An Apple Web page posted over three weeks ago shows digital video discs produced with the Pioneer DVD-R drive Apple will use in the
733MHz PowerMac G4, will not play correctly with a number of what electronics experts are calling “older, out-dated” DVD players.
DVD Compatibility chart
was noticed by MacCentral reader Eric Young a number of weeks ago. In it, 30 consumer DVD players are listed with their level of compatibility to DVDs users can create using the Apple SuperDrive. Of the 30 listed, eight are listed as “not compatible” with one categorized as marginally compatible.
The brands tested included Sony, Toshiba, Pioneer, Mitsubishi, Aiwa, RCA, Kenwood, Denon, JVC and Panasonic — brands that make up more than 70 percent of the DVD player market, according to Home Theater magazine.
The eight players listed as not compatible are primarily older models that do not include specific, built-in instructions to take advantage of certain software routines multimedia DVDs often use, according to Jonus Richards, a former consumer electronics designer with TEAC America Inc., now an industry design consultant living in Farmers Branch, Texas.
Richards said the chances are high that the list posted by Apple was supplied by Pioneer based on testing it had done on certain consumer drives using DVDs created with its DVD-R drive and not testing by Apple.
Richard said he did not know what percentage of existing DVD players in homes today are made up of the nine questionable players, but he guessed the market share would be “much less than ten percent.” He thought that as DVD players become more popular and cheaper, the older un-compatible players with SuperDrive would not be in consumer living rooms. “Even if they are, newer players will be so cheap and better that consumers won’t think twice about buying a new model,” Richards said.
The SuperDrive will be part of the 733MHz Power Mac G4 desktop system, expected to be available around the end of March. The configuration will include
to create multimedia DVD disks. A more sophisticated $999
DVD Studio Pro
version is currently available for development of DVDs on other Macintosh systems.