Why won't the images that I put on a DVD, play in my DVD player?
The technology that is incorporated into each and every DVD is pretty sophisticated and has undergone quite a bit of evolution over the past few years. The company that made the blank DVD that you have in your hand has really been lying to you. It isn't really blank. There are several tracks of information pre-encoded onto every DVD that provide information to the DVD player or DVD drive in your computer. This information includes data about the manufacturer, the type of DVD and the current level of technology that this particular piece of DVD media will support. Once the DVD is loaded into your computer, the DVD drive will read the pre-encoded tracks to find out how to set itself for playback and possible recording. This is one of the main reasons that certain types of DVD's or DVD's recorded in one computer will not play or record in another even though they say that they have a DVD drive installed. As the capability of DVD drives improves (speed, capacity, multi session, printable media surfaces, etc) the media has to keep pace with that new capability. The changes to the pre-encoded data can sometimes confuse the DVD drive to the point where it won't even recognize the media. Fortunately, many manufacturers of DVD drives allow for this evolution and provide what are called "firmware" updates. These are small internal hardware programs that are built right into the electronics of the DVD drive itself. Some of these updates can even be downloaded and installed by the end user.
When it comes to the DVD player that is hooked up to your television, there is another layer of confusion added. Most recent DVD players will also read music CD's , MP3 files, and digital still images when they are written (or burned as the saying goes) onto CD media. The DVD player uses the same pre-encoded tracks to determine what type of media has been inserted. The difficulty arises when the pictures or other types of files are "burned" onto DVD media. The DVD player reads the pre-encoded tracks and discovers that DVD media has been inserted. The player then decides that this media must have a "movie" to play. It goes searching for movie files and doesn't find any. The player then decides that this is silly and refuses to do anything. The only way around this is to create a DVD playable "slide show" to view the images on the DVD player. This can be a time consuming project that requires special software in your computer. (We also offer this as a service to those less technically inclined).
Hopefully as technology improves the DVD players will become smart enough to check for image files as well. But don't be too hopeful because a new media type called Blu-ray has recently been introduced and we may have to go around this bush again. Ain't technology wonderful?