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Old Dec 13, 2004, 03:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wollongong, Australia
Dual USB iBook + AV cable + DVD Playback = Help!

Hello all!

Well I, like many others have converted to mac from the dreaded onslaugh of the x86 world! My first mac is a dual usb iBook (now overclocked from 500mhz to 650mhz!) 384mb sdram, 80gig hdd and dvd/cdrw combo drive.

Now before overclocking and after overclocking ive had some very weird issues with DVD playback.

Either one of the following will occour and in time instnaces both will occour.

a) The video feed is very unstable, the image flickers and cant stay still for long.

b) The image will gradually get brighter and brighter and brighter and then dim..... then get brighter and brighter and brighter.... then dim... continuously.

Now i've done the following,

  • Copied a friend's copy of the dvd playback software.
  • reset the PRAM
  • tried it on another TV
  • Tried another AV cable
  • Tried several DVDs

If i play a movie off Mplayer or quicktime there arent any issues, its just on dvd playback.

Has anyone else had this problem?? And if so how have they fixed it??

Thanks alot in advance!
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 06:10 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Rome
I've had this issue before too (the dimming, that is), and used to own exactly the iBook you've got now. My current PB will occasionally exhibit the dimming too, and I'm pretty sure it's got to do with the sort of TV you connect to.

Older televisions seem particularly prone to the dimming effect, and I've noticed that connecting to the TV through a VCR also seems to cause this problem.

If it's any consolation, I've managed to connect to TVs that, for some reason, don't exhibit this behaviour!

Last edited by telecomm; Dec 13, 2004 at 06:12 AM.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 06:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: East Coast
The issue with the flickering is due to Apple's design for the A/V connector on the iBook. It's not the best design and often, the auto-sensing of the plug gets confused. On mine, I can usually get a staticky connection when I plug in headphones. My advice, mess around with the plug until you get a nice stable signal.

The second issue is due to Macrovision. Basically, all commercial DVDs are encoded with Macrovision protection. Just about all VCRs have Macrovision circuitry. When you hook up your iBook to a VCR, you'll get the behavior you described when playing DVDs. It's done to prevent unauthorized duplication of DVDs. So you'll need to plug the iBook in directly to the TV.

For a possible solution to the second problem (in the event your TV does not have AV plugs), try using VLC to play your DVDs. It's not as slick as Apple's DVD Player, but it bypasses a lot that copy protection stuff.
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 07:02 AM   #4
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Ah... that makes sense, thanks for clearing that up!

When I mentioned connecting to "older TVs" in my post above, I was connecting through an A/V cable to coaxial box, then into the TV, since the TV lacked A/V cable input. I suppose the Macrovision protection was also embedded in that box.
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