Dr D's suggestion rang a bell, I could swear I had read something about this trick previously here on AVS. Sure enough, I found the link lodged in my archived bookmarks from several years ago re the old Pioneer 531-533-633 recorders:
Today I tried "fixing" one of my Pioneer 550 dvds by following the instructions laid out by VideoRoy
in that ancient thread, and it worked perfectly! The Pioneer menu on the dvd now auto-loads in any hardware or software player and the disc is recognized and plays under Windows 7 as a normal dvd. So a big THANKS to Dr D
for reminding us: I totally forgot that old thread because at the time I was using Windows XP, which had no issues opening and playing dvds with "manually invoked" menus.
Just in case that old thread disappears, I'm reposting a condensed version of VideoRoy's instructions here for the benefit of members who may still be interested in the topic. This pgcEdit technique will add an "autorun the menu" command to any dvds finalized on any Pioneer dvd recorder. You cannot modify the original finalized dvd: it will always have a manual menu. This technique updates a copy
of the dvd on your PC hard drive, which can then be used in a media player, or you can burn another dvd if you want one with auto-run-menu:
1) Download the pgcEdit tool.
2) Copy the VIDEO_TS folder to your PC hard drive from your original Pioneer-finalized DVD-R, DVD+R, or DVD-RW.
3) Start pgcEdit and File ->Open DVD and browse to the VIDEO_TS folder. Do not go into the folder just stay at the top level.
4) Once you open the DVD folder you will get this message:Warning: No First-Play PGC in your VMG!
A new, blank First-Play PGC will be created.
Just click OK: this is the crux of the "manual menu" issue.
5) Your Menu structure is now loaded. In the left panel click on the top line that reads VMG, First-Play PGC.
6) Now in right panel double click on the line that says (JumpTT) Jump to Title 1
7) This brings up the Command Edit screen.
8) Click on Alphabetically menu at the top of the Command Edit dialog and select JumpSS-VMGM-menu
from the left column.
9) Click OK and now it should say (JumpSS) Jump to VMGM Title Menu
10) File ->Save DVD
11) Open the now-updated VIDEO_TS folder and delete the Backup pgcEdit folder
. For reasons known only to the developer, pgcEdit defaults to storing its temp files in the very VIDEO_TS folder you are modifying. So you must remember to delete these files prior to burning the new DVD or archiving the modified VIDEO_TS folder to your media player's hdd.
12) The newly-updated VIDEO-TS folder will open normally in any software player. If the new VIDEO_TS folder is used to burn a new dvd, the new dvd will be recognized as auto-play.Note 1:
the instructions above will "reprogram" the ripped Pioneer dvd (or VIDEO_TS folder) to automatically open its title menu screen when loaded into a player.
You could follow the simplified instructions posted by Dr D (open the VIDEO_TS in PgcEdit, OK the warning, and hit Save), however this results in a dvd (or VIDEO_TS folder) that automatically starts playing the video upon loading, bypassing the menu altogether. This is usually OK for dvds with just one title, such as a movie, but may not be desirable for dvds with multiple TV episodes or music clips, where you would normally want to choose a particular video.Note 2:
I tried using this PgcEdit trick to modify my manual-menu dvds that were created on older JVC recorders like DRM-100 and DR-MV5, but it did not work. PgcEdit freaks out, with multiple complaints of "unreferenced VTS files" and a recommendation to repair the dvd structure using ifoEdit. It appears old JVC recorders used yet another burning scheme that was compatible with hardware players but baffles software running under Windows 7.
This whole business of Windows 7 causing media software to be extremely persnickety about dvd structure is inexplicably annoying. The same dvds play back with no issues under Windows XP or any version of Mac OS. I have no idea what to do with all my "non-standard" JVC dvds: it looks to be an immense amount of work to normalize their file structures. Thankfully I only have a few hundred of those compared to a couple thousand Pioneer dvds.
No wonder the mass market absolutely hated dvd recorders: what a mess.