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DVD playback

DVD playback

DVD playback

I believe that I need an external DVD drive to use with an Acer laptop to solve this problem:

Playing DVDs using the internal drive in a lecture situation where the DVD is paused for long periods causes a very poor playing performance when taken out of pause again. The DVD stutters and stops and starts before resuming a smooth playback. WinDVD is the programme
used on the laptop together with a video projector.

Am I correct in thinking that an external drive would help this situation and what attributes in the external drive should I be looking for? Would an external drive in a Firewire or USB2 enclosure help?
The laptop uses Win XP SP2. I have tried all power settings in the control panel to alleviate this problem with the internal drive but to no avail. The disc always stops spinning after about 10 seconds of inactivity. If play is resumed before 10 seconds then playback is smooth.

One solution might have been to use a standalone DVD player but this will not work as I need to use the bookmarking abilities of WinDVD to conduct the lecture. Using a virtual disc is not an option either as there is no time to clone a DVD to the hard disc.

Any help gratefully recieved.

RE: DVD playback

It may or may not be the internal DVD-ROM drive.  You can try an external one if there's one you can borrow, but I'm not sure I'd run out and buy one just yet.

1.  Try different DVD-playing software such as PowerDVD (Windows Media Player does not count, since it's just using the installed DVD codec).

2.  Change the power profile in Windows to "Presentation" making sure the hard drive is not set to turn off.

3.  Turn off CPU throttling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_frequency_scaling)

        To do that, type  powercfg /x /processor-throttle-ac none  at a command prompt


"Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Einstein
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RE: DVD playback

rclarke250 - Many thanks for the Nero Drive Speed idea; This would seem to be the ideal solution - trouble is it just does not work! Have tried it on both a laptop then a desktop although speed settings can be set in the combo boxes the spin down can never be set from the available list. Do you have any experience of this programme? The manual does not help.
cdogg - WinDVD seems the only programme that works properly insofar as bookmarking is concerned so will have to stick with that. Presentation mode is already adjusted to not stop drive as you suggest. I will look into CPU throttling - thanks. If i do buy an external rom drive might there be any advantage in specifying a model with more internal memory over a model with less?  

RE: DVD playback

  No, i have never used it, just seen mention of it in other forums, also it is very old, and I don't think it is supported anymore, and so the list of drives it works on is getting fewer. But it was the utility that was popping up the most with a Google search.

RE: DVD playback

Most have at least a 2MB buffer, which I believe is standard.  Other models have 4MB or 8MB which is even better.  So if you do buy an external one, be sure to grab one with the larger buffer.

Still, I'm not yet convinced that the DVD-ROM drive is the issue.  Everything works fine if you play the entire DVD without pausing, right?  Also if you only pause for a few seconds, does it continue to play OK?

Definitely try disabling CPU throttling.  Laptop CPUs are designed to conserve power by throttling down when the system is idle or under a light work load.  While the movie is paused, perhaps that is exactly what your laptop is doing causing it to lose it's synchronization with the DVD-ROM drive as you fire it back up.  That shouldn't happen, but it's possible.  

Also just want to let you know that the command I posted for you above will only make a difference when your laptop is plugged into AC power.  When it's running from battery, CPU throttling will still occur to save battery life.  So keep it plugged in during your presentation!

"Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Einstein
    For posting policies, click here.

RE: DVD playback

I will say I don't seem to have this issue using nero 8 with nero showtime as the player. I paused for 5 minutes, and them went back and resumed play and it was smooth, but this is on a desktop running windows 7 64 bit. This application does have bookmark function, and I waited till long after the drive stopped spinning. So it may be the software that is causing the glitch, is there a newer version of it?

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