Old 28-02-2010   #1
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Problems playing some Redbox rentals on my PC

Hey guys. I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this question so if it's not, please move it or whatever you have to do.

I recently rented 3 movies from Redbox and none of them will play on my desktop PC. This was the first time I have ever used a Redbox kiosk and found it very easy to use, except when I went to play one of them on my desktop. The titles are G.I. Joe - Rise of the Cobra, Valkyrie, and Terminator Salvation. The movies will play fine in our standalone player (Phillips 5990) and they will play on another desktop with almost identical hardware and OS. The only difference I can tell is that I have DVDfab5 installed on the PC that has the playback issues. What happens during the playback is the audio is fine but there is no video or there is random video flickering on a black screen. Is this a copy protection trait on only Redbox discs or...? I can play other retail DVD's I own on my desktop no problem. This is the first time I have run into this before.

Below are the specs to my PC ( I know the hardware is old but I will be upgrading to a completely new system in the near future)

Windows Xp home SP3, fully updated
MSI Neo2 P Platinum 6728 v2
P4 3.2 GHz - stock clocks
2GB DDR ram (PC3200) - run in dual channel mode, stocks clocks
Sony Optiarc AD-7140s DVD burner
Lite-ON LTR 16102c CD burner
ATI all in wonder X800XT AGP graphics card
Cooler Master 500watt PSU

I honestly don't think it's the hardware at fault because I tried playing the movies on an ancient setup as a test and they played fine. (Windows98SE with k-lite codec pack and media player classic). That system didn't have DVDfab on it either.

I find all of this strange. I do archive my personally owned discs and only use the rental discs to test drive the movie to see if I want to buy it. It just bummed me out when I went to play one of them and it wouldn't play.

Hopefully someone can help.
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Old 28-02-2010   #2
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Re: Problems playing some Redbox rentals on my PC

What software are you using for playback? Try VLC since it is self contained and doesn't rely on outside codecs.

www.videolan.org
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Old 28-02-2010   #3
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I use Windows Media Player 11 with the CCCP codec pack. That setup has been working fine the whole time and I've never had a problem until now.That's why I was suspecting the dvd had an .exe to sniff out DVD ripping apps and refuse to load up or play right if it found some. I was thinking that there was a way around this since this is just another form of copy protection. I will try the VLC app you mentioned to see if it goes away.


Edit: Ok I downloaded VLC player and tried to play the Terminator disc. All I could get it to do was play the audio chopped up in a rythmic pattern. Also the only video I could get to play was the orange cone logo from VLC player and it would stay in the middle of the window with no other video. Maybe I'm doing something wrong since I've never used this player before. I had to hunt around to get the video window to open up. When I first pointed the app to the DVD drive and TS folder it only would play the chopped up audio with no video window open.

Last edited by DOS_equis; 28-02-2010 at 23:32.
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Old 01-03-2010   #4
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Re: Problems playing some Redbox rentals on my PC

Put your dvd in the drive. Start VLC media player. Within VLC click on Media, then Open Disc. Browse to where your dvd drive is, (this opens a small window) then hit ok. Now hit play in the original window you opened. The movie should play.

There is a button at the bottom of VLC where you can select the main menu at this point.

You can also start the dvd by going to My Computer, right click on the icon of the drive that has the dvd in it and you should see an option to Play with VLC. Click that line.

If VLC can't play it, then you have something truly screwed up in your system. It isn't on the dvd.
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Old 01-03-2010   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerry56 View Post
Put your dvd in the drive. Start VLC media player. Within VLC click on Media, then Open Disc. Browse to where your dvd drive is, (this opens a small window) then hit ok. Now hit play in the original window you opened. The movie should play.

There is a button at the bottom of VLC where you can select the main menu at this point.

You can also start the dvd by going to My Computer, right click on the icon of the drive that has the dvd in it and you should see an option to Play with VLC. Click that line.

If VLC can't play it, then you have something truly screwed up in your system. It isn't on the dvd.

Yep that seemed to work. It was operator error on the not being able to use VLC.

I wonder what codec they're using now where Windows Media player 11 can't play them? Is there a way to find out what is going on? It still doesn't explain why I could use the discs in my son's PC (which is a near identical build hardware wise) and I couldn't use them in mine. Must have something to do with DVDFab being on my PC and not his.

Like I said I never had problems before using WMP11 and the CCCP codec pack. I don't really like having a whole bunch of different players or apps that do the same thing. I try to stick to using one for everything but I guess I will have to use WMP11 for most of them and use VLC for the stubborn ones. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 01-03-2010   #6
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Re: Problems playing some Redbox rentals on my PC

DVD's always use mpeg2 video codec and any dvds that are for the US market will have either LPCM or AC3 audio. (LPCM audio is rarely used because of its sheer size). So the codecs have not changed in these dvds.

You are using Windows XP. That operating system does not come with a built-in mpeg2 decoder, so you are relying on a third party decoder somewhere. It might be in your CCCP codec pack, or in some other software that you have installed in the past (like PowerDVD or WinDVD). It has nothing to do with DVDFab I don't believe.

You might be able to solve the problem by going to a restore point sometime before you experienced these playback problems. You might also try uninstalling CCCP and WMP 11, then reinstalling.
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