Philips DVD825: VideoCD playback problems? : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

Hello everyone!

I'm having a serious problem with my 825 unit: It seems that, when it comes across an error in the MPEG-1 stream, the unit completely LOCKS UP. That's right, it does not gracefully deal with the problem in nasty screen errors, it simply locks up.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Philips technical support has been of very little assistance to me regarding this issue. . . But I heard that there are firmware upgrades available? If I am to believe what I have read at the BOTTOM of my "setup" menu, I have flashrom "8.00 990702 P5" ... Is there an upgrade later than that?

Anyone else with this problem, please contact me... I'm interested in getting it fixed, so we should attack in numbers =)

Thanks a lot! -Wendell

PS- Has anyone been able to get the unit to output PAL VCDs in NTSC? This is the first player I've seen that outputs in the native VCD format!

-- Wendell Davis (, January 20, 2000


DVD players and VCD players are less forgiving than PCs when it comes to errors in encoding. Where on a PC you could reboot easily, set-top players choke on them. There will be no error messages to any problems with encoding, the unit simply stops responding. You can not get Philips to fix the problem, it is in actuality your fault. You need to redo the VCD with no errors in the MPEG1 stream, if you made it yourself. Firmware will not fix this problem either. If this VCD was store bought then it was probably pirated since many legitimate VCDs do not exhibit problems in the MPEG1 stream.

Also for you information: PAL is not VCDs native format. PAL is simple a color sytem used in Asian, European, African, and Australian countries. In Hong Kong, you will find VCDs that are in NTSC and PAL. The same goes for Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

-- The Lone Ranger (, January 20, 2000.

I cannot accept that simply because my $40 PlayStation VCD player plays these discs with ABSOLUTELY no problems at all. When it comes across the error, it deals with it in screen artifacts, etc and goes along gracefully.

-- Wendell (, January 20, 2000.

ALSO, I am aware of the differences between NTSC and PAL. The color system is different, and PAL has more scanlines than NTSC . . . Obviously I am making no MISTAKE here in saying that it OUTPUTS in PAL when it comes across a PAL VCD. This means, my television cannot decode the color signal (and on other TVs, the screen rolls)

But thanks for your attempt :) -Wendell

-- Wendell (, January 20, 2000.

ONE MORE TIME: DVD PLAYERS ARE A HELL OF A LOT MORE SENSITIVE THAN VCD PLAYERS, PCS, AND PLAYSTATION VIDEO CD UNITS! Some units simple cannot handle an error in the MPEG stream and simply kick out or freeze. A lot of Playstation hack jobs for VCDs do in fact lock up Playstation units. You found one that does not. Try watching that movie on Xing MPEGPlayer, it will freeze your PC. If you can not accept this then too bad. You can try fighting it but I seriously doubt that Philips will believe your claim. I have seen Sony ES DVD players handle MPEG errors gracefully while Toshiba units lock-up. Just return it and buy another DVD player.

-- The Lone Ranger (, January 20, 2000.

Right. You CLEARLY know what you're talking about. I took your advice, watched it with Xing... Worked fine.

What an idiot I am :)

Ah well, anyone else have a sugguestion?

-- Wendell (, January 20, 2000.

I have the same model (it displays the same version number too) but have never had it freeze (except with experimental CDs I've made). I know of no ROM upgrades. This model does indeed appear to output PAL VCDs in PAL format to the TV, showing up as a scrolling mess with some audio. I've never tried PAL VCDs with other players, but I understand that others will play PAL VCDs as NTSC (Can anyone confirm this firsthand?). DVD players are much less forgiving than PCs, but it seems improbable that your player is flawed such that it freezes with that one CD only. The fact that it plays on a Playstation may be because it has completely different hardware than a DVD player. So the question is: Is your CD flawed? Will it play on other DVD players, especially other units of the same model? If it would play, then it would be convincing evidence that your unit IS flawed. Otherwise, there is just so much variation in hardware and firmware between models & brands, that it isn't suprising.

-- GMT (, January 20, 2000.

That is what I have been trying to tell this person GMT. He won't listen. He insists on it being Philips' fault. So let him think that way.

-- The Lone Ranger (, January 21, 2000.

Well, I am certainly not alone with this problem, I have spoken to others with the same model who report the same problem... (leading me to believe that it is not simply my UNIT in particular)

I understand that it is different hardware, and yes, I've tried it on other DVD players and had no problems. I am aware that the data is erronous (as stated in my original post); I was just curious if others had experienced the same troubles.

As far as Philips is concerned, I would only LIKE Philips' consideration about creating a firmware upgrade for this, *if possible* (if one does not already exist). . . I recognise that it may not be, at least not feasable.

That's all. Man, some of you guys are a little uptight :)

-- Wendell (, January 21, 2000.

I told you he wouldn't listen GMT.

Why are you still thinking that Philips should make firmware to handle an error. My RCA 5210P locks up when you give it a VCD with bad information. It is not RCA's fault, it is the fault of the encoder themselves(both operator and machinery). Try redoing your VCD without wrrors and then play it again.

-- The Lone Ranger (, January 21, 2000.

I have the problem with my Philips DVD825...It has a hard time playing CD-Rs and CD-RWs...And It does lockup sometimes... I bought another DVD/VCD Player for $144 and my CD-Rs work fine, but the CD-RWs don't...

-- Kevin (, January 23, 2000.

Ahhhh, so you think it's a CDR issue? Hmmm... See, I wouldn't have bee able to test that, as all of my VCDs are home-made. But that's interesting. I bought the player BECAUSE of it's supposed ability to play CDR VCDs well.

Well, good to know that there's at least SOMEONE here who is having that problem :)

PS- What DVD player did you buy for $14x?

-- Wendell (, January 23, 2000.

I'm sorry if I sound uptight, but I am just trying to help out. I have a Philips 825 and it plays all CD-Rs & CD-RWs perfectly fine, PROVIDED THE MPEG STREAM IS CORRECTLY ENCODED. Do the CD-RWs that don't play have the same MPEG as the CD-Rs that do play (i.e. the exact same burn, just different media)?

-- GMT (, January 23, 2000.

If all your VCDs are home made Wendell, then you have CD-Rs and you did test them. You are just trying to pick a fight. Sorry man but best of luck to you. The only idiot who is going to yell at Philips for a mistake HE made.

-- The Lone Ranger (, January 23, 2000.

I had this same problem with a Philips 725 which I chose over the 825 when I tested with my first home brewed VCD's, the 725 simply played a bigger variation in media.

I had intermittent stop or lockup as you call it on 50% of what I burnt. Then I changed the Burner Program to Nero and it all went away.

-- Ross McL (, January 24, 2000.

Really? So what program were you using previously? I've been using WinOnCD myself. . .


-- Wendell (, January 24, 2000.

I also bougt the Philips DVD825 because when I went to buy a DVD player I took a homemade VCD with me and it was the only one that would actually play it. I have noticed that every VCD I have tried to play that I made (using the Broadway Pro 4.0 for encoding to MPEG1 and Adaptec for authoring has problems with playback) The video plays fine for a minute or so and then freeze's for a few second before continuing. I noticed that there are a lot of extra directories being created on the disk for Karaoke and such. Could this be causing a problem? Philips says it has to be a software issue

-- Al McCraw (, January 24, 2000.

Has anyone tried using Nero or Videopack with this particular player. I am about to give up on Adaptec. I hope that's what the problem is. Also is anyone else using the Broadway Pro 4.0 I'm not sure i am happy with it. The picture looks a little too blocky when played back on television but the avi file looked great

-- Al McCraw (, January 24, 2000.

I have this player, and yes I've seen the same problems. There are 2 contributing factors. First is the Mpeg stream, second is the media. It doesn't deal with faults in either very well.

Every copy I've made of a professal (store bought) VCD plays fine, but home made VCDs play back with glitches if I use cheap media. Take the same burn on several different good quality media, including CDRW, and if the player stalls at the same point on each CD there is something wrong with your Mpeg stream. If it stalls at different points then it does not like your media. It seems more reliable with CDRW media. Find a combination of Media and encoder settings it will tolerate reliably or buy a different player.

I was frustrated with this for a while too, since the manual clearly states it will read CDR & CDRW media, but then the manual also says it will play both PAL & NTSC formats. What it doesn't say is that your TV has to match the media format, unless you read between the lines in the troubleshooting section. At this point I don't really care anymore, since it would be more practical to throw together a PC based VCD player/web browser/mp3 jukebox and attach it to the home theatre system then to waste all that time dealing with a faulty player. Any midrage pentium system can handle this kind of stuff, and people are throwing those things away these days.

-- Sean (, January 24, 2000.

Wendell hi

Bit late answering this one:

I tried Adaptec but for some reason it will not allow me to burn vcd's at all, the computer simply locks up.

I used WinonCD 3.5 to start with, then Nero and now VP4 for menu based stuff. When I think about it, I have had to go to W98se to use the Pyro firewire card so maybe that has had an effect also.

Certainly my 725 does the reverse of playing NTSC full screen on the PAL TV and the spec says the same about NTSC. Contact me off line if you wish to recieve a VCD in PAL with your home mail address - or alternatively, if you do not have a 5M limit on you email I can send you a PAL Mpeg-1 file that you can burn to CD-RW or CD-R to see for yourself. I have a 16:9 file of some cycle racing that can be transmitted if you wish later today.

-- Ross McL (, January 26, 2000.

Sean Hi

Your comments about the TV being the right system is what I always thought as well, yet the Philips 725 played an NTSC VCD I got from the States a few days back, home brewed one, full screen on my normal TV. I also have a multi system professional studio monitor and that switched to NTSC the moment it got the NTSC signal (I had the option to indicate the signal ticked). Perhaps I had better look at the Loewe TV spec to see if its a multi system unit and I do not know about it. Interesting.

How does it work with DVD's then. Australia is part of Zone four which also contains NTSC countries?

-- Ross McL (, January 26, 2000.


Surprise, surprise the 26" German Loewe TV I have in the lounge is a multi system one so that explains why the NTSC VCD played full screen, it was factory set to auto detect - that solves that!

Thanks a lot.

-- Ross McL (, January 30, 2000.

I spoke with a guy from Philps last night (1-800-705-2000) He basically said that if there is a problem pointed out to them that they will upgrade the firmware. He said there is an upgrade in the works now for this model and if you call he will put you on the contact list. I have checked out other players and the problem is unique to the Philips. My same CD played perfectly in the Pioneer player. The only way to get them to play in a Panasonic, Toshiba or Sony was for me to use a CD-RW but they still played with no problems.

-- Al McCraw (, February 02, 2000.

Guys, I would not suggest anybody to buy this. Customer Support is bad. This system plays PAL VCD's but outputs in PAL too, so basically you will need a multi TV which sucks. Where as with the same price by a sony system, it plays all and output is NTSC. I am stuck with this DVD players which sucks. It is depressing when i can't play VCD's in PAL. You will thank me for sure.

-- Pandu Rao (, June 17, 2001.

I hope some of you won't refer to me as an "idiot" as some of the rude posters here do...

My 825 will only playback in black and white now. I can't figure out what would be casing this, and Philip's customer service was completely clueless. I have switched between PAL and NTSC...doesn't change anything.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

-- Marie (, January 01, 2002.

How come some people have trouble accepting the fact that some dvd players have faults I have a philips 711 and i have had no end of problems with vcd discs the first of which is intermitent sound on some vcd playback (the sound plays for a second stops and then starts again the picture also does this) now please dont tell me it is my encoding as i have another stand alone dvd player which was a conciderably cheaper model which plays these same discs without problem. Im sorry all you tech heads out there but if it was my encoding on the mpeg bullshit then it wouldnt play in any dvd player so stop spilling this crap . I have also used tmpgenc to convert files into every format available of which 6 are supplied all to no avail, So please stop jumping on these people who ask you for help sometimes IT IS the dvd manufacturers fault not the encoding. And by the way Philips are crap I have contacted the engineers 4 times lately about this problem and alsay it is a software problem what bull some people just cant take responsibility for their products.


Philips dvd player firmware upgrades here, e2.htm#Firmware%20upgrading

-- gregg doss (, March 29, 2003.

This is english site for philips dvd player firmware upgrade,

-- gregg doss (, March 29, 2003.

new philips dvd 825 firmware upgrades,

-- gregg doss (, March 29, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ