think the producer has jack shit of a say in which protection is used.
    Sorry, by producer I meant the movie studio (same word in Spanish).

    The movie studio has the right to protect its own product against copying anyway they want. I (or any other videoclub) have no say here. So if they came up with some "new" copy protection they have no reason to inform me especially.

    I'm not claiming it's some new copy protection, it's just that it's weird that a disc that plays just fine on all dvd players can't be ripped. It could be a fluke. Badly authored which incidentally stops it from being ripped but it plays fine. It's not a first time I see a badly authored DVD. In one you couldn't select English audio. Even after activating the button it would play in Spanish. They have deadlines and things slip through. But I've never seen a badly authored disc which I couldn't rip.

    Supreme2k, I can't get a retail copy. One, it's not out yet and, two, in January the movie distributors managed to get a law passed which prohibits videoclubs from using retail copies. I have to order the movie from the distributor and it has to be the edition for videoclubs.

    I can ask for a replacement (the rental editions come with 1 month garantee) but as I mentioned before, it's difficult to explain to the distributor why - the disc plays fine but I can't rip it!!!


    BTW, is the movie that bad? I haven't seen it yet (it's always rented and I obviously can't make my copy ).
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  19. Member adam's Avatar
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    This sounds exactly like a mastering error. I am not talking about authoring errors which would create seamingly anomolous IFO's (again, your IFO's sound normal to me, those aren't mistakes), I am talking about a problem with the pressing of the disk. When you press thousands of disks occasionally some will be defective. The problem may present itself only on certain players, or only on certain loaders (dvd-roms). Also, playing a disk on a player is MUCH more forgiving because it can skip over unreadable sectors on the disk, whereas one corrupt sector on the disk can halt the ripping process. Ripping is a bit for bit transfer, playing it via a DVD player isn't. Decoders can compensate for some errors.
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  20. OK, I'll ask for a replacement on Monday and let you know (I still have to think of a reason why I want the replacement). But few things still bug me:
    - What are the chances that the same problem happens on two discs, tested on two separate PCs?
    - The movie was released over here last week and since then five customers rented it. None reported any issues.
    - Adam, why do the IFO files seem normal to you? The VIDEO_TS file contains info for 4 VTSs whereas there are 6 on the disc. The 6th IFO has a table for a title PGC with a cell of 20 sec but there's no VTS_06_1.VOB file (which is by the way compulsary by the DVD specs; a VTS must have at least one title). Also what about the call command (calling a non existing PGC)? None of this is normal to me.
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  21. Member adam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by petar
    What are the chances that the same problem happens on two discs, tested on two separate PCs?
    If its a mastering error then it is extremely likely that this would happen. If something goes wrong in the pressing process its likely to cause problems on a series of disks. Just like how people will get an entire batch of bad dvd-rs. (I know the production process is completely different, I'm just talking about assembly line production in general.) You and your friend seem to be getting the very first batch of these pressed disks, since you say it isn't commercially available yet. Its likely any problem encountered on one is also present on the other.


    Originally Posted by petar
    Adam, why do the IFO files seem normal to you? The VIDEO_TS file contains info for 4 VTSs whereas there are 6 on the disc.
    Not every Titleset on the DVD has to be referenced in the VIDEO_TS.IFO. I've seen this same occurrence on lots of DVDs. Those last two titlesets are just being used as dummy tracks to aid in navigating between titlesets. This is a necessary workaround for certain types of authoring in certain software programs, and its also just a common authoring technique used by alot of studios.

    Originally Posted by petar
    The 6th IFO has a table for a title PGC with a cell of 20 sec but there's no VTS_06_1.VOB file (which is by the way compulsary by the DVD specs; a VTS must have at least one title).
    The VTS_0X_1.VOB does not correspond to the first title. As far as the vobs themselves are concerned, the only compulsuory vob is the VTS_0X_0.VOB

    Those cells listed must be located in the VTS_06_0.VOB. Or they could be located in another titleset. This is extremely common. This happens anytime an individual titleset is used as a dummy track, for use with navigating between titlesets, like I described above.

    Originally Posted by petar
    Also what about the call command (calling a non existing PGC)? None of this is normal to me.
    Now that I'd have to look at myself. I'm sure there is a logical explanation.
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  22. Member
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    Originally Posted by petar
    I'm trying to rip the House of Sand and Fog but with no luck.

    DVD Decrypter 3.2.2.0 reports "InterfaceThread Runtime Exception!" "Message = EAccessViolation" while checking for RCE protection, right after I open the disc.

    DVD Shrink (tried 2.3 and 3.0 Beta 5) locks right after the Analysis phase starts (about the same time the movie starts; analysis of the menus is fine). If I cancel the analysis and backup anyway, it stops at around 4% with the message "CDvdCSS::Read failed!" "The reason is: Data error (cyclic redundancy check)".

    I've received both these errors before... I believe I attributed it to read errors on the DVD... Have you tried to do a read test on the entired DVD to make sure it is 100% readable?

    Also, if my memory serves me right when I encounted this before (with Decrypter and Shrink) I was successful with DVD Clone 2 or DVD Copy 2 (can't remembe which one finally worked)
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  23. Banned
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    Not to play devil's advocate, since I too feel that this isn't a "new protection" but rather a pressing error...

    But it IS only a matter of time before some enterprising movie studio finds some "loophole" in the DVD standard that allows them to produce slightly abnormal discs that can't be copied.

    And the VERY FIRST version of such protection on a PC involved... you guessed it... CRC errors.

    However, I reiterate that I don't think this is the case for this person. Simply that it IS inevitable that it WILL eventually happen.

    - Gurm
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  24. Member
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    For what it's worth, I rippped Hose of Sand and Fog with DVD Decyptor. I split it to two disc with Ifo Edit. No problems for me.
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  25. Adam,
    OK, I follow what you're saying about the mastering error. Yes, the chances are the discs of the new releases for the video rentals shops all come from the same batch (I just hope my replacement won't come from the same batch).

    Still, I don't agree with you regarding the way the DVD was authored.

    Not every Titleset on the DVD has to be referenced in the VIDEO_TS.IFO. I've seen this same occurrence on lots of DVDs.
    I doubt this. Though it's not illegal to have a VTS that's not referenced in the VMG, you have absolutely no use of it (as a dummy track or whatever). If the VMG has no knowledge of this VTS, there's no way to access it or any part of it.

    The VTS_0X_1.VOB does not correspond to the first title. As far as the vobs themselves are concerned, the only compulsuory vob is the VTS_0X_0.VOB
    No, this is not true. VTS_xx_0.VOB files can only contain menu cells. It's not possible for them to have title cells. These files are not compulsory on a DVD. But VTS_xx_1.VOB files are compulsory. The tables of each VTS IFO file can only reference that specific VTS and it's not possible to reference another VTS. This is in the DVD specs.

    So we are definitely looking at a badly authored disc. However, badly authored or not, it should rip, shouldn't it? So the chances are you're right about the mastering error (unless what Gurm mentioned is true).

    DVD_Ripper, was it CloneDVD 2 that you used? Can it decrypt as well? I thought it couldn't (though I've never tried version 2).
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  26. Member
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    Curiously, if you own a dvd store, why not just bring all available copies home and try each one :P
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  27. Curiously, if you own a dvd store, why not just bring all available copies home and try each one
    I just have one. With the release of ROTK two weeks ago, for which I had to order shit-loads of copies, my budget ran out . That's why I asked a friend of mine to check his own copy and he found the same problem.
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  28. Member adam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by petar
    I doubt this. Though it's not illegal to have a VTS that's not referenced in the VMG, you have absolutely no use of it (as a dummy track or whatever). If the VMG has no knowledge of this VTS, there's no way to access it or any part of it.
    If you've ever authored any DVDs then its easy to understand what I mean. The video manager is authored as if it were its own titleset. Typically all menu's are added there and all other items are located in actual titlesets, though you are free to not use the video manager at all. If you don't link to any actual titleset from within the video manager then it won't necessarily show up in the video_ts.ifo. But you can still access it via a link from one of your other titlesets. For instance, I generally have no use for video manager authoring since I don't need multiple language units, or otherwise need to apply changes to all titlesets at once. So I just author my main menu's there and everything else just goes in its own titleset. If you look at my video_ts.ifo all you see are references to my first titleset, even though there are maybe 6 or 7 on the disk. Just because there is not a button link to a titleset that doesn't mean there is no link at all. I can have one titleset link to another without ever having to call the video manager. Like I said, this is also very common. Just look at some other commercial DVDs and you will see the same thing occuring, and it usually happens with dummy tracks just like what you obviously have, since all of those cells are only 2 secs long. I can duplicate what you are seeing quite easily and its perfectly compliant.

    No, this is not true. VTS_xx_0.VOB files can only contain menu cells. It's not possible for them to have title cells. These files are not compulsory on a DVD. But VTS_xx_1.VOB files are compulsory. The tables of each VTS IFO file can only reference that specific VTS and it's not possible to reference another VTS. This is in the DVD specs.
    None of that is true at all. Like I said, this is extremely common and I am sure if you look at some other DVDs you will see exactly the same thing occur time and time again. About 1/3rd of the DVDs I look at have no VTS_XX_1.VOB for certain titlesets. These are just dummy tracks and it is perfectly within the DVD standards. I can, and do, duplicate such a thing almost everytime I author a DVD.

    Menu's are not required to be stored in the VTS_XX_0.VOB, and this vob number is not prohibited from having "title cells." If you just author a straight DVD without making use of the video manager then everything on your disk will just be stored in the order it is added straight from VTS_XX_0.vob on up, only splitting to the next vob when its reached .99gigs (or whatever size you specify.) Actually, it will depend on the authoring software. Some will skip the _0 vob and some won't. But there are no rules either way. Some DVD authoring packages even store all menu's for all titlesets in the Video_TS.VOB and the rest of the material is stored starting in the VTS_XX_0.vob. There is really alot of flexibility in this regard and different studio's will produce different things depending on their authoring software and preferences.

    But, as you pointed out, none of this really matters since no amount of faulty authoring would prevent you from simply copying the raw files from one location to another, after they have been decrypted.
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  29. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    Couple of things that I have to ask:

    The main purpose of a backup of electronic media is to protect the original, so you always have a "clean" copy (unshrunk, unstripped, full dvd) while using the spare for watching (or playing frisbee, etc), with less fear of damage. The question is, do you rent the backups? If not, at first, do you rent them once the orginal is no longer playable?

    The reason I ask is that this is not a grey area as has been mentioned. You can't use the 30 day guarantee citing the reason for return is because you can't rip it.
    The bottom-line is that the movies cease to be your personal property once you use it in your rental business. It becomes business product and not subject to Fair Use. Once you take it out of circulation, then it becomes your property. Just as librarians can't make "backups" of CDs or DVDs, neither can you.

    Why you voluntarily posted your "backup" activity confounds me. It wasn't relevant to the subject at all.
    This is how your post should have been:
    Originally Posted by petar
    But this is not the case here. I have ripped many hundreds of discs so I have a lot of experience in this.
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  30. Adam,
    It doesn't seem like we'll agree on the authoring side. I'm yet to find a commercial DVD that has the "features" you mention.
    I can have one titleset link to another without ever having to call the video manager.
    This goes against the DVD specs. Sorry but you're mistaken.
    http://www.dvd-replica.com/DVD/domainvmg.php
    Read the third paragraph.
    The video manager is authored as if it were its own titleset. Typically all menu's are added there and all other items are located in actual titlesets, though you are free to not use the video manager at all. If you don't link to any actual titleset from within the video manager then it won't necessarily show up in the video_ts.ifo. But you can still access it via a link from one of your other titlesets. For instance, I generally have no use for video manager authoring since I don't need multiple language units
    The video manager has nothing to do with the titleset. You can have all the menus there if you want (not long ago I wrote a guide how to do this with DVD-Lab Pro http://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=220758) but this is not typical at all. The VMG cannot set audio/subpicture/angle streams nor it can jump to a particular chapter so what's actually typical is not to have any menus in the VMG and have them all in the VTS. The main usage of the VMG is to route among the titlesets, not multiple language units. You can have multiple language units in the VMG as well as in the VTSM.

    None of that is true at all. Like I said, this is extremely common and I am sure if you look at some other DVDs you will see exactly the same thing occur time and time again. About 1/3rd of the DVDs I look at have no VTS_XX_1.VOB for certain titlesets. These are just dummy tracks and it is perfectly within the DVD standards. I can, and do, duplicate such a thing almost everytime I author a DVD.

    Menu's are not required to be stored in the VTS_XX_0.VOB, and this vob number is not prohibited from having "title cells." If you just author a straight DVD without making use of the video manager then everything on your disk will just be stored in the order it is added straight from VTS_XX_0.vob on up
    Unless there is some important difference in the way studios author the DVDs in North America comparing to Europe, I find this hard to believe.

    First it goes agaist the DVD specs. VTS_xx_0.VOB is reserved for menus. VTS_xx_1.VOB and beyond is for titles. That's why you can have videos/audios of different characteristics in the menu and the title. How would you multiplex a menu with PCM audio and a movie with AC3 audio in the same VOB? Impossible. That's why there's a separate VOB unit for the menus (which is _0 and is not compulsory, almost no DVDs I've seen have it in the VTSs of the extras) and a separate for the titles (which is _1 and beyond and _1 is compulsory if you want to have a title).

    Second, it's completly useless to have, what you call, a dummy track if the VMG has no knowledge of it. Yes, you can stick any file you want on the disc but if you cannot access it, what's the purpose. And please let's not argue about something that's a fact - if the VMG has no knowledge of a particular titleset, it's like it's not there because only the VMG can access it - refer to the link above if you still don't believe me about this. But if you still don't believe me or the link, just do a test yourself. Use DVD Shrink to backup a movie only (no menus) and you'll see it starts the VOBs from 1, not 0.

    The only thing you're right about is that the VTS menus don't need to go in the VTS_xx_0.VOB file. They can go in any other VOB file but theoretically they are not considered menus then. It's considered a movie with user interaction (though to the end user it makes no difference). I've only seen this on the extras of the Disney DVDs. Still, even in this case the VOBs will start from 1, not 0.


    The only way to author what's on my disc is to manually modify it. No authoring tool will go against the DVD specs. This connected to the fact that I couldn't rip the disc lead me to believe that they may have done it on purpose. Of course this was only a wild guess. It's possible (and probable) that there's a mastering error which doesn't allow me to rip the disc and they've messed up something in the structure, independant of the mastering error. As I said, this is not the first disc I've seen that had some authoring errors (though never this bad).
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