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Question: can you recommend an external DVD player that I can use for watching legal movies in Europe (region code: 2) using Ubuntu 18.04?

I bought a new notebook and an external DVD player because it didn't have one. I installed Ubuntu and installed all the necessary libdvd* packages:

ii  libdv4:amd64                               1.0.0-11
ii  libdvbpsi10:amd64                          1.3.2-1
ii  libdvd-pkg                                 1.4.2-1-1
ii  libdvdcss-dev:amd64                        1.4.2-1~local
ii  libdvdcss2:amd64                           1.4.2-1~local
ii  libdvdnav4:amd64                           6.0.0-1
ii  libdvdread4:amd64                          6.0.0-1
ii  ubuntu-restricted-extras                   66
ii  regionset                                  0.1-3.1

Then I wanted to play a DVD and got 3 pages of error messages:

$ vlc dvd://sr0
VLC media player 3.0.8 Vetinari (revision 3.0.8-0-gf350b6b5a7)
libdvdnav: Using dvdnav version 6.0.0
libdvdnav: DVD Title: VENOM_2018
libdvdnav: DVD Serial Number: 4d9292d9
libdvdnav: DVD Title (Alternative): 
libdvdnav: DVD disk reports itself with Region mask 0x00e50000. Regions: 2 4 5

libdvdread: Attempting to retrieve all CSS keys
libdvdread: This can take a _long_ time, please be patient

libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.VOB at 0x00000167
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_0.VOB at 0x000002f5
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_1.VOB at 0x0000d271
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0

libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_15_0.VOB at 0x002dade8
libdvdread: Error cracking CSS key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_15_0.VOB (0x002dade8)
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_15_1.VOB at 0x002daf42
libdvdread: Error cracking CSS key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_15_1.VOB (0x002daf42)!!
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
libdvdread: Found 15 VTS's
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0

libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 14 (VTS_14_0.BUP).
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2993628
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2993628
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2993628
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2997149
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2997149
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2997149
libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 15 (VTS_15_0.BUP).
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2963152
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2963152
libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 12 (VTS_12_0.IFO).
libdvdnav: ifoOpenVTSI failed

Then I connected the external DVD to my old notebook which has an internal DVD. I was able to play the DVD by the internal one but the external returned the same error messages.

Device:

$ dmesg | grep -i dvd

[ 5164.196463] scsi 2:0:0:0: CD-ROM            HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GP57ES40  PF01 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
[ 5164.220633] sr 2:0:0:0: [sr0] scsi3-mmc drive: 24x/24x writer dvd-ram cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray

$ sudo lshw -C disk

  *-cdrom                   
       description: DVD-RAM writer
       product: DVDRAM GP57ES40
       vendor: HL-DT-ST
       physical id: 0.0.0
       bus info: scsi@2:0.0.0
       logical name: /dev/cdrom
       logical name: /dev/cdrw
       logical name: /dev/dvd
       logical name: /dev/dvdrw
       logical name: /dev/sr0
       version: PF01
       capabilities: removable audio cd-r cd-rw dvd dvd-r dvd-ram
       configuration: status=ready
     *-medium
      physical id: 0
      logical name: /dev/cdrom

$ ls -l sr0

brw-rw----+ 1 root cdrom 11, 0 Nov  8 19:11 sr0

Troubleshooting:

  1. No disc menus:

I delete the folder related to the movie inside the ~./dvdcss folder. I ticked the No disc menus checkbox in the VLC UI then it played the DVD but it stoped when it reached 19:18 dvdread demux error: read failed for 3/4 blocks at 0x72d80

I tried to play it from command line without disc menu and it also worked: vlc dvdsimple://sr0 Then I tried to play it defining the title and the chapter but it always played the first title:

vlc dvdsimple://sr0@01
vlc dvdsimple://sr0@02

I tried to list the titles and the chapters but it resulted the same output when I tried to play it:

$ lsdvd /dev/sr0

libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2676815
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2676815
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2676815
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2678061
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2678061
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2678061
libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 2 (VTS_02_0.BUP).

libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2993628
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2993628
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2993628
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2997149
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2997149
libdvdread: Can't seek to block 2997149
libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 15 (VTS_15_0.BUP).
Segmentation fault (core dumped)
  1. I changed the regioncode to 2 (I live in Europe) by the regionset package. Didn't help.

$ regionset /dev/sr0

regionset version 0.1 -- reads/sets region code on DVD drives
Current Region Code settings:
RPC Phase: II
type: SET
vendor resets available: 4
user controlled changes resets available: 4
drive plays discs from region(s): 2, mask=0xFD

Would you like to change the region setting of your drive? [y/n]:n
  1. I checked the values of the DVDCSS_METHOD. It was empty. I changed it to title, disc and key. None of them helped.

  2. Enables libvdpau-va-gl as the default VDPAU driver didn't help either.

  3. I installed mplayer, mplayer-gui and mencoder. Fixed the GUI error and tried to play the DVD.

$ mplayer dvd://

It recognized the chapters differently (see the Error cracking CSS key things):

Playing dvd://.
There are 41 titles on this DVD.
There are 1 angles in this DVD title.

libdvdread: Attempting to retrieve all CSS keys
libdvdread: This can take a _long_ time, please be patient

libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.VOB at 0x00000167
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_0.VOB at 0x000002f5
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_1.VOB at 0x0000d271
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_0.VOB at 0x0028d858
libdvdread: Error cracking CSS key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_0.VOB (0x0028d858)
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_1.VOB at 0x0028d9b2
libdvdread: Error cracking CSS key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_1.VOB (0x0028d9b2)!!
libdvdread: Elapsed time 0

It played the first 4 chapters of the DVD till it reached the very same moment in the film when it crashed. Interesting is that the timestamp was 40 seconds more like 19:50:

The error:

 MPlayer interrupted by signal 2 in module: decode_video
 A: 369.6 V: 369.6 A-V: -0.021 ct:  0.059 9237/9237  7%  1%  2.3% 0 0

The situation is same if I try to play other DVDs. Is it an encoding, a driver or a hardware error?

Do you have any ideas how can I fix it? Or do you have an external DVD player which works for you?

0

I bought an Asus Zen Drive external DVD player and it works just fine.

So the conclusion is. Do not buy Hitachi-LG external DVD player for your Debian Linux system because it might not work!

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