DVD Infomatrix Questions and Answers:

DVD Genie Q&A:
Q: I have a hardware decoder card, why doesn't DVD Genie work for me?.
A: DVD Genie does not work with hardware decoding cards.
Q: I read that DVD Genie works with CineMaster, why won't it work for my CineMaster card?
A: DVD Genie was only designed to work with "Software CineMaster" which is the software-only DVD decoder and isn't related to the CineMaster decoding card. Once again, DVD Genie is not designed to work with any Hardware Decoding card.
Q: Why doesn't DVD Genie work?
A: Some drives are region locked and changing the software region code won't effect them.
Q: I bought a Compaq computer and it came with a Compaq DVD Drive, Why doesn't DVD Genie work?
A: Compaq has modified your DVD drive's firmware and made it region coded and thus inoperable with DVD Genie.

DVD Hardware Q&A:
Q: I have a strong computer (P2/300mhz+), Why do i get a jerky image? it's as if my computer isn't fast enough and misses frames!
A: Make sure your DVD-Rom drive is set to DMA mode. You can check this by right clicking My Computer, selecting Properties, getting to the DVD-Rom drive under the Device Manager tab.
You should have a DMA checkbox option. Try enabling it, you might get a warning telling you that this may cause problems with your hardware. If it does cause problem (i doubt it will), turn it back off.

If you don't even see a DMA checkbox, that probably means that your DVD-Rom drive may be attached to your sound card's IDE port. If this is the case, it is HIGHLY advisable to move it to an on-board IDE port.

This ofcourse doesn't apply to any SCSI drives, as they don't use the DMA interface.
Q: Why do i get a message saying that an overlay surface can't be created?
A: This can mean two things, either that your display adaptor doesn't support an overlay surface (very bad!) or that you don't have enough video ram to create an overlay surface in your present video mode.

Try switching your video mode to 800x600x16bit. If the message disappears, that means you just don't have enough ram on your display adaptor to play at that resolution. If you still get the message, you're screwed and most of the good DVD software players will not work on your system.

So far im my experience, the best display adaptor for DVD playback is the ATI Rago Pro, and possibly the new ATI 128 series.
Q: Why does my DVD image appears fuzzy?
A: There can be a lot of things that can cause this. Most of them result from inadequate computer power. While you may have a very fast CPU, your display adaptor may be too slow. Without Hardware Motion Compensation your computer's CPU needs to do a lot more work decoding the MPEG-2 DVD Image Stream, and sometimes it just isn't fast enough, causing the player to skip several decoding stages in order to keep the frame rate high. Currently the fastest Software-Only DVD decoder is "Software CineMaster". But even with this program you'll need 400mhz machine to decode a DVD stream without Hardware Motion Compensation. You can switch to BOB DeInterlacing to speed up the DVD Decoding process, but this will reduce image quality in movie-type DVD Titles.
Q: What are the hardware requirements for playing Software-Only DVD?
A: Software-only is a bit of a lie, since some hardware is required, mainly a good display adaptor and a strong CPU.
There are two types of display adaptors, the normal ones and the ones that support some type of MPEG-2 decoding in hardware.

The following list are items that are required no matter what display adaptor you are using:
  • Decoding Software.
  • 2x DVD-Rom drive with DMA mode enabled.
  • Overlay supporting Display Adaptor (95% of cards sold today).
  • 4mb of Video RAM on your Display Adaptor.
  • 32mb of system ram (64 or more recommended).
  • Direct-X v6.0 or better installed.
Cards that support additional MPEG-2 hardware acceleration (Motion Compensation or iDCT acceleration) require special software that was written to take advantage of these features. Without using the appropriate software, your hardware acceleration will not come into play.

On average, iDCT acceleration gives about 40% decoding acceleration and Motion Compensation an additional 30%.
If a card supports both these features (ATI Rage 128 cards for example) you will only need aprox. P5/200mhz to play DVD content without frame loss.
However, without iDCT, the requirement jumps to a Pentium II 300-350mhz (AMD 400-450mhz), and without Motion Compensation to a Pentium II 350-400mhz (AMD 450-500mhz).

For more questions and answers go here.

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