A few years ago, I decided to convert our library of VHS tapes to DVD. At the time we had an Emerson VHS/DVD player-recorder. I dubbed the tapes over and checked each one at the time to make sure all was well.
Recently, with the VHS/DVD player long-dead, I decided to pull out some of the converted discs to enjoy them again. To my dismay they would not work in my new DVD player or my Dell laptop running Windows 7.
I've heard that there may be some missing data on the discs but don't know how to properly close them out to take care of this.
I would appreciate ideas. I burned these on Verbatim DVD-R discs.
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The three most common "gotchas" with dvd playback a few years after recording are discs going bad, the discs were never finalized, or the discs were finalized but the recorder was the type that doesn't burn a "first play pgc" instruction that tells players and PC software how to play the dvd. Taken one at a time:
Verbatim "AZO" DVD-R is usually excellent, burns well, and is durable in storage. If these discs are AZO, you probably don't have the "discs went bad" problem. Unfortunately, Verbatim *also* sells junky discount dvds under the "Life Series" label, and those are not as good. If your Verbatim discs were that "Life Series" its possible (but unlikely) they went off in storage.
The most common problem is not finalizing the discs in the recorder before putting them away, forgetting about them, then after the recorder breaks down you discover the discs won't play in anything else. Easiest fix for that is to buy a second-hand recorder of the same brand to finalize the dvds, then sell it off again. Doesn't need to be same model you had, just the same brand. Finalizing creates the instruction track that all ordinary players require to read dvds, often you also get a menu screen of the videos on the dvd. Some people have had luck finalizing with software like Nero instead of buying another recorder, but its risky: you could permanently wreck the dvds. If these discs are important, get your hands on a compatible recorder and finalize them in that hardware.
Some brands/models of recorder (Pioneer, Sony, JVC) finalized their dvds in a weird way that makes them appear to "play dead" when loaded in another player or PC (the tray closes, then nothing happens on screen). Most standalone dvd or or blu-ray players will recognize and play these "dead" discs if you just manually hit the remote play button, or the 'disc menu" button to pull up the menu. Computer players can be more cranky about it: usually one needs to open the dvd folder and drag the "VIDEO_TS" folder inside it into an open window of your player software (or, get it to play via File>Open>DVD>VIDEO_TS). There are software utilities available in the VideoHelp tools library that will let you fix this little glitch in a copy you make of such a dvd, but its not worth the effort unless manually engaging the discs to play really annoys you.
Last edited by orsetto; 10th Jun 2017 at 08:56.