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I own a DVD player.  I have purchased software capable of playing DVDs, including the DVD codec package.  I have legally rented a DVD.

So why the crap is it's stupid encoding causing the blasted thing to crash?  I *could* just skip over the frames that appear to be randomly encrypted, but then I'd have to be psychic instead of relaxing.  It's stupid crap like this that drive people to hacking...

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Maybe if you weren't such a criminal, they wouldn't have to... oh. Wait. You were actually trying to play by the rules. Huh.

(Anonymous)

I was thinking that maybe it was just a scratched disk, but I put it in a new TV and it played great. Since it was a bargain widescreen LCD my housemate got, I'm betting it doesn't actually have cutting edge playback recovery.

Which means the jerks likely did change the encoding standard. Took me 3 hours to watch a 2 hour movie.

Fortunately, it wasn't a bad film.
Assuming it was a standard DVD, there is no way to change the "encoding standard". It is only a DVD-video disc if it is encoded using MPEG-2. Anything else would make it something other than a DVD-video disc.
Yeah, that's what's confounded me about it. If it were a simple scratch or spot, I would assume that wouldn't cause the player to crash. Or pop up the error asking if I had the CSS libraries installed. The error message was what led me to think there's been a patch to the CSS encoding/encryption or whatever, like how they tried to patch Blu-Ray when the famed hex number was first released. I've only seen this on the brand new release DVDs.

I have no idea how CSS works, but I'm going to assume that it combined with error correction missing a scratch can screw up the stream enough to make the player think it's EoF. That would explain the intermittent glitching that occasionally popped up.

Mplayer is what I'm going to watch DVDs on now though. It bulldozed right through the hiccups. All the other programs would crash and die, but mplayer just chugged along. I'm really pleased with how robust it is.