Over time I’ve compiled a list of common problems that may prevent your homemade DVD’s from playing in your DVD player. If you want to know how to burn a DVD that will work with most DVD players, read on.
Various DVD Formats
Statistically, DVD-R/DVD+R (write-once) disks work better than rewritable disks. The less popular type, DVD-RAM is almost never used to create disks playable on home DVD players.
Keep the bitrate low
Make sure the video bitrate is below 7 Mbps. There is a maximum combined audio/video bitrate that DVD players can handle, so using combining large video streams with uncompressed audio can produce a DVD that can’t be played by home DVD systems.
Use proper audio encoding
The bitrate issue is one of the reasons why you should always use compressed audio. While your DVD authoring software may offer various audio formats, the most compatible encoding is probably Dolby Digital. On the other hand, PCM encoding should be avoided unless you know what you’re doing. PCM format is actually uncompressed audio data and takes up the most space when compared to other encoding types.
The Bitsetting Trick
You can use a process known as “bitsetting” to improve the chances that your DVD+R disks will play correctly. The detailed explanation of this technique is lengthy, so here’s just the basic idea – among the data stored on DVDs there is a field called “booktype” that indicates the type of the DVD. This field is pre-set on blank DVD-R(W) disks and can’t be changed. It is however possible to set this field on a DVD+R(W) disk so you can make DVD players believe the DVD+R disk is really a DVD-ROM disk. This often results in much better compatibility with home DVD players.
Many DVD burning applications allow the modification of the booktype field (one well-known example being Nero). Many DVD drive manufacturers also offer tools that can change the booktype of a DVD. A detailed explanation of this method is beyond the scope of this article, but you can just go to your favorite search engine and type in “bitsetting” – you’ll probably find a good tutorial on the first page of results.
“You get what you pay for”. If you want you’re DVD to work on you home video system, it’s probably a good idea to spend a few more dollars and get quality media. And even then, note that many experts will tell you to burn the DVD at 2x or even 1x speed to get the best quality and compatibility. Personally I’ve never had the patience to test this advice myself; feel free to try though – it certainly won’t hurt the quality.
There is also the possibility that any compatibility issues you’re having are caused by the DVD burning/authoring software itself. Various applications have different quality video encoders and have a different level of support for DVD-Video features. If you can’t seem to get your video working with one software, try another application. Luckily there’s no shortage of DVD authoring applications and most of them offer a free trial, so you can try them and see if they produce better compatibility.
Don’t worry if you’re having a problem that wasn’t addressed here – the solution is probably somewhere “out there” on the Web. DVD compatibility is simply too large a topic to discuss exhaustively in a single article (and I bet someone, somewhere, has written a book about it).
You can find more tricks and tips on how to burn DVD movies at http://how-to-burn-dvd.blogspot.com/
will an aftermarket stereo have compatibility issues with my factory dvd system in my ford?
I have a 2004 ford explorer with the factory dvd system. when i place a dvd in the dvd player, the factory stereo automaticlly mutes and the dvd player used the speakers in the vehicle. If i so choose to do so, i can override the dvd player and continue to use the factory stereo to listen to music and the kids can use headphones instead. I was wondering if i could use an aftermarket stereo and do the same with the dvd player.
I think you can research this and find one availabe that will do as you want.Check with quality manufactures, and i am sure they can provide it.
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