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NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 2/8/2005 11:48:34 PM   
waltersbg

 

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Hello CDRInfo Forum'ers!

I posted essentially this same message over on a forum at afterdawn.com, but I'm not sure where the real gurus hang out so I thought I would try here too. To me, this seems like a really obscure problem and yet it seems like it could be affecting a lot of people...

I have learned more than I ever wanted to about DVD video format in the past two weeks! I've been staying up late each night trying to solve a mystery:

Why does my new Toshiba SD-R5372 DVD +/- R/RW drive produce DVD's with NeroVision Express (3.0.1.27) that can not be played on my Apex AD-1100W DVD player. And yet, these DVD's can be played on other players and I can use other authoring software to produce DVD's which will play on my Apex! THAT is the mystery which has kept me up at night.

By the way, "can not be played" means that the Apex will bring up the root menu fine but any attempts to play a title results in the Apex basically freezing or at least going into super slow mode in which it takes several seconds to respond to any button presses.

I think I've figured out the root cause, but I don't understand the reason that it is happening or how (if possible) to tell NeroVision to stop doing it. I'm hoping that some real guru (like ccampbell from Ahead software) will take pity on me and explain it to me.

The bottom line (and I can give lots of gory details if you want) is that the difference between a DVD which will play and one which will not is in the VTS_0x_1.VOB files themselves. Specifically, it is location 0x421 of the Navigation Packets. This field is, I guess, defined as part of the "general information" part of the Navigation Packet. It is called DSI_GI 1a in the documents I have seen. This is supposed to be a "reserved" field. The value in a "reserved" field is normally "0". NeroVision is putting a "1" in this field.

Here is an excerpt from vboedit showing what I mean:

[DSI Stream]
DSI General Information
[0407] system clock reference 0
[040b] this->lba 0
[040f] VOBU end address - relative 84
[0413] VOBU first reference frame end block 80
[0417] VOBU second reference frame end block 0
[041b] VOBU third reference frame end block 0
[041f] VOB ID 1
[0421] Reserved 1
[0422] Cell ID 1
[0423] Cell elapsed time (BCD) 192

Note that the Reserved value at location [421] is "1". If I go through the .vob with vobedit and change NOTHING except for going into each Navigation Packet and modifying that one field to a "0", my DVDs will now play in my Apex player. .vobs produced from the same source .mpegs by other Authoring programs (freeware dvdauthor-based stuff) puts a "0" in this field. There are a ton of Navigation Packets in some .vobs, so it isn't practical for me to go edit them by hand just to get a Nero-produced vob to work. Note that this same problem occurred before I updated to the latest NeroVision, so I don't think it is unique to 3.0.1.27.

What is going on? Why is NVE putting a "1" into this reserved field? Why does my Apex AD-1100W not like it but other DVD players don't mind? Why am I apparently the first person to have this problem of NVE-produced DVD's freezing up when attempting to play titles off the menu (I haven't been able to find anybody else discussing this problem on any forum).

Sorry for the long-winded post. I wanted to give all the pertinent details so that nobody would have to waste time digging more info out of me.

I hope someone can help. At the very least, I hope that I've identified some kind of bug in NVE that can be fixed in the next release!

Thanks,
Mike


< Message edited by waltersbg -- 2/8/2005 11:56:44 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 2/9/2005 4:04:24 AM   
Iggy


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What media do you have? It is also possible to be the writing quality.

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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 2/9/2005 2:57:43 PM   
emperor


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I don't know such deep details of NeroVision, i am sure Craig will answer that

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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 2/9/2005 9:53:25 PM   
waltersbg

 

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Iggy:

I'm almost 100% positive that it is not the fault of the media. The first reason is that I am using good quality Verbatim (and other) media. I've checked the actual maker with dvdinfo or neroinfo and verified that they were good media. Secondly, I did surface scans on the media to verify that there weren't errors. Lastly, and this is the big one, I used the exact same disk (a +RW) with NVE, with NVE with edited .vobs, and with another authoring tool. Consistently, the NVE-produced ones won't play the titles. Consistenly, the one with an edited .vob plays. Consistently, the ones produced with DVDStyler (a dvdauthor gui) work.

So far, in tests with Verbatim, Fuji, Memorex DVD-R, DVD+R, and DVD+RW the only thing that hasn't worked in my Apex is the NeroVision Express DVD's (unless I go in and edit the .vobs).

Thanks for the reply.

Mike


< Message edited by waltersbg -- 2/9/2005 9:54:09 PM >

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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 2/10/2005 1:04:26 PM   
CCampbell


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quote:

ORIGINAL: waltersbg

What is going on? Why is NVE putting a "1" into this reserved field? Why does my Apex AD-1100W not like it but other DVD players don't mind?

Thanks,
Mike


Hi Mike,

I'll have to check with our Engineers on this one. But while I'm checking on that, have you tried creating a DVD without Menus, to see if it would then play? When you launch NVE and select Make DVD->DVD-Video in the 'Content' window click on the MORE button at the bottom and uncheck the option for 'Create menu on disc' and see if this creates a DVD that will play on your DVD Player. It will not have a menu of course, so test with a ReWritable DVD for now.

And I'll see what I can get back from our Engineers on your findings.

Regards,
Craig

(in reply to waltersbg)
Post #: 5
RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 2/10/2005 11:58:32 PM   
waltersbg

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: CCampbell

But while I'm checking on that, have you tried creating a DVD without Menus, to see if it would then play?



Craig:

I was pretty sure I had tried this before, but I did the test again tonight to make sure I gave you the right answer.

I produced a 2-title disk with no menu. Each title is only 5 seconds long, so that I can have a chance of editing all the Navigation Packets in the vobs (there are about 10 in each 5-second title).

After burning the project to Hard Disk with NVE, I put it in my standalone DVD players and confirmed that it did not play. Actually, it did play -- about 1/2 second of the first title and then froze.

I then went into the first vob (the VTS_01_1.vob) on the hard disk and used vobedit to change location 0x421 of each Navigation Packet from "1" to "0".

After burning this revised project to the same DVD+RW, I confirmed that it would now play title #1, but would freeze when it tried to start title #2.

I then used vobedit on the second vob (VTS_02_1.vob) to change all of its Navigation Packets in the same way.

I then burnt it back to the same DVD-RW and confirmed that now the disk would play all the way through. Since it had no menu it would just start on title #1 when I hit play and then it would play #2, then loop back to #1, etc.

So, once again, it appears that that one field in the vob Navigation Packets is the killer.

Since this is a "reserved" field, my Apex shouldn't care what it is. By the same token, Nero should have no reason to write it to a "1" instead of a "0". I'm starting to think that it was once a reserved field but is actually used for something now. Whatever it is, my Apex doesn't like it. Also, whatever that field is supposed to mean, the DVD's produced by the freeware dvdauthor leave it at "0". So...??? Who knows?

Thanks for you time on this. Hopefully the engineers will take a look at it and we can figure out if this would explain why some people have this problem.

Mike


< Message edited by waltersbg -- 2/11/2005 12:00:04 AM >

(in reply to CCampbell)
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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 2/18/2005 3:26:47 AM   
waltersbg

 

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Craig:

I don't imagine the engineers are putting this item at the top of their priority list.

I can't blame them. You aren't hearing from tons of people who can't play NeroVision-produced DVDs in their DVD players. Those who do have the same problem that I've identified have probably chalked it up to "bad media" or "picky player" and moved on.

On the other hand, the Apex player, while cheap, was very popular and easily available, so there's got to be more than a few out there who are seeing this issue.

Still, I understand that there are many items to be addressed and only so much time to do it.

If it helps, I did look at four randomly selected commercial DVD's tonight and verified that they all had "0" in location 0x421 of the .vob Navigation Packets. So far, NeroVision is the only thing I've seen that puts a "1" there.

I wish I was a software engineer instead of a hardware engineer. Or, at least that I had more experience programming for Windows. A simple utility that goes through NeroVision-produced .vob files and puts that one field in the Navigation Packets back to "0" would solve my problem. If I was good enough, I could even make it nice and pretty and make it freely available to anybody else who thinks this might explain some of their own issues. The reality is, though, that I'd be more likely to format somebody's hard-drive than I would be to fix their .vob files! I think I'll leave it to the software gurus who have produced so much other great DVD freeware. Now all I have to do is get one of them interested...

Thanks again for your time. If you hear anything from the engineers, even if it is just a reason why they put a "1" in that field, please let me know.

Later,
Mike

(in reply to waltersbg)
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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/25/2005 10:11:47 AM   
sully2

 

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I am a new member to this forum, but have been searching for an answer to this very question about the Apex AD-1100W freezing when I try to play my DVDs in it. Mike, you mention this happens with DVDs created with Nero, but it also happens with DVDs created with Pioneer standalone DVD recorders (DVR-520H) and my new LiteOn LVW-5045.
After reading your post, I checked all the DVD's I created that would not play, and found exactly what you described as the problem. I have copied DVD's using Nero that do not have this 0x421 bit set to "1" and they play fine in the Apex AD-1100W. This was done with both DVD-R and DVD+R media in an external DVD recorder on the USB2 bus.
So, it is not Nero changing the bit if it is copying a DVD that does not have it set. Nero does seem to create DVD's with this bit set, however.

I am anxious to hear any further developments on this issue.

Dick

(in reply to waltersbg)
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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/28/2005 1:10:10 AM   
waltersbg

 

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Sully2:

It is quite a relief to hear from someone who is not only experiencing the same problem but also verified the same apparent root cause.

It is very interesting to hear that you found the same thing on your standalone Pioneer and LiteOn DVD recorders. This leads me to believe that either a) that field in the vob is not "reserved" anymore and there is a reason that these burners/programs are setting it to "1" or b) these burners/programs that set it to "1" are copying each other and none of them realize that that field is normally a "0".

This also leads me to believe even more that Nero will not make any changes to the way this field is being set. Either the "1" really means something (it would be nice if somebody could tell me what that something is) or they've always set it to "1" and they know that some standalone recorders also set it to "1" and they know that many DVD players don't mind it being set to "1", so they'll just keep setting it to "1". It is very interesting, however, that every single commercial DVD that I own apparently has this field set to "0".

The obvious, easy, answer is to buy a new DVD player and give up on the Apex. However, I'm unwilling to do that at this point. My Apex has always played all my other DVDs fine and I don't want to buy a new one if I still have a chance of coming up with another solution.

An equally obvious solution (in my case) is to use something other than Nero for authoring my DVD's. However, I really do like the ease of use of many features in Nero and I'd like to use it for at least some of my DVD's rather than going out and buying some other $100+ authoring program.

I haven't come up with a good solution yet. One work-around that I tried was to take the .vob files produced by Nero, concatenate all the ones from a given titleset into a single file, then load that .vob into DVDAuthorGUI and re-author a DVD. I did this for each titleset and then copied the new .vob files produced by DVDAuthorGUI back into the original Nero directory structure (using the original Nero .ifo files and menu .vobs).

Although that work-around produced DVDs that would play in the Apex, it was a huge hassle and led to messed up time stamps (in the sense that the length of the title or the position in the title were mis-reported).

So, I'm left still believing that the best solution is to either get a modified version of the Apex firmware that ignores this one field in the .vob or a utility program that will go into a Nero-produced directory and modify all the .vob files to change this one field to "0". The problem is that I have absolutely no idea how to modify the Apex firmware and don't currently have the knowlege or time to do the utility to modify the .vobs. Also, modifying the .vobs wouldn't help with the DVDs that are produced on standalone recorders.

I think that we might be able to learn a little more by asking about this on the nerd-out Apex 1100-AD forum, but I have not been able to successfully register for that forum.

I'll keep you posted if I learn any more. Please do the same.

Later,
Mike

(in reply to sully2)
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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/28/2005 2:32:35 PM   
sully2

 

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Mike, I have sent messages to Apex based on this information, but the replies are useless. I am not convinced they understand the issue at all. I also posted this information on the Apex AD1100W website, and was reading some old posts on this issue. Here is an interesting portion of one of the posts:

"Ahead Nero (versions 5.9 and 6.0 - BURNING AT UDF1.02 !!!!!! NOT! NOT! NOT! UDF 1.50 OR UDF 2.0 )
I was able to burn a DVD-R that my 1100 W would play. "

My quotes. I am not sure what the UDF settings are in Nero, as I have not tried to author a DVD with Nero. Do you see this setting when you try to author with Nero, and woudl this solve your problem? Here is the link to the forum:
http://www.nerd-out.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30231

I tried my ULEAD Movie Factory authoring software, and that does produce DVD's with the bit set to "0" and playable on the Apex. I didn't let ULEAD burn the DVD, just create the video files. I then used Nero to burn them and the DVD worked fine (a DVD-R, but I am sure the DVD+R would also work). I only did this to confirm Nero itself is not changing the bit to a "1".

Sully2

(in reply to waltersbg)
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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/28/2005 4:32:54 PM   
waltersbg

 

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Sully2:

I finally managed to register for the nerd-out forums and posted a message with a link to this thread last night. I hadn't noticed that you had already done this. My post went to the AD-1110W/1010W/1020 forum. The only reply I've gotten so far was the always useful, "If NeroVision Express doesn't work, then don't use it". In reality, it would be cheaper to buy a new DVD player than it would to buy a different authoring program! It'll be interesting if your messages (or mine) result in any new information.

I don't think the thing you found about the UDF type applies to this problem. The problem (for me) lies in the authoring of the DVD (the creation of the .vob files) rather than the burning of the DVD. The UDF type relates to the burning step, I think. The burning hasn't been a problem for me. If I copy or author a disk with location 0x421 set to "0", the burns with Nero Express work fine in my Apex.

I've still got some motivation left to try to figure this out, but I must admit that the idea of just getting a different DVD player or authoring program is becoming more and more attractive. It seems like the real fix lies with the Apex firmware, since that would allow the DVDs burnt with your standalone burners to work too. Fixing the .vob files would only work for DVD produced on a PC. I wonder if there are any Apex firmware gurus stilll around who would like to take on this challenge?

Later,
Mike

(in reply to sully2)
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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/29/2005 1:05:28 PM   
stevec5000

 

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I'm not sure what Navigation Packet are or how you view them but if I look at the .VOB file with HexEdit can I see that mysterious bit you guys are talking about?

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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/29/2005 3:23:50 PM   
CCampbell


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Hi Waltersbg,

Our engineers have looked into this, and we find that our softwar is properly implementing the December 2000 DVD-Video Specifications: Part 3, that define this aspect. I can not go into any details becuase of an NDA we have, but we do find that 3 of the Apex DVD Players we have in house work without problems with content created with our software. Though I too have one that does not.

And sorry, but that is all I can really say about it.

Regards

Craig

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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/29/2005 5:04:48 PM   
stevec5000

 

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Oh, top secret bits! Maybe they are used to send secret messages to UFO's?

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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/29/2005 9:04:22 PM   
stevec5000

 

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When I looked at some discs recorded on my Apex 9000 the bit in loc 421 of the navigation packet is set to a 1 but they play OK on the AD-1100. Ones recorded on the PC have the bit set to 0 but it don't matter since they all play on the 1100 anyway. You guys with problems must have a weird version of the 1100 BIOS. Looks like it's time to upgrade the player.

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RE: NeroVision Express vob creation bug? - 3/29/2005 9:13:50 PM   
waltersbg

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: stevec5000

I'm not sure what Navigation Packet are or how you view them but if I look at the .VOB file with HexEdit can I see that mysterious bit you guys are talking about?


Based on your later post, it appears that you figured out how to look at this location. For anybody else who was curious, here is my procedure:

By far the easiest way is to use VobEdit. This is a small freeware program that doesn't even need to be installed. You can just unzip the executable and run it. You can get it at:

http://www.videohelp.com/download/Vobedit06.zip

Run VobEdit and use the "Open" in the lower left-hand corner to load one of the .vob files from your (decrypted) DVD. For instance, VTS_01_1.VOB.

When the .vob file loads, the first line in the left-hand pane on the screen will be "000000 [Navigation Pack]". Click on that once to get the contents of that part of the .vob to show up in the right-hand pane.

In the right hand pane, scroll down until you get to byte [421]. You will see that this byte has an "LBA Contents Data" name of "reserved" and that it is equal to either "0" or "1". What we have found is that .vobs with this field set to "0" will play fine in our Apex-AD1100W's. If the field is set to "1", they do not play.


...........


Now, for the most curious thing of all, Steve has found that the DVD's he produced with his Apex DVD recorder have this field set to "1", but they play in his Apex AD-1100W. Hmmmmm!!!

Yes, Steve, I think I must have a weird version of the Apex firmware. I loaded the modified firmware into my Apex shortly after buying it (so that I could kill the "copy protection" that kept me from passing the output of my DVD player through my VCR, which was the only easy way to get it to the TV in my setup). I figured that this same firmware is being used by a lot of people, so I wouldn't expect it to be unique to me.

But, you certainly have created more of a mystery. I do know that I can get my DVD's to play on my Apex just by modifying that one field to a "0", but you have proven that having it set to "1" is not, in itself, a problem.

Thanks,
Mike

(in reply to stevec5000)
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