More on the Vista DVD playback issue

I thought I'd give you an update on the DVD playback problem that I reported on yesterday.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

I thought I'd give you an update on the DVD playback problem that I reported on yesterday.

Here's a summary of the problem:

  • DVD playback is corrupted when one of the three screens (in this case a Wacon Cintiq WX12) is used to display the DVD
  • Moving the window to one of the other screens solves the problem
  • Installing AnyDVD fixes the problem

Also, because some people had difficulty reading the first post, I need to clarify a couple of things:

  • The discs causing the problems were DVD discs and not Blu-ray or HD-DVD
  • The issue is solved by installing AnyDVD

OK, so that was the state of play. Since yesterday I've done some more testing:

  • First, the issue is present on both Vista 32-bit and Vista 64-bit (so we can rule out this being specific to a single install)
  • The problem affects every DVD I've tried (and I have a lot of DVDs)
  • Media such as .mpg, .wmv and .mp4 files are unaffected
  • AnyDVD fixes the problem 100% of the time
  • Home movie DVDs (with no content protection) do not exhibit this behavior
  • Swapping out the LG GGW-H20L Super Multi combo Blu-ray writer/Blu-ray/HD-DVD/DVD/CD reader for a different drive doesn't solve the problem (so we can rule out this being a drive issue)
  • The Cintiq displays DVD fine under Mac OS X
  • No problems under Windows XP either

Note: I'd love to do more testing on the Cintiq but we've only got the one and it's in use a lot of the time.

So, in summary, the problem is narrowed down to DVD playback on the Cintiq under Vista.

Some have questioned my decision to peg the blame on content protection mechanisms in Vista. While at the moment I can't with 100% certainty say that the issue is down to content protection (since content protection is a tightly closed that the big corporations don't want you looking into it's hard to speak with conviction on this), the piece of the puzzle that says to me that content protection is involved somewhere is the fact that AnyDVD fixes the problem. Also, the fact that home movie DVDs don't exhibit this behavior suggests that this issue is down to copy protection. While I'm open to this issue being down to some unknown, so far the evidence that this is linked to content protection is strong.

I'm still working on this so will keep you updated.


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