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by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective

Questions & Comments About DVDs and Apple
by Steve Siercks
October 10th, 2000

Hello there! The iTeen team has received so many e-mails regarding last week's article, Enhancing Your DVD Experience, we decided it would be good to pull out a few of the better letters and "showcase" them to everyone else. So, if you haven't read the article yet, I urge you to do so now and then check out some of these comments/questions. If you can answer any of the questions in these comments, feel free to e-mail either me or the person who wrote! On with the show.

Our first comment comes from Tjeerd van Hoytema from the Netherlands. He writes:

"I've been using a G3 B&W 350 DVD the last 14 months and I never had problems with audio video synchronism. Probably because I was using Mac OS 8.6 British and now I've switched to Mac OS 9 International English. In my humble opinion, the problem only took place on US systems. I usually complain about the fact that we (here in Europe) are always behind, but Apple did fix the DVD problem before shipping the international software."

Hmm. that's an interesting comment. I tend to forget that some (if not all) of these articles are read internationally. You're totally right though about being behind. It always sucks to be behind on something cool, but in this case you were ahead! Thanks for the comment.

Our next comment comes from one of The Mac Observer's own writers, Eolake:

"I never had sound synchro problems. I do have problems with the DVD player giving up on a disk and having to be restarted, on both my PB and my Cube."

That's very interesting. I've never had that problem with my iMac or iBook. Has anyone else had a similar problem with a PowerBook or Cube? Anyone know of a fix for it? If so, e-mail me. In the mean time I'll see what Apple has to say about that and post the answer in a later column.

Our third comment comes from Pat Serafine in Austin, Texas:

"Hey there. I read your article but I have a problem on my 450 MHz Sawtooth G4. I have 256 Megs RAM. I have two 27 Gig Hard drives. My main configuration is to boot from the main IDE drive with OS 8.6 and drive the 17" Studio Display via a 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 PCI video card. BUT, to watch DVDs, I have to switch the monitor plug to the built in AGP Rage 128 card, and boot from the Slave IDE drive with OS 9.0.4 to run Apple's DVD Player 2.2 With me so far?....ok.

So I bought the Special Edition DVD of "This is Spinal Tap" and it continually freezes at seemingly random points during playback. It is really annoying because it is an unrecoverable freeze (i.e., I must manually either shut down the computer by pressing and holding the power button on the G4 tower, or hit the restart (reset) button on the tower and reboot) and of course, be told that the computer was shut down improperly, blah, blah, blah... Any suggestions? I really want to watch my movies, but I can't. The only other DVD I own is The Big Lebowski (getting a feel for my taste in flicks?), and I watched it a couple of months ago without a glitch, but I have not tried to watch it since I discovered the Spinal Tap problem. Have you heard or read anything that indicates it is a problem unique to this DVD? Is there any alternative DVD player for us to use?"

Wow.. Problems with Spinal Tap? I actually have that same DVD and haven't had a single problem with it. What I would do in your case is to call the publisher of the DVD (I think its Universal) and tell them about your problem. Be sure to tell them that it is unique to that DVD and no other DVDs. See if they have a fix for it. If not, demand a new copy of the DVD. Good luck!

Next comment comes from Peter Rapp:

"I liked the story at The Mac Observer, but as usual, Apple's job is not yet done with this product. Ever dream of buying an Apple Cinema display & watching a widescreen DVD on it? Well, I did. I worked for an apple reseller this summer and guess what. Apple's DVD player does not recognize monitors not of the typical 4:3 aspect ratio. Therefore, watching a widescreen dvd on your cinema display produces EITHER black bars on all four sides, OR an annoying stretching effect. NEITHER taking advantage of the screen.

VERY FRUSTRATING. And of course Apple denies that there is a problem. I've been on with tech support for days. They're very helpful, but I don't think they even know who to contact to get this fixed."

I know how you feel! I hate it when something that is "so cool" ends up not working the way you expected it too. Apple is always pictured as a nice, happy company. The truth is, sometimes they're not. Its sad, but the truth. ;(. I hope something good comes out of tech support!

Our last comment comes from Scott Akins. He says:

"I have the new F/W iBook SE and it comes with v2.3 of the DVD player. I have checked the Apple Web site and can't find it there. Attached is a screenshot as proof. Thanks for the great article."

Very interesting! I saw the screen shot and he indeed has v2.3 of the DVD player. Does anyone else have this version? If so, I want it! heheh.. I'll check with Apple about this and get back to you all.

Well, thanks to everyone for the great feedback about this article. Its amazing how much fun one can have finding all the secrets about their computers and enhancing their experience with it. I hope to see you all on Thursday for iTeens normal weekly column. See you then!

Steve Siercks

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