How to Fix a Burned/Commercial DVD that Skips and Freezes

Donna Peng

Updated on

I've bought many professionally manufactured DVDs from big companies over the years and have had several freeze up (pause during playback) while watching them. At first, it seemed to be only on Dual-Layer DVDs, but some of them were single layer DVDs.

DVD skipping and freezing issue is not new for many of you. It happens on a burned home disc, an old classic DVD and even a brand new DVD release. What should be blamed for the DVD skipping and freezing at smae point? The corrupted/improper DVD disc, the DVD player or DVD drive not reading discs, DVD region code or something else? We will help you figure out the reasons and also solutions in the following part.

Permanently Fix for DVD Skipping and Freezing While Playing

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Part 1. Why Do DVDs Freeze and Skip While Playing

If you play your DVD on a vibrating surface or while shaking the player vigorously, you may find the picture freezes or skips. But putting DVD player on a solid vibration free surface can completely avoid freezing and skipping? No, that kind of issue sometimes also happens. Below are main reasons why DVD skips or freezes during playback.

1. It may be caused by the DVD disc physical damage

When a DVD skips or freezes at same point, the first thing you need to do is to check whether your DVD is stored properly. Anything like dust, fingerprints, smudges, scratches, or other foreign matters on the surface of the DVD may cause DVD stop playing.

An improperly burned DVD can also make DVD keep freezing and skipping.  The DVD may also contain some non-standard copy protections that the DVD player fails to read.

2. It may be caused by malfunctioning DVD player or DVD drive

Because of disregarding cleaning, dust may have accumulated on the laser lens of your DVD player or DVD drive. Or because of long-term use, perhaps the laser has weakened or the laser servos and motor are wearing out. All will lead to freezing or skipping when playing DVD on DVD player or DVD drive.

3. The DVD player and DVD disc are incompatible

It is not necessarily the problem with your DVD player or DVD disc when a DVD freezes no scratches. It could be a result of DVD player and DVD disc incompatibility. They may be manufactured for different geographical regions. For example, the DVD player may be produced to play discs encoded with region code 1 while your DVD disc carries region code 2 (How to play region 2 DVD in US >>).

Fix DVD skipping or freezing error

Part 2. How to Troubleshoot A DVD That Skips or Freezes

1. Clean the DVD disc

If it is dirty and scratched, wipe it with a soft lint-free cloth which is specially made for cleaning DVD discs and always sold at computer software stores. And you should pay attention to the way of cleaning. Instead of wiping disc in a circular motion, you should start from the innermost circle and wipe out to the edge softly in a straight line. Reinsert the disc into the DVD player and play the disc to check if the issue is resolved.

clean the DVD that skips or freezes

If your DVD is clean and scratch-free, there may be other reasons for the skipping and freezing. Put your DVD into a different player or drive and see if it can play correctly. If it still doesn't work well, the problem is possibly with the disc itself.

2. Replace the purchased DVD

If it is a store-bought commercial DVD, there may be a manufacturing defect on the disc. You can request a replacement from the store. The common reason for the defect is that the disc is warped, but you may be unable to notice it. Although it's a minor flaw, some picky DVD players still can't read it. So, you'd better make a digital copy of your DVD to watch the content on another device.

3. Burn the disc again

If the DVD sometimes freezes and stops while being played by a DVD player, the cause can be that you burned on a low quality disc or you burned DVD using a wrong burning speed. Try another high-quality brand blank DVD or try burning with a different burning speed. A slower burn speed is recommended.

Burn a DVD disc at a different burning speed

Attention! Don't burn a large video to a disc.

In most cases, when the DVD freezes at same point, it is most likely due to an authoring error. If you simply need to burn some short clips like a 30-minute TV series to a disc, it should be fine. But if you're burning a long or large video, like an AVI videos running 90 minutes more more, you may go beyond the limit of what the DVD author program can do. A standard single-layer DVD can hold up to 2 hours (120 minutes) of video with a size less than 4.7GB. When you go beyond that limit, the software either fails during the process or tends to create a funky DVD with playback issues.

4. Check the DVD subtitles

Provided the DVD freezes and skips happen with a homemade DVD, also check the subtitles. If the source video contain a built-in subtitle and is not compatible with the DVD, the DVD authoring program may turn the source subtitles into a new subs. This may produce problems. To fix a DVD that freezes and skips, you can check the settings to disable checking SRT files and ignore the subtitles.

5. Clean the DVD player and DVD drive

To stop DVD keep freezing and skipping, you need to clean your DVD player or DVD drive regularly. If cleaning doesn't help solve the issue, you may need to buy a new device. Alternatively, you can rip DVD to a digital file with WinX DVD Ripper Platinum and play the content without using DVD player or DVD drive. Moreover, this workaround is more cost efficient.

6. Bypass the non-standard protection

Brand new DVD skips and freezes if the DVD contains non-standard protections. DVD players incorporate DVD-CSS to play back the encrypted content of a commercial DVD. A huge number of DVD players contains the CSS keys have already been sold. So in most cases, a DVD player can play a store-bought DVD without problem. However, if the DVD contains some non-standard protection in production, it may result in the DVD freezes and skips during the playback.

DVD non-standard protection

For example, Sony put a virus on their DVD to prevent users from copying their movies... Movie studios like to do *unique* things to protect their assets, and sometimes they over-reach. What's happening here is either non-intentional, and the DVD player you have simply brain-farts when confronted with a corrupt frame/file... or it's a side-affect of some intentional modification to the DVD.

7. Remove the region code of DVD Player or disc

To make DVD player read a DVD encoded with a different region code without skipping, you can modify the player to be region-free or remove the region code of the DVD. Another solution to fix incompatibility issue is to rip DVD. We can benefit a lot from DVD ripping:

  • After ripping you will get a region-free digital file which can be played on any device you like. And you no longer need DVD player or DVD drive for playback.
  • The video ripped from DVD won't freezing or skipping.
  • It can prolong the life of your original DVD, because after ripping you can put your DVD on the shelf and use the digital copy.
fix DVD player incompatibility issue

8. Update the DVD Player Firmware

If the player is connected to the internet and has firmware updates available, check for and install any updates. Sometimes, firmware updates can address playback issues.

There is no universal/generic firmware for Blu-ray/DVD players. You can check the firmware updates at the manufacturers' websites. Plus updates mostly address new DRM strategies used on recently released movies. Neither the Blu-ray Disc Association nor movie studios would want to make information about those available to anyone other than manufacturers of DVD players licensed by BDA.

9. Check for Software Updates

Regularly checking for software updates is a proactive approach to maintaining the performance and reliability of your media player software. It helps to stay current with the latest advancements and ensures compatibility with new DVD releases and technologies. By staying vigilant and keeping your software up to date, you can minimize the risk of encountering playback problems and enjoy a smoother and more enjoyable DVD viewing experience on your computer.

10. Consider Professional Repair

If you find that none of the previously mentioned methods are effective in resolving brand new DVD skips and freezes, especially if the disc contains valuable or irreplaceable content, it may be prudent to explore the option of professional disc repair services. These specialized services are equipped with advanced tools and techniques designed to address various types of disc damage, including scratches, cracks, and other forms of deterioration that can hinder playback.

Part 3. [Ultimate Fix] Rip and copy DVDs to fix skipping issues?

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is a good choice for ripping a problematic DVD. It can convert region-locked DVDs, PAL/NTSC DVDs, DVD encrypted by RCE, UOP, Sony ArccOS, Disney X-Project, as well as old DVDs, and damaged/scratched discs. It will convert a freezing DVD to an intact video with the original quality. It's fast and easy to use.

Step 1. Insert the DVD that skips and freezes into computer's inbuilt or connected external DVD drive.

Step 2. Open WinX DVD Ripper, click 'DVD Disc', then you should see DVD under 'Select the source DVD disc'. Simply hit 'OK' to move on.

Rip skipping or freezing DVD

Step 3. Choose a format from Output Profile list according to your own needs and hit 'OK'. You're able to rip DVD to MP4, MOV, AVI, iPhone iPad Android, game consoles, hard drives or USB flash drive as you like.

choose DVD output format

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum will select the main title for you automatically. If you need to choose a different one or choose more titles to rip, just check the box(es) before target title(s).

Step 4. Hit 'RUN' to begin ripping the DVD. The whole process may cost a few minutes only. Certainly it depends on your laptop configuration and the output profile you choose. After a while, you will get an intact DVD video and play it on any device without freezes or skips.

Disclaimer: Digiarty Software does not advocate copying copy-protected DVDs for any commercial purpose and suggests referring to the DVD copyright laws in your countries before doing so.

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