My Frickin' DVDs are FAULTY!

This forum is for questions/discussions about the now sold out first DVD box set by BMG / AnotherUniverse.
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starbug
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My Frickin' DVDs are FAULTY!

Post by starbug » Nov 27th 2002, 6:06 am

I am so upset right now I could cry. Seriously.

I got home from work last night and put on the first disk - you know, just to SEE. And what happens?

It's in BLACK AND WHITE. I mean really. The whole thing - even the menus. And all the discs are like that.

I have a multiregion player that is made by pioneer and it didn't come cheap. All my other discs are absolutely fine.

Has anyone else had this problem?
Is it just me being a technical fool and not understanding something?

Am I really going to have to send the damn things back? At least they were from Amazon, which should make life a little easer, but I have already paid one customs charge and will be irritated to have to pay any more....

*sigh*.

Really, I'm close to the end of my tether. Someone PLEASE tell me the discs aren't faulty and there's some easy quick fix.

Please?

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Post by Starrox » Nov 27th 2002, 7:03 am

Well, I have good and bad news for you, I think...
Good news is I can tell you the DVDs aren't faulty! Bad news is that they would have been in black and white no matter where you got them from since apparently either your player or your TV's not able to handle NTSC. In your case I'd say it's the TV since your player's codefree and should have a some sort of NTSC-conversion - maybe you can try it with another TV and see what happens then...
Of course I'm no expert, so I might be wrong... but it would fit your description!

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Re: My Frickin' DVDs are FAULTY!

Post by Chase Cat » Nov 27th 2002, 7:04 am

Your DVD player must have a setup menu for output format. I think yours is set to multi, which means, that the player chooses the format (NTSC or PAL) in relation to the Disc you have inserted. In this case you have put in a Region 1 DVD in NTSC fromat. Your TV does not support NTSC, only PAL. So it gets not all the picture information to playback the content. You have to set the player output to PAL, then it will work fine.
starbug wrote:I am so upset right now I could cry. Seriously.

I got home from work last night and put on the first disk - you know, just to SEE. And what happens?

It's in BLACK AND WHITE. I mean really. The whole thing - even the menus. And all the discs are like that.

I have a multiregion player that is made by pioneer and it didn't come cheap. All my other discs are absolutely fine.

Has anyone else had this problem?
Is it just me being a technical fool and not understanding something?

Am I really going to have to send the damn things back? At least they were from Amazon, which should make life a little easer, but I have already paid one customs charge and will be irritated to have to pay any more....

*sigh*.

Really, I'm close to the end of my tether. Someone PLEASE tell me the discs aren't faulty and there's some easy quick fix.

Please?
Patty to Graham: You always buy the cat nicer food than I do.

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Post by eloise » Nov 27th 2002, 7:20 am

how do you know if your TV supports NTSC?

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starbug
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Post by starbug » Nov 27th 2002, 7:29 am

Thank god for that! I will have a look when I get home this evening... thanks guys for the info :D

Although I'll be upset if the TV is the problem as we just bought it and it is widescreen flatscreen and really should support NTSC...

I think there is a set up thing in the DVD instruction book and I will try switching it to PAL. If that doesn't work, it's got to be the TV, right?

Well, the annoying thing is that I thought that if you get a multiregion player and put a region 0 disc in it, it would work. Jeez. This whole technology thing is too much.

Still, I'm lots more hopeful than I was last night!

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Post by Chase Cat » Nov 27th 2002, 7:37 am

Maybe it is mentioned in your user's manual. Modern and expensive European TV's (aspect ratio 16:9, 100 Hz) should support NTSC. But if your player can convert NTSC to (pseudo) PAL you don't need one. Only the frequenzy conversion from 60 Hz to 50 Hz will be visible. In fast motions the picture stotters a little, because 10 pictures per second are removed.
eloise wrote:how do you know if your TV supports NTSC?
Patty to Graham: You always buy the cat nicer food than I do.

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Post by Tuesnightspecial » Nov 27th 2002, 8:37 am

Definitley sounds like an NTSC problem.

- Check to see what your DVD player is set to output. Set it to whatever it should be so that it outputs pure NTSC. Your TV should be able to handle it.
- If it is still black and white then check it with another NTSC or region 1 disc.
- If it is still black and white, then you know the discs are OK.
- Try the DVD player in the Scart labelled 1 and do the same as above - then all the other scarts available.
ALSO
Check to see that the DVD player isn't set to output S-Video - I had to tell my TV it was getting an S-Video input in order to get colour out of the DVD I was trying.

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zero
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Post by zero » Nov 27th 2002, 6:27 pm

hey bug - if you have a multi region DVD player then it should have an option to automatically tell if a DVD is NTSC or PAL (or at least mine does so I hope yours does too.)

try the Player first and then the Telly.

(I paranoicaly I checked mine this morning also.)

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Post by InAnotherUniverse.com » Nov 27th 2002, 8:58 pm

OK - am I missing something - I thought the DVD's were region 0 not 1 as stated!

Also I've had that black and white prob on one of my DVD players on any American DVD's such as the Foo Fighters bonus disk and a surfing DVD I bought...so now I'm not a happy chappy...means I'm going to be watching MSCL on the computer :(

Is the above a NTSL/PAL thing or a Region thing? I am hoping that it is the former.

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Post by zero » Nov 27th 2002, 9:23 pm

InAnotherUniverse.com wrote:Is the above a NTSL/PAL thing or a Region thing? I am hoping that it is the former.
I assume it's a NT/PAL thing as the disks are region free.

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Post by arteitle » Nov 27th 2002, 10:58 pm

I find it fascinating that despite the long-time difference of the US and Japan using NTSC while much of Europe used PAL, the abundance of NTSC material has made it so better European TVs include support for NTSC natively. Very interesting. What's next, will Europeans start putting 120 volt outlets in their homes too? :wink:

Aaron T.

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Post by starbug » Nov 28th 2002, 6:27 am

Cool :D .

I got home last night and switched my DVD player to output PAL and somehow tell the TV to do it too (god and technophiles know how these things work - I do not)... then put in the Disc 1 and it was fine. For all of about 30 seconds of the Pilot. Then it gradually went back to being black and white! Like I said, I'm a complete technophobe so I'm now thinking that there are two little demons inside my TV and DVD player talking to each other and pissing each other off....

BUT happy happy day - I thought I'd just try swapping the DVD and VCR sockets around where they go into the back of the TV and Lo! There was colour.

It's weird, I can't explain it (of course) but swapping some cables around and setting the DVD to PAL output did the trick!

I'm soooooo relieved - thanks guys! Now I just need to skive a few days off work to watch them all...

:)

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Post by Calhoun07 » Nov 28th 2002, 10:02 am

It's due to copy protection on the discs. Not all DVDs are created equal, so it's possible to play a hundred DVDs and not have the same problem, but when you run your DVD player thru your VCR, you will run the risk of getting DVDs with copy protection that detect the VCR, and it sends a singal back to the DVD player and tells it that you're trying to copy something on to VHS tape, and will either scramble the singal or turn the image black and white. I knew from the instant I read your first post, that was what the problem was. It's quite common, actually. I work part time in a video store and I guarantee you every person who brings back DVDs claiming they were "defective" due to picture image problems like that (I even had customers bring them back saying the DVD played black and white), every one of them had the DVD player hooked up thru the VCR and easilly fixed their delimma by hooking it up thru the TV. But like I said, not all DVDs are encoded with the same kind of copy protection, DVD companies may use various types of copy protection to thwart bootleggers, but from time to time you will find some that don't like your VCR. Just a word to the wise if anybody has any future problems with any other DVDs.

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Nov 28th 2002, 10:12 am

Calhoun07 wrote: but when you run your DVD player thru your VCR, you will run the risk of getting DVDs with copy protection that detect the VCR, and it sends a singal back to the DVD player and tells it that you're trying to copy something on to VHS tape, and will either scramble the singal or turn the image black and white.
Actually, this so-called Macrovision signal (which is used for copy protection) works a little bit different. Here's a nice description how it works:
http://www.repairfaq.org/filipg/LINK/F_MacroVision1.html#MACROVISION_004 wrote: How does it look like?
When dubbing a protected tape, the picture that has gone through the recording VCR will get dark and then normal again periodically. The picture may also become unstable when it is at its darkest.

Some televisions do not like Macrovision either; the top of the picture might be unstable all the time and the colors may flicker. It resembles very much a mistracked tape.

If you have a TV that has an adjustement for picture height or vertical hold, you can play with those. Macrovision signals can be seen as very bright and very dark regions (vertical stripes) near the top of the picture.


How does it work?

Here is a simple explanation of how the method works. It exploits the automatic gain control (AGC) circuit in the recorder. The purpose of the AGC is to adjust the level of the video signal in such a way that the recording capabilities of the tape are fully used. This means that weak signals are amplified and strong ones are attenuated.

In the Macrovision method, some new signals are inserted in the non-visible portion of the picture. These signals can make the VCR think that a perfectly normal picture is suddenly way, way too bright. The AGC circuit therefore darkens it until it thinks the brightness is normal. Of course, now the REAL picture is very dark. The picture is varied between bright and dark periodically in order to defeat simple eliminators that would just amplify the dark and murky signal back to almost normal.

In fact, there was an early version of the method which had a static level of brightness, but it was easy to readjust the AGC gain setting inside the VCR. The level shifting was obviously added fairly soon after that discovery.

Why isn't the TV affected? Well, most TV sets do not have any AGC-circuits at all, and the rest behave differently from VHS ones.

The proper behaviour of the AGC-circuit is very important in order to achieve good protection. Apparently the specifications were somewhat "loose" in the pre-Macrovision days, so the old (how old?) machines are not affected.
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Post by fnordboy » Nov 28th 2002, 3:11 pm

Next time get a dvd player that has a built in converter not just the ability to play a NTSC or PAL disc.

If anyone else has this issue and finds their tv cant handle NTSC you can find converters that go between your player and your tv that will convert the signal. Though i think these are a bit pricey.

You can even get POS Sampo players for like 100 bucks with both PAL > NTSC and NTSC > PAL converters built in. Pioneer multi regions are just way too overpriced IMO.

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