Note - 2nd attempt to post this... posted same earlier, don't see it anywhere.
Newbie.. not sure I should even be here. Here goes -
I have dozens of movies on my Mac computer; .avi, .mp4, .mkv mostly, and they play just fine using the free VLC program on my computer. I can burn any of them as such to a DVD, but NONE of them is recognizable by my DVD player, an older Philips DVP642/37.
Using Toast to convert any of them to a format compatible with this Philips player takes hours per file - pretty tedious, and the resulting TV display is many times jumbled and generally unwatchable anyway; after all that time spent converting, I still never know how it will turn out.
Whatever you call this TV-compatible format seems to have two component files - VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS, whatever the heck they are. I'm no guru and shouldn't have to care about such things.
I'm confused as to whether I need some other kind of 'converter' program and am required to convert every movie one at a time (and cross my fingers that it is going to actually work), or is the problem just that I have a dated DVD player?
If a converter program is required, which??? and if a more capable DVD player is required, also, which??? I'd buy a new DVD player in a heartbeat if I knew that was the problem.
Looking for the simple, most logical (and least costly) solution. Any advice at this point gratefully accepted! Thanks.
btw, Can I be the only dummy in the known cosmos with this problem?
Yes. With more recent gear you could play your files as they are without converting.
Blu-ray players are more capable in this regard than DVD players, but still vary in their capabilities, so it is best to check the manufacturers specs or owners forums.
If your interest is mainly media files rather than discs, you might look at the media player appliances as discussed here: http://www.avsforum.com/f/39/networking-media-servers-amp-content-streamers
Thank you... I sort of suspected as much, and frankly, as a dummy I'd rather just go ahead and purchase a new whiz-bang DVD device rather than get involved in any more of this utterly confusing and pointless conversion nonsense. This 'new device' option with its multi-format capability seems to cut to the chase and appears best to me right now.
However, that imminent purchase again requires a depth of knowledge I totally lack. How I long for the old days when you just purchased media (records, cassettes, VHS), plopped them in and they just plain no-hassle worked. The 'digital revolution' has turned almost every entertainment venue for the general public into a trip-wire infested mine field of competing specs and clunky equipment interfaces (plus the inevitable and unintelligible jargon that comes with it) and forced the average non-tech buyer (like me) to come to guru-land forums such as this one. And the wiring... don't get me started about all those weird wires.
I AM appreciative of your help but I guess my fate is to have to wade through a blizzard of arcane device specifications, none of which I understand, and again cross my fingers that once I shell out for it and get it all hooked up, the thing will 'just plain no-hassle' work... just like the old days!
Again, anyone with a recommendation for a newer 'plug-and-go' DVD unit, feel free to respond regardless of its cost (well... almost). I might as well go with a very capable (but simple to use) device because I'm only going to do this once.
For a new player, browse the last few pages of this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/959985/official-help-me-choose-a-player-thread-cant-decide-start-here. If you can't find what you want, post there with your requirements. Be specific: list the file types you need. And: will they be on optical disc, or on a local USB device, or on your local network?
I have an Emerson 32" LC320EM8A Digital / Analog LCD TV that I purchased from Walmart in June, 2007 for $501.00 plus tax.
It has an HDMI-IN jack (whatever that is); an S-VIDEO input jack (whatever that is); and various RCA-jack component and audio jacks. It seems to be a run-of-the-mill TV, normal state-of-the-art for its time. My Philips DVP642/37 DVD player is hooked up to it and works fine when I can find the stray disc that the player will condescend to recognize.
I took a look at the links and forum pages you mentioned (thank you), plus took a look at some of these devices on Amazon. Suspicions confirmed... talk about jargon... I don't understand a word of it; these references are simply overwhelming. Plus, typically, Joe says the WhizBang model XYZ789 does everything and slices bread, while Jim says it is a piece of junk.
Amazon specs also assume the average buyer has a PhD in electronic engineering, either specifying nothing and assuming you 'just know', or tantalizingly specifying some supported formats while cryptically not mentioning others that you need. My former purchasing experience is that if a function is not formally specified as a selling point in the ad, then the device lacks that capability, so it's a buyer beware scenario... and prices vary all over the place.
As I said, the discs I have contain .avi (mostly), plus a few .mkv and .mp4 formatted movies. Although probably desirable some day, I don't NEED bells and whistles right now. I don't NEED to record from the TV, stream wirelessly, play MP3 CDs, view 3-D (or 30-D), plug in USB devices, camcorders, whatever, yada, yada. I don't possess a single Blu-Ray, double, quadra, octo, hexadecimal or whatever is next capacity disc - I just wanna play my old movies.
My basic plan would be -
1. Purchase 'appropriate' DVD player, WHATEVER that is
2. Replace existing player with it
3. Wire it up
4. Plug it in
5. Turn it on
6. Open tray
7. Place disc on tray
8. Close tray
9. Hit "Play"
... AND IT PLAYS! my movie while I eat popcorn on the sofa. So simple, so hard. The following day, I yard sale my old unit.
But, noooooooooooo... I feel I'm awash in even more detail than ever before - maybe pick up something newer for five bucks at a garage sale and test it out and cross my fingers that something positive will happen. Sounds way simpler than struggling through a rapidly increasing, constantly more confusing ocean of unintelligible acronyms that apparently everyone else on the face of this planet except me is familiar with.
But hey, I do thank you a lot for trying to help me. Have a great weekend.
I've offered my advice, and am done.
From the support page for your player, in addition to the notice that there are no firmware updates available:
"Note that dual-layer DVD is not supported. Check the back of the DVD disc cover for phrases like ”Dual-layer format” or “DVD-9”. If there is, the DVD is a dual-layer DVD and is not supported."
Which makes your current player pretty much useless.
Buy a cheap Blu-Ray player and you'll be in good shape for years.
It's not hard. Don't get too bogged down in the details.
If you're really unsure, buy it from a store with a decent return policy. You're not likely to have any problems.
Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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I had previously checked the Philips site for my player and knew before I contacted this Forum that it can't be upgraded.
I also checked the links and recommended Forum thread; as well as the Amazon and Best Buy sites. All taken together they constitute a formidable amount of new information and I have found myself unequal to the decipherment task.
I feel I have 'made an effort' and apologize for causing any angst. I call it describing, not complaining!
I was hoping to redeem a couple of P.C. Richard gift cards my son gave me last Christmas, but since they are New York based and I live in Florida, I wanted to be able to zero in on a specific model before arranging shipping.
I like the suggestion to purchase locally (because of the return policy potential), and although that leaves my gift cards hanging, I'll give it a try. Thanks for the idea.
Thank you all for your information, ideas, recommendations... and patience.