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Is Sony Turning Its Back On CD-Rs?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the this-doesn't-sound-so-good dept.

Censorship 318

slashdoter asks: "For Christmas my mother got a 5 DVD/CD changer from Sony (model DVP-C660). I hooked it up for her and we both where impressed by the picture and sound quality, anyway for the last year or so I have been using Napster to make CD's of her record collection. Today she put in one of the burned CD's and it would not play. After reading the manual I found the among a list of unsupported formats there was 'CD-R', which really shocked me. Every device in my house playas CD-R's, and I could see this if it was a first generation CD player but the CD-R standard has been out longer than the DVD standard. Is the unit defective or is Sony up to something?" Is there a reason why Sony would make it's DVD player deliberately incompatible with CD-R's which, at first glance, doesn't make much sense.

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That's standard. (4)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 13 years ago | (#510519)

A lot of DVD players don't support CD-R discs. Don't ask me why it's so; but I don't think it has anything to do with "piracy prevention," it's more by-product of the way the laser picks up data from the discs on DVD players.

My Pioneer DV-606D doesn't support CD-Rs either, for what it's worth.

I've actually been wanting a list of players that DO support CD-Rs for a while now. (Besides playing audio CDs, it's useful for VCDs.)

Um, no, it's a DVD player (3)

rexmob (225442) | more than 13 years ago | (#510520)

I really don't see what is surprising here. This is a DVD changer that also happens to play CD's. 90% of DVD players, due to the makeup of the laser, can't play CD-Rs. Only players from Pioneer, Apex, and a couple other companies can. I guess you should have checked the stats on the player first.

protect their other business interests (1)

Squamish (259253) | more than 13 years ago | (#510521)

Sony obviously wouldn't want people to be able to play CD-R, because they could be ilegal copies. Remeber that Sony doesn't just make hardware, they also own a large record company

Laser for DVD is different... (3)

Deffexor (230167) | more than 13 years ago | (#510522)

I think there are a lot of DVD players that don't read CD-R. Apparently the laser used to read DVD, also works well on CD-RW and regular mass produced CDs, but it seems the reflectivity of most CD-Rs is not good enough (or only works some of the time.)

Check out for a list of DVD players that can read CD-Rs.

Probably cost (2)

nublord (88026) | more than 13 years ago | (#510523)

I can't say for sure why they would do this. I'd imagine it was some bean counter cost thing. From what I understand CD-R discs return only a 1/10th of the laser light that a regular CD does. Therefore they would need more sensitive electronics. Of course, a DVD disc might be the same way (returning a smaller portion of the laser light as compared to a CD disc) which would moot my whole theory. But I'd still consider it a cost thing. Besides, the purpose of Sony is to make money - not do the 'right' thing (support every type of disc known to man).

Sharp does the same. (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 13 years ago | (#510524)

I have a Sharp compact DVD player (purchased because of the size) and it will not play CD-R's as well.

I've had this DVD player for over a year, and I though (I remember hearing this somewhere) that the DVD-reader (which can also read CD's) cannot support the burn marks of a CD-R. Dont know if that's accurate but you aren't alone.

CDRW's (2)

egon (29680) | more than 13 years ago | (#510525)

The interesting thing is most of the DVD players I've encountered that don't play CDRs WILL play CDRWs.

Give a man a match, you keep him warm for an evening.

Re: No, that's NOT standard. (1)

consume (96890) | more than 13 years ago | (#510526)

Especially considering the Raite and APEX DVD/MP3 DVD players. I have a Raite model (bought at Fry's, Sunnyvale) that plays my DVDs, plain olde CDs and burned CDs (with MP3s or Audio tracks, no difference) just fine and dandy.

Perhaps it is an issue with the laser pickup on the DVD player? I don't know the technology to that depth, but perhaps some EE could enlighten (please no pun) us....

It does make sence when you think like this.... (2)

firstnevyn (97192) | more than 13 years ago | (#510527)

Me: why would they do that
Cartman: because they're assholes
Me: Oh, yeah that makes sence

Seriously sony have continuously shown they have no interest whatsoever in preserving "fair use" the thinkoholics at sony go.. what are CD-R used for only for pirating music let's not make it work.

Well, Duh. (1)

Fist Prost (198535) | more than 13 years ago | (#510528)

The idea is that "What you got on them there CD-R's anyway? Prolly pirated music I'd bet..."

Expect more of this where that came from. My Apex doesn't play mp3 CD's like my roomate's does, it's pretty much pointless asking why. You know why...

Fist Prost

"We're talking about a planet of helpdesks."

What about their normal CD-Rs? (1)

Rydor (129335) | more than 13 years ago | (#510529)

Will they still produce normal CDRs? I find them very reliable, up there with memorex, and TDK, as opposed to some that have random holes in them

Piracy (1)

Milikki (103463) | more than 13 years ago | (#510530)

Can you say "Piracy Prevention"? Thats what its all about. Kevin

Got a Toshiba dirt cheap, works fine (2)

Joe Rumsey (2194) | more than 13 years ago | (#510531)

I see some people saying many DVD drives don't play CD-R's, but for what it's worth, I have what Windows identifies as a "Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1202" that not only reads CD-R, but even CD-RW with no trouble. I got it dirt cheap a year and a half ago, before I had a CD burner at all. I wasn't expecting CD-RW to work, that was a nice surprise, but I would have been disappointed if CD-R hadn't.

Different lasers (1)

cgadd (65348) | more than 13 years ago | (#510532)

The laser to read DVD's is a different wavelength than the laser needed to read CD-R format. Some DVD's specifically include dual lasers, others do not.

Re:That's standard. (3)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 13 years ago | (#510533)

I agree, it's probably a technical matter. Something similar to why the average CD-RW won't play in the same machines that play music CD-Rs. I wish I could say it were an evil plot, but Sony are so Jekyll and Hyde on this stuff it's not even funny. Comes with being a huge multinational. The various divisions do NOT work off the same script.

Couldn't be intentional... (2)

GooseKirk (60689) | more than 13 years ago | (#510534)

I have several musician friends who release a lot of material on CD-R. I'd think that by this point every CD reader should be able to read CD-Rs - there are plenty of legitimate uses, and I'd be real surprised if even Sony would make a decision to stop supporting them. This must just be some funky design flaw with this model's laser.

Return it. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 13 years ago | (#510535)


And explain the problem politely, but loudly enough for everyone else in line to hear.


lasers (2)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 13 years ago | (#510536)

Let's see©©©

1© Reading a CD-R requires one wavelength of laser light©
2© Reading a DVD requires a different wavelength©
3© Sony gets lazy/tries to cut costs and uses a read laser that can't see CD-Rs ¥maybe©
666© Insert SONY/RIAA/MPAA-cracks-down-on-piracy conspiracy theories in between any of the above steps©

-the wunderhorn

NOT piracy prevention, just cheaper parts (5)

Knight (10458) | more than 13 years ago | (#510537)

I'm as big a fan of a conspiracy theory as anybody, but I'm afraid that the root of this problem is in the type of laser used. When the first prototype DVD devices started appearing on the market, I was a lab monkey at Intel, and we noticed the same problems. The issue was eventually resolved, but it made the device $5-20 more expensive. Most likely, Sony has done a market survey and determined that CD-R is not something that is worth adding that much to the cost of the device.

Enough your conspiracy theories... (1)

infofreako (194212) | more than 13 years ago | (#510538)

If you want a DVD player that can handle CDr's then you should have bought one with DUAL lasers. Sony does in fact make them, Pioneer makes them, you just have to look (and probably pay a bit more). If you're that concerned about compatibility, then take some various formats of CDr, VCD, ETC with you to your local big box and see what works BEFORE buying. Odds are good that more money was spent on the changer part of the box than the laser part. -info

Return it (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#510539)

Return it to the place where she got it, and exchange it for a model that has the functions you want. I can't believe an issue like this made it to "Ask Slashdot" for a solution. She really should have checked the specifications of the DVD player before getting it if she's a CD-R user.

Sony WILL play CDR's - Use High Quality Media (5)

ayden (126539) | more than 13 years ago | (#510540)

I had the same problem with my Sony DVP-S300. I couldn't get it to play my CDR's. A friend enlightened me: Use High Quality media ONLY. Cheap CDR's (the ones with blue-green tint) will not play in Sony DVD players. However, higher quality CDRs, the ones with only a very slight tint (and therefore a higher reflectivity) will play in sony DVD players. I proved this empirically.

Same problem with Daewoo (1)

savaget (26702) | more than 13 years ago | (#510541)

I have a Daewoo DVD/CD Player model DS-2000N and I also cannot play CD-r's.

Is there a work around for this problem?

It probably is some sort of new strategy (1)

idekine (302062) | more than 13 years ago | (#510542)

I haven't been keeping up with the goings on in the industry, but Sony probably acquired a music or some other media company (or made a deal with one), and is using this as some sort of feeble way to discourage bootlegging.

Sigh...This is Not a Conspiracy (3)

Cheshire Cat (105171) | more than 13 years ago | (#510543)

Many DVD players don't support CD-Rs. A quick check of the CD-R FAQ [] regarding DVDs [] says: CD-R was designed to be read by an infrared 780nm laser. DVD uses a visible red 635nm or 650nm laser, which aren't reflected sufficiently by the organic dye polymers used in CD-R media. Some DVD players come with two lasers so that they can read CD-R.

So its not at all a conspiracy by Sony to protect its music industry. Especially considering the fact that Sony makes several MP3 players. []

Many CD-Rs "invisible" (link to more) (2)

AndyBusch (160585) | more than 13 years ago | (#510544)

Many CD-Rs are "invisible" to DVD players' lasers. The specs should mention whether they can handle CD-R(W)s. Here's a link to a part of a DVD FAQ with a little more info. [] Andy

I just bought a Panasonic. Sony is not alone. (2)

OwnedByTheMan (169684) | more than 13 years ago | (#510545)

Just bought a Panasonic DVD-RV30 [] and its list of supported formats is 3 long (DVD-Video, CD-Video, CD-Audio). The list of un-supported formats is at least 15 long including Photo CD and CD-R (and CD-RW)

I am afraid I just assumed that it would play the CD-R(W) formats.(I had bought it to replace the 10 year old Yamaha 5 CD changer that played damn near anything shiny and flat I could jam into it) It never mentioned the lack of support for these formats on the box. It wasn't until I RTFM that I saw the extensive list of unsupported formats.

Needless to say, this one is now earmarked as the spare/bedroom unit and the plans for its replacement are in progress.

Ps2 does Cdr, but wont allow them to acces DVD (1)

Mastagunna (251788) | more than 13 years ago | (#510546)

I tried Winoncd 3.8 MusicAlbum, it stores 7 hours of music on a normal 650 mb cd. I was real excited but when i popped it into my PS2, expecting it to work, I got a screen saying use Ps1/PS2 disc. Now will this lack of support for non-original DVDs prevent them from playing homemade DVD (non-css) once they become popular. It will work with burnt music (normal 1 hour stuff) but not the DVD, and it uses only one laser, so it must not be a laser problem, simply Sony being basterds.

I can't say I'm surprised (1)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#510547)

Sony is a large record company (and a movie company, too, I think; someone correct me if I'm wrong). Many large record companies are against filesharing technologies (hence the push for copy-protected hard drives). This is just the next logical step in killing off all possible support for copying music, movies, and all other copyrighted content (which is what the MPAA is trying to do). What surprises me, though, is that they waited this long to do something.

If you don't believe me, look at what they did with the Playstation and Playstation 2s. You have to buy a mod chip or use the swap trick because PSX discs have 0s written in the blocks which CDR and CDRW drives write checksums to.

No conspiracy there (1)

ektor (113899) | more than 13 years ago | (#510548)

DVDs and CDs use lasers of different wavelength. If you want to use a DVD player with CD-Rs, which are like CDs just a bit tricky because of their lesser reflectivity, you have to use a double laser pickup.

That obviously increases cost and I guess could impact reliability. AFAIK Sony has never made a player that plays CD-R. Other brands are in that boat too. On the other hand all Pioneer players do, since they have the aforementioned double laser pickup.

To sum it up, it's mainly an engineering decision.

Re:Laser for DVD is different... (1)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 13 years ago | (#510549)

I can confirm that CD-RW's do work with my quite old DVD player. I have played a few B5 VCD's using CD-RW's. USENET still rules. :)

Be careful about the color of the disc; it does matter. DVD's and CD-RW's are silver as opposed to CD-R's which are blue. The laser used has trouble with the blue discs unless the player is designed specifically for CD-R's.

You need two lasers to read CDRs on a DVD player (2)

Kiwi (5214) | more than 13 years ago | (#510550)

An article like this shows how low the quality of Slashdot's journalism has gone. Making these kinds of rash accusations wihtout a solid knowledge of the facts is irresponsible.

Due to the way that CD-Rs place pits on the CD-R, the laser that reads the data on the CD-R has to be the same wavelength as a standard infrared laser that CD players use.

"Silver" CDs will work with the Red laser that DVD players use, since, while the red laser breaks the spec, the pits on CDs pressed from glass masters are more tolerant of the laser's wavelength.

The DVD players that do work with CD-Rs have to have some extra electronics to work with CD-Rs. Basically, these DVDs have two lasers: one for DVD media, and one for CD and CD-R media.

Anyway, I think I will go to Kuro5hin [] now.

- Sam

Don't Forget (1)

Nater (15229) | more than 13 years ago | (#510551)

Sony also sells records (Epic). Any lengths Sony takes in its home electronics to restrict your ability to copy or to play copies wouldn't surprise me in the least. To my knowledge, Sony is the only company in both the recording and home electronics markets.

First Generation DVD Player Limitations (1)

cloudscout (104011) | more than 13 years ago | (#510552)

When DVD players were first released in the US, the only manufacturer who had a player that would work with CD-R discs was Sony.

The Sony DVP-S3000 and DVP-S7000 were the only two players which featured two separate lasers for playback of DVDs and CDs. Other players accomplished the task of playing Audio CDs by using a lens to refocus the single beam. This lens wasn't able to refocus onto CD-R media. There were even reports of CD-R discs getting damaged by placing them in first generation DVD players, although I've never personally seen it happen.

If Sony is trying to cut costs, they may have gone to the same type of cheap single-laser-based optics that prevented all non-Sony first-generation DVD players from playing recordable media.

DVD laser can't read CDR tracks (1)

ddstreet (49825) | more than 13 years ago | (#510553)

From DVD demystified FAQ [] , "The problem is that CD-Rs (Orange Book Part II) are 'invisible' to DVD laser wavelength because the dye used in CD-Rs doesn't reflect the beam."

See the section about DVD and CDR [] .

most DVD players won't support CDR (2)

option8 (16509) | more than 13 years ago | (#510554)

i've been shopping for a DVD player that can play CDs and MP3 CDs, in order to partially replace my aging stereo, and have found that most, if not all the DVD/CD players i've seen will not play (or won't officially support) CDR discs. the only ones that say they will are those that also play MP3 CDs (and it makes sense, as there aren't very many pressed MP3 CDs out there)

i doubt it's a sony (or pioneer, or panasonic, or AIWA) thing. I suspect it's the lasers the DVD players use. those that read CDR may have an additional laser, or else have a different kind than Joe DVD. they also have the tendency to play VCDs, which makes me think it's more than just an anti-piracy thing.

anyhoo, my 2 cents, from having spent many hours researching a good combo DVD player [] (i bought a sony, and i'm returning it for an Apex 703 [] - 3 disc changer, upgradeable firmware, plus MP3 playback)

The REAL technical reason (2)

Rayban (13436) | more than 13 years ago | (#510555)

DVD lasers can't pick up CD-R data. You need a dual-laser pickup for that. Not many have this feature (my Pioneer and my Sampo can, however). A lot of newer drives using DVD-ROM internally will be able to, but don't expect this to be a feature of the player unless specifically stated. As for CD-RW and regular CDs, they respond to the DVD light much better so some single-laser pickups can read it.

Read the box before buying the player. If it doesn't explicitly support CD-R, don't trust it.

Try using a CDRW (1)

The Troll King (300871) | more than 13 years ago | (#510556)

I've successfully used CDRWs many times on my Sony DVD Player... not the same model, but Sony DVD nonetheless.

Sony CD-R playing (1)

jrq (119773) | more than 13 years ago | (#510557)

Of all the manufacturers, I've come across Sony CD players are the fussiest about CD-Rs. Curiously the most compatible player I have is a 10 year old Panasonic Portable SL-NP1A, which has travelled around the world, and, for the last 6 years of it's life has been living in my bathroom!

man dvdplayer (2)

kidlinux (2550) | more than 13 years ago | (#510558)

A buddy of mine got himself a dvd player for christmas (JVC, maybe, can't remember.) The store salesman said that it didn't play CD-Rs, and when he read the manual, it also said CD-Rs were unsupported. However, just out of curiosity, he popped an audio CD-R in the dvd player, and to his surprise, it played.
I suspect that you'll see a lot of dvd players that say they don't support CD-Rs just because it's sort of a fikle media - the quality and playability of the CD may often depend on the quality of writable disc and the manufacturer of the CD burner. Due to such factors, dvd player manufacturers probably don't want to hear about problems relating to CD-Rs, and have to worry about feilding technical support for issues dealing with CD-Rs.

Re:Got a Toshiba dirt cheap, works fine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#510559)

That's a computer DVD drive. I think the original poster was talking about a "hook up to your stereo and TV" DVD drive.

Re:That's standard. (1)

hexic (252411) | more than 13 years ago | (#510560)

My Sony DVD players doesn't play CD-R's, too. I was warned not to try play CD-R's for extended periods of time since the laser was hotter (or something) and could melt the CD. Sony didn't give me this warning, one of my henchmen did, so take it as you will....

Sony Music (1)

Drone-X (148724) | more than 13 years ago | (#510561)

I thought it was a well-known fact that Sony doesn't support CD-Rs that well. The reason for this supposably is that they're also a record company.

Philips, on the other hand, sold its record company (forgot which one it was) when it started producing CD-Writers.

Mine's ok, maybe an older model though (1)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 13 years ago | (#510562)

I picked up a 5 disc DVD/CD/VCD Sony a little over a year ago, and it plays CD-R's I make just fine,
both audio cd's and VCD's.

I haven't tried an mp3 CD-R though, and I really wouldn't expect it to work unless I got a player that specifically mentions mp3s, even though the VCD format is mpeg-1 (so the thing does have an mpeg decoder of some type).

Multiple lasers required (1)

Butterwaffle Biff (32117) | more than 13 years ago | (#510563)

See the DVD FAQ [] . The shiny stuff on CD-R's isn't so reflective at the frequency that DVD lasers use.

It could just be "recording level" (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 13 years ago | (#510564)

Or the optical equivalent of it. CDs rely on distinguishing between a reflection and not-a-reflection of the laser light. There are many dBs between the two levels on pressed CDs. On burnt CDs the 'mirror' ain't as shiny, and the dull bit, ain't as dull.
Try different brands of CD-R, or ones burnt on different recorders, perhaps.
I wouldn't put it down to malice ab initio.

-- Real Men Don't Use Porn. -- Morality In Media Billboards

Re:Sigh...This is Not a Conspiracy (2)

Mordred (104619) | more than 13 years ago | (#510565)

It just has to be a conspiracy! Conspriacy's are so much more fun! Obviously since Sony is part of "The Man" they're just trying to keep our rights down, Technology be damned. I bet Microsoft is somehow involved in all of this too.


Re:Um, no, it's a DVD player (1)

disc-chord (232893) | more than 13 years ago | (#510566)

Why is it that Apex and Pioneer would use better/more-effective lasers than Sony? I find that hard to believe. If you were Sony, wouldn't you want your products supporting as many formats as possible?

It seems more likely that as Sony has found a good deal of money is to be made in the movie industry, they will do what they can to prevent themselves and their associates from being ripped off by all us VCD leechers by make home burned VCDs bunk on their players.


dvp-c600d (lower model) plays them fine. (1)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 13 years ago | (#510567)

My DVP-C600D(which sounds like an older model than yours), plays CD-R just fine. Had to bring in a VCD, and play that on every machine in the store, till i found the one that would play it. I originally bought a lower end sony, and it wouldn't play cd-r, so i had to return it, and get the 5 cd/dvd changer, similar to yours.

Re:Got a Toshiba dirt cheap, works fine (1)

jfunk (33224) | more than 13 years ago | (#510568)

2 different worlds here.

The topic is about component players, not computer drives. The player in question does not have "dual-pickup" or whatever they're calling it in your local electronic superstore. The result is that you cannot use CD-R discs in it. This is extremely common.

You're talking about a drive for a computer. That's a different story. I have a Toshiba laptop with a DVD drive. If it *didn't* support CD-R, a lot of people would be super pissed. How do I restore from a backup? How do I use the CDs that come with various hardware?

Anit-trust issues. (2)

victim (30647) | more than 13 years ago | (#510569)

I play in a regional niche folk music band. We sell hundreds of CDs and prefer to use CD-Rs since we can make small runs and replace tracks on future runs if we wish. I'd be ticked (and legally injured) if Sony is using their clout in the CD player industry to deliberatly block CD-Rs in order to protect their "corporate music" industry. Now I'm sure there are more legal hurdles than that, but sounds like its well on the way to an anti-trust suit.

Ob Fact I do believe it is most likely a technical laser issue and not a corporate decision. Just getting the issue raised.

Ob Anarchy Note Yes, you can get my music for free (that which I am legally allowed to give away anyway, most of our songs are not OpenLyrics tm). [] . Don't go there and rack up our dollars, just go if you want to listen.

Re: No, that's NOT standard. (3)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#510570)

It certainly is a laser issue. The lasers used in DVD players have a much lower wavelength (I believe it's somewhere between 60-70 nm) than a standard CD player. I think most DVD players made today are using blue lasers. These lasers work fine for most audio CD's, but CD-R discs have a much lower reflectivity and cannot reflect the beam back to the pickup with enough efficiency to allow the player to read the disc. Some DVD manufacturer's (such as those in the parent) use a twin laser system that can switch between a standard red laser used for CD's and CD-R's and a narrow beam laser for DVD's.

Oh and the Apex DVD players are great. The AD660 can read an MPEG 1 or MPEG2 burned straight to a CD-R. No need to format the file as a VCD.

Re:That's standard. (5)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 13 years ago | (#510571)

The question is - is it "supported" or does it "work"?

If you say you support CD-R, you imply "anything that's CD-R, if you put it in the machine, we can read it", and you imply that your customer support drones are going to have to say "Funny, it should read your CD-R. Guess you'll have to send it back if it doesn't".

If you say you support CD-Rs of a certain dye type, you then have to educate the consumer about the difference between cyanine and pthallocyanine and all that other stuff. Not bloody likely. C'mon, when CD-R manufacturers change dye formulations on a month-by-month basis, even if your drones could say "Sorry, use only $FOO-stabilized cye CD-Rs", they'd never be able to answer the question "My CD-Rs are from Wal-Mart! Are they $FOO-stabilized?", because nobody knows.

Now... if CD-Rs are "unsupported", they don't have to worry. Some CD-R media types may work. Some may not. Maybe none will. As long as Sony's up-front and says "unsupported", it's up to you to do the research and figure out if your preferred CD-R brand will work or not.

By way of analogy, how many of you have Linux "supported" on your laptop? By your ISP? Or do they merely happen to work with certain Linux configurations, with or without official support?

I doubt if a SONY DVD will ever play CD-R (1)

Grand Facade (35180) | more than 13 years ago | (#510572)

They are RIAA members probably MPAA as well.
Phillips AIWA Pioneer and others will, only newer ones will decode an MP3.

Re:Um, no, it's a DVD player (1)

Andre060 (99353) | more than 13 years ago | (#510573)

90% of DVD players, due to the makeup of the laser, can't play CD-Rs


Go to your local Future Shop (or Circuit City for the americans reading this) with a CD-R and try it out... The Sony unit mentionned is one of the only DVD players I have seen that cannot play CD-R audio discs..

CDRW is another story completely, mind you, but since the great majority of units (including others by sony) play CD-R, it seems odd that they wouldn't play them at all...

This is the worst topic I've ever seen on /. (1)

britoki (223263) | more than 13 years ago | (#510574)

There is no conspiracy, if you want to buy a DVD player that supports CDs, YOU READ THE BOX FIRST. It wasn't a bean counter's decision. It's a question of whether or not the design specs required support for CDR or not. This one didn't, so they didn't put the extra laser in it to read the CDR.

Very few DVD players support CDRs. Sony didn't remove a feature that wasn't even there in the first place.

That's why the Apex was so compelling (besides, of course, the region code and macrovision hack). The Apex was a good, cheap DVD player that could play CDRs. Apex had to put support for both the DVD laser and the CDr laser (probably because supporting MP3 without supporting CDR would have seriously limited its market appeal)

Re:That's standard. (1)

gwjc (181552) | more than 13 years ago | (#510575)

That's strange my Pioneer DVD-V555 plays my CD-R's. Given that yours is a 606D I wonder if Pioneer has started doing the same thing. As for the original poster wondering why Sony would do such a thing.. it's because they are corporate Greedheads who would rather you pay them their inflated Greedhead price for CD's and don't want you rolling your own. "Corporate Music Sucks." Kurt Cobain

normal (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 13 years ago | (#510576)

most dvd players dont play cdrs because its easy to copy vcds... I have a toshiba sd1200 or something dvd player that doesn't play cdrs.... but i found it plays CDRWs, oops :) .. and that's even better, burn a vcd on cdrw, dont like it, format the cdrw and try a different movie, saves you money :)

now I just need broadband so i can try it out :(

But Wait!! (1)

ctp (29513) | more than 13 years ago | (#510577)

I have a Sony CD player that plays CDRs I record just fine...kinda blows anti piracy out of the water as the motive.

Model (1)

jjr (6873) | more than 13 years ago | (#510578)

It just might be that is cheaper to make without cd-r support therefore they decided to make more than one model one that plays cd-r and one that does not.

Re:Um, no, it's a DVD player (1)

popular (301484) | more than 13 years ago | (#510579)

I would also add that I have a Sony CX-335 CD changer (a 2000 model) that *does* play CD-R. I have never tried it in my S360 DVD player.

What's really criminal is the disparity between single and changer DVD players vis a vis singe and changer CD players. For $100 extra (staying with Sony), you go from a single disc ($150) to a 300 disc ($250) player of the same caliber. In the DVD world, you can't even get a 300 or 400 disc changer, and the 200 disc units are more than double the price of a single disc. Supply/demand my ass, it's just gouging.

Moral of the story: buy a single disc DVD player and spend the spare cash on a separate CD changer with more capacity that WILL read CD-R's.


CD-R Not Specified (1)

MopOfJustice (300784) | more than 13 years ago | (#510580)

Flipping through my most recent Crutchfields catalog I noticed that a few DVDs claim to read CD-R or CD-RW, but most don't mention it. My $.02 is that they don't care about copying enough to engineer specifically either way. Whether a unit can read CD-Rs is probably merely an artifact of the laser mechanism.

Re:Return it (1)

emars (142040) | more than 13 years ago | (#510581)

Some people are so rude. I think this sort of topic is good for slashdot -- simply because now it will make me think before buying a DVD player.

Many DVD players dont.. (2)

suprax (2463) | more than 13 years ago | (#510582)

I was recently shopping for a home DVD player and I found many that did not support CDR/RW. The first one I purchased, the Samsung DVD-711 support CDR/RW AND MP3. This was extremly cool! The unit itself looks awesome, and the remote is one of the coolest I've seen, but as it was rumored to do, it skipped a couple times only after about 3 days of movie playing.

There was no way I was going to lay down $200 for a skipping DVD player. I then bought the Pioneer DV333 which had great reviews. And while the remote is terrible/ugly and the unit itself is not too pretty, it plays like a champ and has had absolutly no problems with skipping. It also supports CDR/W.

If I had my choice I take the looks and remote of the Samsung unit and combine them with the Pioneer engineering for my perfect DVD player. But for now I'll take the good quality of my Pioneer and see what happens in the future. I know that if I was an electronics company, I would support CDR/RW/DVD as I know myself along with a TON others look for that in a player.

Scott Miga

Re:NOT piracy prevention, just cheaper parts (2)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 13 years ago | (#510583)

No, this IS a conspiracy to make us stop using CDR's. Sony just wants us to buy cd's from evil monopolists like

The only solution is to produce open-sourced dvd players that are free for everyone.

A list of supported DVD players for CD-Rs and VCDs (1)

disc-chord (232893) | more than 13 years ago | (#510584)

Here ya go, this is a very helpful list for anyone considering purchasing a DVD player and is a fan of VCDs and SVCDs or playing CD-Rs for whatever reason:

Searchable database []
Complete List []


Possibly interesting thing to try... (1)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 13 years ago | (#510585)

Seems regular CDs and CD-RWs work because the silver color reflects the red laser light better than blue or green. I have a few greyish-sliver CD-Rs that came with one of those funny packs of different colored CD-Rs; I wonder of those will work...

Apex (1)

daveodukeo (260037) | more than 13 years ago | (#510586)

Apex makes a DVD player that not only plays CD-R's, but also has built in MP3 support: ie, burn a bunch of mp3s to a cdr NOT in CD format and the player will recognize this and will play the mp3s with a nice little UI to go with it. Also plays video cds. Its one of the most impressive dvd players i've ever seen

And another thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#510587)

Yeah they're different kinds of lasers and all that...then WHY can you go to Wal-Mart and pick up a DvD for less than $100 that DOES play CD-R's?

I'd reccomend, like most others here that you take it back, call, and write(dead tree letter that is) Sony Customer Services and let them know you'll be spending that money on a competitor that can deliver the features you want, even if it means waiting a month or three for them to catch up.

And don't forget to write up a product review in your newsgroups (Remember that Deja is the learn-before-you-buy place now) and Warn other potential buyers that there is anti-fair-use technology (or rather a lack of...nevermind) on this unit.

Huh... (1)

dgulbran (141477) | more than 13 years ago | (#510588)

My Sony 5-Disc DVD changer plays my CDRs... I have had a few that it didn't recognize, but on the whole it works fine. Try using a better quality CDR media....

Sony DVD players work with CD-RW disks! (1)

Chris Coster (143884) | more than 13 years ago | (#510589)

I recently converted one of my old computer graphics demo reels to VideoCD (mpeg) format so that I could watch them on my Sony DVD player.

After some experimenting, all of the (admittedly less than high quality) CD-R disks I tried could not be read by the player - but CD-RW disks could be. So you might get better results with these disks if you have access to a CD-RW capable burner.

As mentioned here [] , it's most likely because of the tint of the disks - the underside of CD-RWs are "cleaner" and look a lot like regular CDs.

- Chris.

CD-RWs work in the Sony DVP-C650D (1)

Agent Q6 (266280) | more than 13 years ago | (#510590)

My Sony DVD player reads CD-RWs, but not CD-Rs (I tried Sony CD-Rs). I used a Verbatim CD-RW and wrote a 10x, no problems. I've also heard that Princo White Surface CD-Rs will work in the Sony DVD players. You can buy them here: []

Re:No conspiracy there (1)

Golantig (231102) | more than 13 years ago | (#510591)

Er, no. My Sony DDU-220E-SRP (6x/32x) DVD drive plays cd-r and rw just dandily. And we're talking cheap-shit disks too...

Re:That's standard. (1)

dcohrs (157723) | more than 13 years ago | (#510592)

I found a useful site that has exhaustive comparisons of both audio and video capabilities of practically every DVD player.

The site is
and either follow the links, or just jump to tm l

to see the list of basic feature comparisons, including CD-R support. Note that CD-R support is
listed as a qualifier in the "Audio CD" column. You'll also notice that CD-R does *not* imply CD-RW support.

Helped immensely when picking out my Toshiba SD9200, and steered me away from Sony.

Re:Um, no, it's a DVD player (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 13 years ago | (#510593)

> I really don't see what is surprising here. This is a DVD changer that also happens to play CD's.

People buy 5-changers primarily as a DVD player?

That's a lot of movies to watch in one night.


Sony DVP-S7000 works (1)

ogesII (255147) | more than 13 years ago | (#510594)

My S7000 plays cd-r just fine. I just watched gladiator on vcd last night. And I play burned audio cds on it all the time. So if sony is doing this they weren't before.

Sony is turning its back (1)

doormat (63648) | more than 13 years ago | (#510595)

Sony is definately turning its back on the CDR crowd. My friend got a new sony DVD player for christmas and it wouldnt play VCDs burnt to CDR media. The old Sony DVD player that his new one replaced DID play CDR media. So now all the home videos I had converted to VCD and burnt to CDR for him are now obsolete (at this time, the model numbers escape me). At the $35 per disk I charged him, he is really pissed, and I feel bad about all this too. And no, he cant switch back to his old one because it wont work with his new Home Theater system.

Re:Um, no, it's a DVD player (1)

Spruitje (15331) | more than 13 years ago | (#510596)

Well, my Grundig GDV100 also doesn't plat CDr's.
But that is because this is a first generation player.

No CD-r Support (1)

SunCrushr (153472) | more than 13 years ago | (#510597)

My toshiba dvd player doesn't work with cd-r's either.

Re:No conspiracy there (1)

ektor (113899) | more than 13 years ago | (#510598)

Sorry, I should have specified: I was talking about standalone DVD players, not DVD-ROM units, which by they way may not even be manufactured by Sony.

we KNOW it's the laser! (4)

iso (87585) | more than 13 years ago | (#510599)

every single reply to this post has said the same thing: "i think it's the laser" or "the laser has something to do with it." do you people not bother to read the other comments before you post? if there have been 10 comments saying "i think it has something to do with the laser," why add an 11th?

think people.

anyhow, i think it has something to do with the lasers they use in DVD players. :)

- j

You're right, my fault. (1)

Joe Rumsey (2194) | more than 13 years ago | (#510600)


Re:Why discarding CD-R? (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#510601)

Then why does Sony make CD-RW drives?

Re: No, that's NOT standard. (5)

TwP (149780) | more than 13 years ago | (#510602)

I believe it's somewhere between 60-70 nm

He-Ne laser --> 683 nm --> red
Ar-Ion laser --> 514 nm --> green
blue diode laser --> does not exist

Blude diode lasers are in development, but have not quite reached the stage where they are reliable/cheap/mass-producable. The substrate material will eat istelf after ~5 days of use.

I doubt that laser intensity and reflectivity prevent CD-R's from being read by a DVD player. My laptop, which has a toshiba DVD drive, can read CD-R's just fine. It only has one laser. My conclusion from this observation would be that Sony is jerking you around.


Yet The PS2 Does..... (5)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 13 years ago | (#510603)

I don't know whether folks will find this surprising or not, but the PS2 CAN read CDRs. I listened to one of my collections just the other day with nay a problem from the deck. I also have a 500 series player that can read a VCD and CD from a CDRW, but can not read a CDR disk. You might want to try burning your songs to a CDRW disk and use that! Interestingly, the PS2 can NOT read CDRW....

Bryan R.

Re:Um, no, it's a DVD player (1)

alkali (28338) | more than 13 years ago | (#510604)

The player comes with a $25 rebate on Depends(tm).

Single laser model... (1)

zhensel (228891) | more than 13 years ago | (#510605)

Some DVD players have 2 lasers, some have 1. A laser capable of reading both CD's and DVD's was developed and first distributed last year or so. It works pretty well for the most part, but seems to have trouble with CD-R's. Perhaps it's all a big conspiracy because Sony uses this laser on PS2's and fears piracy :) - anyway, I think someone linked to or the like earlier. Some types of media work better than others. Most DVD players can play at least one type of CD-R media fairly regularly. The real question is whether your DVD player has VCD support (mine doesn't... boooo). Without it, CD-R support is relatively worthless (well, you can burn DVD encoded files to CD-R, but programs to do that are basically nonexistent or way to expensive... plus you can't fit much mpeg-2 video on a cd).


mrscorpio (265337) | more than 13 years ago | (#510606)

I remember reading somewhere that DVD players often are unable to read CD-R's, but are able to read CD-RW's just fine, due to the specifications of the laser. Also, standalone CD players usually have no trouble with CD-R's, but the fact that this is a DVD might explain the CD-R difficulty. Hopefully someone has more technical information on the issue than I do.

A weird one (1)

alch (30445) | more than 13 years ago | (#510607)

I currently have a Sharp. It won't play the Blue CD-R's but it will play silver CD-RW's. So I think it has much more to do with the Laser than anything else

Re:we KNOW it's the laser! (1)

ugly_bob (166481) | more than 13 years ago | (#510608)

Hey, just in case you're wondering, it's the laser. Cheers.

This isn't surprising ... (1)

gaj (1933) | more than 13 years ago | (#510609)

Doing just a bit (&lt30 sec.) would have given the answer to this. From the CD Recordable FAQ [] :

CD-R was designed to be read by an infrared 780nm laser. DVD uses a visible red 635nm or 650nm laser, which aren't reflected sufficiently by the organic dye polymers used in CD-R media. Some DVD players come with two lasers so that they can read CD-R. CD-RW discs have a different formulation, and may work even on players that can't handle CD-R media.

I realize that it's /. standard to see Black Helecopters&tm everywhere, but this whole "Big Corporations are Evil and out to get us all" thing is getting old. When it's true, get the word out. But for the love of Eris, do some research!
If your map and the terrain differ,
trust the terrain.

Same with my Sony DVD (1)

DrBoom (243523) | more than 13 years ago | (#510610)

That's interesting -- my Sony DVD player (current model, not an old one) sez "no disc" when I load a CDR. My Harman-Kardon CD player is perfectly happy with them.

Don't buy HK CD players, btw -- they have serious quality control problems reoported by users on the 'net, and mine acts really strange most of the time.

This is censorship? (1)

kinnunen (197981) | more than 13 years ago | (#510611)

The Asus P4T motherboard doesn't have any ISA slots, is that censorship too?

Just wondering...


My Pre CD-R CD player plays CD-Rs. (1)

TheoFish (139696) | more than 13 years ago | (#510612)

As far as I knew, CD-Rs were made to fit the old CD standard, so anything that could play a CD could play a CD-R.

Now if you mean a data CD-R full of MP3s, that's entirely different.

At any rate there is extra information on a CD-R which allows writers to know what to do with them. Sony could be intentionally not playing anything that has this extra information.

This is why I don't prefer Sony. (1)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 13 years ago | (#510613)

I have always loved my Sony stereo systems; they were always the best. However, when it came time to get a new stereo this year, there was no way I was going to go without hearing my CD-R's, so I picked up an AIWA system. Sony is basically implying in this that it prefers business over consumers. What Sony doesn't realize is that consumers are the business. Maybe by not supporting CD-R's in the first place they were able to sign a few extra deals, make some extra cash, and it might actually work out for them in the end, but it's also helping to drive the Sony fanboys to other brands of electronics (myself included).

(This is unrelated - fair warning.) As for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, there is only one major reason why I don't want either: only two controller ports. I have reached the age where I don't have time to play games on my own any more. The only gaming I do is with friends, and the Nintendo 64 is the only system available that suits our needs. Lots of racing games, sports games, shoot'em'up games, etc., and four can play at once! I'll admit that Sony's game consoles are excellent pieces of equipment, and I have enjoyed a few games on the first PlayStation, but I do not like it because it is unsuitable for my gaming needs. However, since I don't do much gaming, this can be looked over...

Re:You need two lasers to read CDRs on a DVD playe (2)

waldoj (8229) | more than 13 years ago | (#510614)

An article like this shows how low the quality of Slashdot's journalism has gone. Making these kinds of rash accusations wihtout a solid knowledge of the facts is irresponsible.

Dude, it's an Ask Slashdot. Somebody asked what was going on, Cliff said that he wasn't sure, but that it didn't make sense. No journalistic-integrity problem here.


Twin Laser Pickups (1)

cmoanz (88260) | more than 13 years ago | (#510615)

The real problem is that Twin Laser Pickups required to be backwards compatiable are used a marketing tool. Like hey pay more for me if you want CD-R useage...

from []

The prospect of incompatibility with CD-Recordable discs has been, until now, a serious issue undermining the introduction of DVD and its derivatives. The problem involves the change in light wavelength from 780nm infrared used in CD-R to 635/650nm red used for DVD. [For an explanation of the issue, see Hugh Bennett's guest The CD-R Writer column, "DVD: A Problem Ignored," [] CD-ROM Professional, Volume 9, Number 5, pp. 106-107 --ed.].

Sensing a strategic market opportunity, Sony Corporation has now announced that it will be introducing two separate optical pickups capable of reading DVD, CD-ROM, and CD-R discs. To achieve backward compatibility with existing CD-ROM and CD-R discs, the new pickups employ an ingenious two-semiconductor design that joins an existing innovative 780nm laser coupler with either a 635nm or 650nm pickup. Unlike older optical pickup designs, Sony's laser coupler integrates all the components of a 780nm pickup (except for the objective lens) into a tiny 1.8mm x 3.4mm package small enough to ride as a passenger on their DVD pickup.


Re:Same with my Sony DVD (1)

DrBoom (243523) | more than 13 years ago | (#510616)

Yeah, I should RTFComments more closely before posting.

try recording at a slower speed.... (1)

wht (186796) | more than 13 years ago | (#510617)

I've got a sony 5-dvd changer, not sure of the model, and i'm at work right now so i can't check; prolly 2 years old... Anyway, with the dune miniseries on vcd, i first burned it at 8x, and none of the disks would read (basically didn't detect there was a disk there), i burned them again at 1x, now works perfectly. Disks were dark-blue-on-silver generic. I haven't tried with any other cdr's, rw's, music, etc, but i may try it tonight...

Walter H. Trent "Muad'Dib"
Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe, IMHO

Good brands/varieties? (1)

Straker Skunk (16970) | more than 13 years ago | (#510619)

Incidentally, this is something I've been curious about. Could your friend (or anyone else reading) share any wisdom as to who makes the better CD-R media? And which varieties thereof are the best?

I'm looking more for longevity than DVD readability, but those need not be mutually exclusive . . . .
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