Video Production Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I produced a DVD a couple months ago and found out that people in the States had trouble viewing it.

I am not totally sure what the problem is (could be PAL vs NTSC - I thought every modern US player would play both as is the norm in Europe and elsewhere).

What needs to be done to ensure that a DVD will play uniformly well on all players?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can't make a DVD that plays on all players.

Unfortunately for your distribution, @Flimzy was correct with his explanation of most compatibility problems, and only left out the PAL/NTSC issue, which simply put, means that even if you don't have region encodings, or if you get them correct, then many (if not most) DVD players won't play the opposite type.

The best you may be able to do, is focus on media types. Replicated (pressed) DVDs (not burned) are going to play back on the most devices without trouble. After replicated disks, in a distant second place for compatibility, comes re-writable disks. Least likely to play are single-write disks. But, when you use writable and rewritable media, your disk is either more or less likely to play on any single DVD player, depending on the make and model.

share|improve this answer
My DVDs have been pressed. So I guess the issue is PAL/NTSC. I have to say I am quite amazed to see this is still an issue after all these years. – Sylverdrag Jul 12 '11 at 16:50
Well, the technology exists to play both formats, but the vast majority of DVD players have been around for years. So, even when the manufacturers decide to make multi-format players (which the industry doesn't actually want them to do), most people would be forced to upgrade in order to see the benefit of this technological progress. – Clint Torres Jul 12 '11 at 17:38
when you say "single-write discs," are you referring to the media itself and not the "disc-at-once" burn method? – horatio Jul 15 '11 at 21:26
I was referring to the media itself. I was assuming something like "disc-at-once" was always being used, since not doing so makes it even less compatible. – Clint Torres Jul 15 '11 at 23:05
Speaking from the UK side of the pond, sometimes the player will play both PAL and NTSC disks, but the telly that you've connected it to might not cope with the incoming NTSC signal, or it may only cope partially - for example interpreting an incoming 60Hz signal as PAL 60, rather than NTSC, so the picture is black and white. – rjmunro Jun 12 '12 at 23:16

Make sure you burn your DVDs without any region encoding. Commercially produced DVDs often/usually are encoded only to play on players manufactured for a certain region. Typically "homemade" DVDs are burned without this encoding--aka "region-free." So I don't know if that's actually your problem or not.

It could also be that the media you're using just doesn't work in certain players. This is less of an issue these days than it has been in the past, but it could still creep up--especially on cheap/old media or cheap/old players.

share|improve this answer
No that's not the problem. – Sylverdrag Jul 12 '11 at 14:12

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.