Play Unfinalized DVD on Computer? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-10-2008, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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My apologies if this has been answered before, but is there a software player that plays unfinalized DVDs from a DVD recorder?

It's a DVD-RW, if that makes any difference. I know ISOBuster can be used to retrieve them, but what about just plain old playing them on your computer?
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-11-2008, 12:59 AM
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-RWs don't have to be finalized to play on a DVD player, so I would assume they would usually play on a computer.
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-11-2008, 02:22 AM - Thread Starter
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It shows up blank when I insert it into my computer.
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-11-2008, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

-RWs don't have to be finalized to play on a DVD player, so I would assume they would usually play on a computer.


I think you are thinking of +RW's (recorded in +VR mode). -RW's in Video mode DO need to be finalized before they can play in a DVD player (just like write once DVD+R/-R media). The exception being DVD recorders which can play back pre-finalized video mode disks created on the recorder. VR mode (vs. Video mode) -RW discs may or may not need to be finalized for playback compatibility on hardware players that support VR mode playback.

To answer the OP's question, I am not aware of a software player application (PC) that can play back a non-finalized disk. Your best bet is to recover using isobuster as you mentioned, reformat and re-use the RW disk. BTW a little more info might be helpful. For example, describing how the disc was initially recorded/burned (real-time vs. high speed dub), the recorder model, and whether the disc was recrded in Video mode vs. VR mode, etc... Those facts may change the ultimate answer. Good luck.

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post #5 of 25 Old 04-11-2008, 03:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Disc was recorded real-time (scheduled TV recording) on a Toshiba RD-XS35 in Video mode. BTW, this model does not do DVD+R(W).
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vferrari View Post

I think you are thinking of +RW's (recorded in +VR mode). -RW's in Video mode DO need to be finalized before they can play in a DVD player (just like write once DVD+R/-R media). The exception being DVD recorders which can play back pre-finalized video mode disks created on the recorder. VR mode (vs. Video mode) -RW discs may or may not need to be finalized for playback compatibility on hardware players that support VR mode playback.

I've never owned a +RW disc, and my Pio 640 does not record in +VR mode. I was referring to -RW VR mode discs, which, much to my surprise, have played on everything I have tried to play them on, without finalizing. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought they didn't have to be finalized. In fact, I think I recall trying to finalize one on my 640, as an experiment, and the menu not allowing it. I'll have to try that again.
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 06:09 AM
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You sound like you're describing a +RW disc to a tee. I always need to finalize my -RW's to allow them to play on anything other than my Panny DVDR's. They act just like -R's in that respect with the exception that -RW's can be reformatted to use again.
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post #8 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

I've never owned a +RW disc, and my Pio 640 does not record in +VR mode. I was referring to -RW VR mode discs, which, much to my surprise, have played on everything I have tried to play them on, without finalizing. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought they didn't have to be finalized. In fact, I think I recall trying to finalize one on my 640, as an experiment, and the menu not allowing it. I'll have to try that again.

True -RW VR mode discs can be played back without finalization (similar to DVD-RAM in VR mode) but I have found that VR mode on -RW sometimes requires a "psuedo" finalization (using my JVC MX1 recorder) so that it has greater playback compatibility with VR mode playback capable decks and recorders. Older Panny recorders (2005 models and older, e.g,. E80, E100, E95) will not play VR mode -RWs I create using my Intervideo/Corel DVD Copy program without the "psuedo finazliation" step to make them appear to be write protected DVD-RAMs (as inidicated on the recorder's front panel display). Panny players and recorders manufactured since 2006 (e.g., EH50, EH55, EH75, Panny portable DVD players) WILL play non-psuedo-finalized VR mode discs and correctly identify them as DVD-RW in VR mode (play only). Note that while Panny can play back VR mode -RW discs, Panny recorders cannot record to -RW in VR mode (stupid move) but can record to -RW in Video mode.

You should indicate what decks you have been able to play them back on (besides the 640, of course) because VR mode playback compatibility is not all that common.

Hope that clarifies things but I fear I may just be adding confusion...

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post #9 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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So recording to a DVD-RW in VR mode rather than Video mode would make it playable on a computer?
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 04:23 PM
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-RW in video mode should be playable on a computer provided you finalize it.

I dub DVD-RAM's to -RW in VR mode so, yeah, they are playable on the computer that I created them on. The reason I dub to -RW, BTW, is because my Panny recorders do not record to -RW in VR mode and I need to do this so that I can free up my DVD-RAMs for re-use. I like to archive selected recordings in VR mode because VR mode provides many advantages (like chase play, detailed metadata storage, high speed dubbing back to HDD, etc.), so I archive them to -RW which are relatively cheap compared to DVD-RAM media at about $0.50 - $0.75/disk.

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post #11 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vferrari View Post

I dub DVD-RAM's to -RW in VR mode . . . I like to archive selected recordings in VR mode because VR mode provides many advantages (like chase play, detailed metadata storage, high speed dubbing back to HDD, etc.), so I archive them to -RW which are relatively cheap compared to DVD-RAM media.

Vic, have you ever tried burning a -VR RAM image to a -R instead of a -RW?

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post #12 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 06:38 PM
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Haven't tried it in awhile, but I as I recall, my Panny's will not recognize a VR on a -R (in fact it specifically states in the EH75V manual that the unit will not play DVD-R recorded in VR mode). Refresh me on what process/sw you use to create the image and burn to the DVD-R. Thx. (The software I use now to do on-the-fly DVD-RAM to DVD-RW VR mode copies does not allow VR mode copies to DVD-R media). If it's not playable on my Panny recorders, though, its not going to work for me, but I'm still interested in your process.

Also, wrt to my last post for the OP - not sure what operating system you are using, but if it doesn't have native UDF 2.0 support then it may not recognize a VR mode disc (be it DVD-RAM or DVD-RW). Kelson, you can probably shed more light on this aspect.

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post #13 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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How about an unfinalized recording to a DVD-RW in VR mode rather than Video mode? Would that play on a computer? Using XP.
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-12-2008, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vferrari View Post

You should indicate what decks you have been able to play them back on (besides the 640, of course) because VR mode playback compatibility is not all that common.

I have played back scads of unfinalized -RW VR mode discs on my Sony 995CSX 400 disc changer, and some on my 2 year old $40 Tosh player. I can't recall if I have tried my ~8 year old Philips 5 disc changer, a 505, IIRC. That would be the challenge I guess...
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-13-2008, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

I have played back scads of unfinalized -RW VR mode discs on my Sony 995CSX 400 disc changer, and some on my 2 year old $40 Tosh player. I can't recall if I have tried my ~8 year old Philips 5 disc changer, a 505, IIRC. That would be the challenge I guess...

Yeah, it seems that DVD Player/Recorder manufacturers (and PC Optical drive manufacturers) started to more widely support VR mode and DVD-RAM compatibility starting around 2006 which coincides with my observation that even the Panny DVD recorders didn't start correctly recognizing DVD-RW VR mode discs until the 2006 generation decks. I'm surprised by the Sony VR mode playback support, frankly - but that's good news. Toshiba doesn't surprise me because they have provided DVD-RAM/-VR VR mode recording compatibility for years. Even Pioneer jumped on the DVD-RAM bandwagon with the 640 (another 2006 vintage recorder) and had wide -RW VR mode support before that in its DVD recorder line.

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post #16 of 25 Old 04-13-2008, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vferrari View Post

Haven't tried it in awhile, but I as I recall, my Panny's will not recognize a VR on a -R (in fact it specifically states in the EH75V manual that the unit will not play DVD-R recorded in VR mode). Refresh me on what process/sw you use to create the image and burn to the DVD-R. Thx. (The software I use now to do on-the-fly DVD-RAM to DVD-RW VR mode copies does not allow VR mode copies to DVD-R media). If it's not playable on my Panny recorders, though, its not going to work for me, but I'm still interested in your process.

I typically don't do this, I leave them on RAMs. I was just curious if you had instead of using -RW's. So I did run an experiment. I had a RAM with 2 episodes on it. I used DVD-Decrypter to rip an image .ISO and then used Decrypter to burn the image to a -R. The resulting disk played fine in my PC using NeroVision and it played fine in my Sony player that is rated to play -VR modes disks (the Sony identified the disk as DVD-RW). There is no title menu with the Sony and you have to use the chapter forward button to get to the second episode. I wonder how it would play on my Panasonic player that plays RAM's and -VR disks. That player has buttons on the remote that brings up a title menu like on the DVDR. My daughter has that player at school for the time being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vferrari View Post

Also, wrt to my last post for the OP - not sure what operating system you are using, but if it doesn't have native UDF 2.0 support then it may not recognize a VR mode disc (be it DVD-RAM or DVD-RW). Kelson, you can probably shed more light on this aspect.

Windows XP SP-2 is the first MS-OS that has native read support for UDF 2. I don't know about Vista but I would assume so.

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post #17 of 25 Old 04-13-2008, 11:08 AM
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I'll try the decrypter experiment with Panny dvd recorders sometime this week and report back.

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post #18 of 25 Old 04-13-2008, 06:54 PM
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I forgot to say in my previous post that the E-85 would not recognize the DVD-R with the -VR image on it. It read the disk for a short while then displayed "unsupported" on the display.

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post #19 of 25 Old 04-14-2008, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I forgot to say in my previous post that the E-85 would not recognize the DVD-R with the -VR image on it. It read the disk for a short while then displayed "unsupported" on the display.

That's what I vaguely recall from past experience and is supported by Panny documentation. If that is the case, DVD-R VR won't work for my setup. Thx.

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post #20 of 25 Old 04-14-2008, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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The reason I asked is that my home theater projector, an InFocus X1 which developed that dreaded but common color wheel buzz, was RMAed back to the InFocus service center in Louisville, KY, and knowing the celerity with which they typically function, I expect it could be a good long time before I receive a replacement, so my setup currently has no video and I was looking for a way to automatically burn discs of shows my Toshiba RD-XS35 records even though I don't have any way of seeing any of the functions so I can finalize the discs before ejecting them and playing them on another machine elsewhere in the house.

This was easy enough in the days of VCRs; you just had to eject the tape and play it in any other machine, but with DVD recorders that don't auto-finalize, I'm operating blind and can't operate the finalizing functions.
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post #21 of 25 Old 04-14-2008, 09:35 PM
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Is there any way you can get your hands on a cheap lcd or crt display to hook into the line outputs of your toshiba. I'm thinking something like a cheap small 5" lcd monitor or tv that has video inputs (stand alone mini tv or LCD add on screen for an in-car DVD display system) . You could pick up one of these things for around $20 to $40 bucks or perhaps even less if you don't have somthing like that laying around the house. Even a portable DVD player with built in screen and video inputs would work. You are really taking a huge risk trying to work with unfinalized video mode discs and these types of discs can't be finalized on another deck. You could try VR mode to see if it shows up on your computer - but I really think you'd be better off just getting a small, cheap monitor to view the menus/video out on your toshiba.

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post #22 of 25 Old 04-14-2008, 10:39 PM
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I have an old 20" Philips portable CRT that I use when my main TV is down. I have a complicated system, with an AVR, and LOTS of components plugged into it. One is an SVHS VCR. I run the RF out from the VCR to the old Philips TV, which only has coax in. Then I select what ever component I want on the AVR, and the line input on the VCR. That way, I can view any menu on any piece of equipment, program recordings on both the DVDR and the DVR, burn discs, etc. Everyone should have some cheapo spare screen, so when your good display goes out, you can manage until it is repaired.
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post #23 of 25 Old 04-15-2008, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post


This was easy enough in the days of VCRs; you just had to eject the tape and play it in any other machine, but with DVD recorders that don't auto-finalize, I'm operating blind and can't operate the finalizing functions.

Actually Panny's from '06 and on have a feature when you eject a disc that hasn't been finalized it prompts you with a OSD as well as on the unit's display if you want to finalize it. If you want to all you have to do is push REC. This would work nice in your case but for me it's just one more step to ejecting my unfinalized disc. If I want to finalize a disc I just go into the menu and do other things before finalizing the disc, but again in your case it would be nice.
Another option for you would be to use +RW discs, they don't need to be finalized and play in most any player, or Vics idea is good too. I have a little $20 B&W TV with a video input that would work nice, soon to be a slight boat anchor since it only has a analog tuner and I won't be hooking a CECB to it.
I think well be seeing a lot of small battery operated TV's in garage sales for cheap after '09. Especially the ones that lack a video input.
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post #24 of 25 Old 04-15-2008, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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The Panny I was test driving from work had to be returned to my place of employment, but it was an EH50, which I believe was a 2005 model and therefore didn't have that handy feature.

My Toshiba RD-XS35 doesn't do DVD+R(W), only DVD-R(W) and DVD-RAM.

I'll look into getting a little monitor with a video input. That's a good idea.
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post #25 of 25 Old 03-25-2010, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

How about an unfinalized recording to a DVD-RW in VR mode rather than Video mode? Would that play on a computer? Using XP.

OK, it's now March 2010, but for the benefit of anyone finding this discussion via a Google search the way I did, I'll answer the question:

Yes, it does!

Details: I have a JVC DR-MV150 which is a VCR/DVD recorder with a digital tuner and an HDMI output. I've been recording TV shows on DVD-RW's and playing them back on that machine, but sometimes I'd rather play them on my HP Pavilion laptop with Windows XP instead. Initially, sometimes it'd work, sometimes it wouldn't. When it didn't work, the laptop not only wouldn't recognize there was anything on the DVD-RW, it wouldn't even recognize it was a DVD! It'd tell me there was a blank CD in the tray and ask me if I wanted to format it!

The above discussion compelled me to try re-initializing the DVD-RW's in VR mode. I tried that and then they played just fine in the laptop! When I checked the DVD-RW's on hand, I found that a couple of them were already initialized in VR mode, which is the reason it sometimes played before. I have no idea how they ever got into VR mode, since this player automatically initializes new DVD-RW's in Video mode when first loaded -- you have to manually re-initialize, and I never did that. It's a mystery.

I will add one other observation: I've been recording these DVD-RW's in LP mode, which gives four hours per disc. On my 50" Samsung plasma HDTV, I can't really tell the difference from SP (2 hour mode), they both look pretty good to me! But on the laptop, the picture is considerably worse. It looks kinda like a JPEG with too much compression, all blotchy and frayed around the edges. I haven't tried the SP mode, so perhaps it's just the LP mode that's the problem, but I don't understand how the HDTV wouldn't have a problem with it while the laptop does.
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