View Full Version : DVD player / Front Row stop responding after prolonged play

26th August 2006, 12:30 AM
I have a 2 week old iMac intel 20" (Pioneer DVR-05). I have been experiencing a problem whilst using the Apple DVD player and Front Row, I'll try an explain as best I can:

I put in a DVD of a TV series to watch, sit back with the remote and launch Front Row. I navigate to the DVD menu and play the series... I can use the remote as normal. All good.

However, after about 1-1.5 hours of continuous watching of the DVD (ie, I have just watched a few episodes back-to-back without needing to use menu/remote), I try the remote to change the volume etc and I get no response - the DVD just keeps playing but it will not change the volume, pause or exit Front Row.

My first thought was that my remote had stopped working so I got up and tried the volume control on the keyboard. No response. DVD kept playing ignoring any key press or mouse move.

I tried hitting ESC in an effort to exit Front Row and go back to the Desktop. Still doesn't respond...DVD keeps playing!

I decide to try a force quit. After that, I can see my mouse arrow on screen, the DVD kind of jumps or slows but then it either freezes at a frame or keeps playing. It won't actually quit the player/Front Row. The disc won't eject either.

After all that, I hold down the power button to get the Mac to restart. I've done this about 4 times while I've tested this problem :(

I've been searching on various forums and maybe I'm not using the right terminology (I am new to Macs), but I couldn't find any similar reports. I rang Apple this afternoon but the advice I received was to try a different disc in the player - which I have done now but it still does the same thing.

Has anyone had similar experiences with Front Row / Apple DVD player? I'd really appreciate any advice or information on this. Apologies if this has been covered but thanks for reading...

26th August 2006, 08:39 AM
You've installed all the Apple updates?

26th August 2006, 09:34 AM
Yes, when I check software updates, I get the message saying everything is up-to-date. The version of DVD Player I'm running is 4.6.5. I'm not sure how to check Front Row though...

BTW, I never run any other apps in the background while watching DVDs.

26th August 2006, 10:25 AM
This sounds similar to a problem that existed with optical audio under earlier versions of 10.4. Do you have optical speakers plugged in? Even so, it's strange, as it seems to have been fixed in 10.4.7.

Does it really take 1 hour or more for the problem to set in? It could be related to the hard disk spinning down, and then having to spin back up to respond to your input.

26th August 2006, 11:12 AM
There are no external speakers plugged in, just using the iMac's.

I thought it could have something to do with the computer going into some sort of sleep mode. I turned the energy saving feature off but still had the same problem when i ran a few episodes in a row (1hr 11mins to be exact).

I have some new info though: This morning while testing the problem again, I decided to use the volume on the remote around 10 minutes before I knew the problem freeze would kick in. Front Row responded fine and then got past the point where it ususally becomes unresponsive.

Does this suggest it's a hard drive "sleeping" problem? Is there any other way to prevent a hard drive spinning down?

26th August 2006, 02:40 PM
Yes, it is one of the options in the Energy Saver preference pane. This will decrease the life of your hard disk, however. It may be worth while playing with to see if it helps narrow the problem.

26th August 2006, 06:06 PM
Thanks! I unchecked "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" in the Energy Saver preferences, ran the DVD continously in Front Row and all the controls worked perfectly past the point where it usually stopped responding.

I'll keep testing on other DVDs, I really do hope this is the fix for the problem. If it is, I think I'll only change this preference when I plan to watch DVDs through Front Row as you noted that it may decrease HD life.

Thank you so much for your advice!

26th August 2006, 07:29 PM
If it is still under warranty, you can mention that this solved the problem when you next talk to Apple. It may be a simple software fix (that is done in the next OS revision), or may be indicative of a more serious hardware problem, in which case you should get it covered.