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Dvds Burned By Toast On Mac Pro Fail, But Ok On Other Computers


Eric B.
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I have a very strange problem: video DVDs burned by Toast 11 on a specific computer (a Mac Pro) will not play in standalone DVD players. They work fine in other Macs, but when I put the DVD in my standalone DVD player, I get an error similar to "cannot play content."

 

I have tried the following troubleshooting steps:

 

1) I have eliminated the possibility of the problem being with the DVD burner by using an external DVD burner with the Mac Pro. I also tested the DVD burner with an iMac.

 

2) I eliminated the possibility that this is an OS problem by reinstalling a fresh OS (OS X 10.6).

 

3) I eliminated the possibility that this is a problem with Toast by testing it on several other computers.

 

4) I suspect that the problem lies in encoding. If I use another program to create a TS_VIDEO folder, Toast will burn this and the DVD works just fine. However, if I let Toast encode and burn, the DVD will be bad.

 

This only leaves one possibility in my mind: there is something wrong very specifically related to this particular Mac Pro. I have tested the RAM, run an Apple HW test, etc., and I cannot figure out what could possibly be wrong. This Mac Pro has a third-party graphics card and an AJA Kona card. However, we have another Mac Pro with the same setup and Toast works fine.

 

There's so much voodoo here... anyone have any thoughts about what could be wrong? I opened a support case for this and they seem to be stumped.

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I'm just making a wild guess but it seems that something invisible is being written to the VIDEO_TS folder when authored by Toast on the Mac Pro. That invisible file is not compatible with standalone players. When a video DVD is inserted the player needs to find certain things. It needs to find a disc formatted as DVD-Rom (UDF). It needs to find a VIDEO_TS folder and it needs to find an .IFO file that provides instructions to the player for accessing any content. There can be other things on the disc besides a VIDEO_TS folder that the player will ignore. I recall a time when it was said that an empty AUDIO_TS folder needed to be present for maximum compatibility. Toast creates that so this isn't an issue here.

 

So there is something keeping the standalone player from either recognizing the VIDEO_TS folder or reading the .IFO. Did you try having Toast make a video DVD using the iMac with the source being one of those unplayable VIDEO_TS folders? I also wonder what would happen if you made a duplicate disc with the iMac. This would tell us if there is anything amiss with the unplayable disc except that it was burned with the Mac Pro.

 

I'm really out of my league with this problem. I have one recommendation which is to get Rember and do a full RAM test on the Mac Pro. Defective RAM rarely shows itself in the day-to-day use of a computer so there is only one way to find out if that can be an issue. It is unlikely but there is no harm in checking.

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