When playing DVD it displays 'This is protected content. You must retrieve an activation key via the Internet to play it back.

Posted on 2010-01-05
Last Modified: 2013-11-06
I have a user who passed me a DVD because he is unable to watch it on his PC. Initially I thought he didn't have a DVD player software, so I used CyberLink PowerDVD version 8 to open.
It hangs at about 2 seconds after playing, and displays the above message 'This is protected content..............'
He mentioned that he used his home DVD recorder to record some TV shows and burn it onto DVD (DVD -RW), however he said he had done finalizing on the DVD. What I understand that when DVD cannot be played it has something to do with finalizing. When I try using other players to play this DVD, I do not see the above error message but would just hang the same. In my opinion, I don't think following the error message to retrieve an activation key makes any sense, as this video was orignally recorded from physical DVD player.

Is there a way to finalize an unfinalized DVD (maybe my user didn't finalize but he claim he did)?
If not, how do I go about playing the video from the DVD?

Thanks for any help!
Question by:misteel
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment


    it could be an issue from the DVD Recordable media,
    Had you try to make a copy of it?
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    Can he watch this dvd on his TV with the dvd recorder he used?

    Author Comment

    @houssam_ballout: I'm trying to make a copy, will let you know in a while.

    @jvuz: Yes he could.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Maybe the name in the Video, with all the new copyright laws new media player DVD players DVD burners authoring software like Nero 8 ...and WMP 11
     have inbuilt copy protect content, so certain names will produce these messages, all he has to do is to agree with it and it should play then.
    refs to>however he said he had done finalizing on the DVD<< it must be finalised to play once he made it a DVD video.
    Refs to>s there a way to finalize an unfinalized DVD<< no sorry!! can only be done on the dvd recorder machine it was created,  like my DVD recorder in the digital set top box will detect an unfinalised DVD and ask if I want to finlise it. Once done it will play elsewhere
    refs to
    If not, how do I go about playing the video from the DVD?<< if it is not finalised no way back sorry.
    That's why finalise is important what happens is the burn writes a lead in and lead out to the DVD structure
    and because it is not a data disc but uses the ifo and bup files of a DVD structure it is impossible for the laser to read the the lead in to play the menues.
    there is noway back if it is not finalised.

    Author Comment

    Thanks Mecrete for the useful information.

    FYI, I've tried using a software called CD DVD Data Recovery. I played around with it and manage to copy the contents out. This time round when I tried playing using PowerDVD, it instead displays 'This is a protected content. Your disc drive does not support its playback. Please use a CPRM-enabled drive'.

    And btw, my user is a Japanese. I've read up in this article, , it seems that the TV shows have this protection called CCI (Copy Control Information). And in order to copy CCI program to DVD, the program must be protected by CPRM.
    I understand that I would need to use back the original DVD recorder that was used to record the TV shows for playback. A CPRM-enabled DVD player to play this DVD might be a choice as well. All these information are what I've read on the internet. Please kindly advise if I'm wrong in any part.

    Anyway, are these the reasons why I am unable to play the DVD? In that case I suppose there is no way I can try playing the CPRM DVD on my PC?
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    Don't really have the answers for you misteel, did he use a designated set top box/hard drive recorder with CPRM copy once flag. made in Japan?
    CPRM DVD  ties the contents to that owner and the DVD player recorder.
    Maybe similar like the regeon zones of DVD
    Is it on a DVDrw?
    I sourced this out
     Lite-On 5045 manual, and the statement that "Discs recorded with copy-once material cannot be played on non-CPRM compatible players."

    One possibility I can think of is that if DVD-RW media with CPRM certification are used for recording materials with copy once flag, there may be some possibility of incompatibility.
    Here in Australia we have My Star which is a designated DVD hard drive recorder with Austar and one has to pay per view to use it
    here's more details, just quckly browse

    I record off my TV and cable TV with no copyright errors at all.possibly because
    I dont use any of these designated DVD hard drive recorders I bought a stand alone Panasonic it supports other regeions including this CPRM DVD
    this one
    Also burns DVD video playable on any DVD player with no errors but I use it only for personal use
    You could try DVD shrink
    VLC may also render it but may take a long time

    Author Closing Comment


    Author Comment

    Thanks so much for your advise and suggestions.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Thank you glad I could assist you in someway.
    Have a great day

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