Playback of DVD-R?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by idunn, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Is there a way to read DVD-R media on a mac?*

    Specifically with a recently purchased movie from Amazon that they elected to provide in DVD-R format. An external drive connected to a MacBook refuses to recognize this disc, unlike any other DVD, which is fine. The fine print on the packaging of this DVD-R disc says it should play fine with a 'play only' drive, and maybe not otherwise.

    In looking, it appears there are a number of discussions and various problems people have had with DVD-R media, or maybe DVD+R, or some variation thereof, on the mac. But in this instance, my complaint specifically with DVD-R.

    But my question: does anybody know of a way to circumvent their bad idea, and actually recognize and play such a disc?

    * Closest, and best informed, forum I can think of for this question. But if another possibly better, please mention it.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    What does Disk Utility say when the disk is inserted?
    Do you have access to any other computer with optical disk drive (ODD) to test the DVD in?
    And can you maybe link to that Amazon article?

    Btw, I never had a problem with DVD-R and DVD+R media on my Macs since 2004, be it reading or writing.
  3. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    the format of the dvdr is irrelevant as far as -r or +r. in fact originally macs only read dvd-r ... later dvd+r was adopted but we are talking late 90's or so.

    I am guessing it is something else like some kind of drm on the actual file. Mac's have read dvd-r since ... they were invented more or less.
  4. Senseotech macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2009
    The fact that you purchased a movie on Amazon and got a burned DVD would immediately send up red flags about the legality of the item. I'd return it for a refund. On to your actual question, any computer with a DVD drive made within the last decade is going to read DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW, and any burner in the same time frame is going to burn either one. If its not reading, its the disc, not the Mac.
  5. lostless macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2005
    They are legit. Amazon is in a agreement with universal to playback old movies that were never released on DVD on their on demand service. Part of that agreement is that amazon can burn and sell the movies to DVD-R called the "universal vault series". The only thing is that somehow they figured out to lock out any play with any player that has any type of burning ability. So a computer DVD burner will not work. Thats why it says on the disc that it will only play on a playback only device.
  6. idunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008

    Thank you for the replies thus far.

    Amazon states that to provide low volume media they produce them on demand. Which is a great idea -- as long as the disc can be read and used.

    Is there a way past what is apparently burned-in DRM? So I can actually watch MY movie?
  7. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Kind of resurrecting this thread just to share my experiences with some of the Amazon DVD-R "made on demand" dvds I received today. Of the three titles I bought (one movie, two TV shows), none of them have behaved oddly in the DVD Player application, Ripit, Handbrake, and MakeMKV using both the internal Superdrive on my iMac and an Asus external BR reader. I can't see any reason why the OP would be having problems with the disk, aside from it being maybe corrupt.

    I'm wondering if the OP has tried the disk in a stand-alone DVD player to make sure the disk isn't bad, or if they checked to see if the Disk Utility recognized the disk at all.
  8. idunn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Maybe so, or not

    At some point, when convenient access to a stand-alone DVD player, I will see if this disc will play on it. Presumably it will.

    If with this one limited experience with Amazon DVD-R discs, still surprised that a Mac Superdrive worked for you. But good.

    Not sure how Disk Utility could have a chance of recognizing this disc if it cannot first be recognized by the drive. I may also try the Superdrive on this MacBook, although the external drive used as a substitute for it, as lately it has been flaking out.

    Since some other 'play only' drive will theoretically work, I'm wondering if the output signal could then be directed back into something from which I could capture it. As even if not, unfortunately, in HD resolution, it will still be nice to have this movie in a digital form.

    Which, while I'm at it, is another thing. There are any number of movies out there which were probably filmed in 35mm, thus excellent original prints, and yet only at best offered in SD DVD. Please.
  9. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Well the drive might be recognizing the disc, but the OS might not be automatically mounting it (aka, showing it on your desktop and making it available for other programs). That's why I and, presumably, the above member suggested trying it :) it does happen sometimes, so it can't really hurt to try. Plus, if the drive wasn't recognizing the disc, chances are it would spit it out automatically (my roommate shoved a BR disc into my iMac once and that's what happened, same thing with some discs that are just too scratched for it to read).

    Anyway, if it turns out the disc works just fine with a stand-alone player, then it would appear that some of the Amazon DVD-Rs are finicky :\ Anyway, as to re-reouting the signal from a regular DVD player is concerned, you can definitely do that, but the equipment needed will run you at least $70, not exactly worth it for one movie imo. Also, since it's a DVD, you'll only get DVD resolution from it no matter how you watch it, not HD.

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