Cant read DVD disc

I have borrowed a DVD-R disc from an elderly relation containing a film clip of his father who was a musician (old clip from 1929). However, I can’t read the disc on any of 3 players connected to various computers, or in my DVR. The computers can’t see anything on the disc and actually say that I should insert a disc.  I would have said that the disc is a dud, but I have just seen it played on a DVR in the owner's home.
I have downloaded MagicISO, Any Video Converter and CloneDVD and none of them are able to read or detect the format of the DVD.
I know that the owner of the disc had it made by a relative in USA (he and I are in UK) and wonder if there are any differences.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Ernie BeekExpertCommented:
Check the region options. Dvds are set up for (i think) 5 regions. Usa has a different region than UK. I have to check myself where to find the option (could be either hard or software) but I think that's a good thing to check first.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If the DVD is a different region - or even NTSC rather than PAL you'll still get an message from your playback software asking if you want to switch regions on your PC.
Most DVD recorders record as region "0" though and this shouldn't apply.
The main issue is that you apparently can't see any data on the disk at all.  Getting playback on another DVR might be an issue because of the PAL/NTSC issue but shouldn't faze the PC
Are you absolutely certain that this is the disk you saw playing and not a blank?
If you look at the mirrored recorded surface can you see areas that have been burnt? (Compare with an DVD you have burnt for appearance) or is it completely even in appearance?
Anthony RussoCommented:
Try VLC player.

After install go to Media - Open Disc and it should be able to play it.

Good luck,

Become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

This course teaches how to install and configure Windows Server 2012 R2.  It is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

Vlc player will play most video fformats, but if you cant see any files on the dvd itself I suspect your DVD hardware cant read it. Try a different computer or borrow a usb drive
I would suspect that the disc was never finalized after it was burned.  That can cause issues trying to read the disc on any device other than the one originally used to burn the disc.  If it was created using the original owner's DVD burner, you should put the dissc back in the device and see if there is an option to finalize/close the disc.
Could it be a chance that the disk is DVD-RAM?
They are recorded on Panasonic recorders and played without problem on their own players but not other brands.
gerlisAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your replies.
I changed one of my players fron Region 2 to Region 1 and sadly, that made no difference.  I would have thought that I'd have got a message to say that it was the wrong region.
I downloaded and installed VLC player on two computers and it still cant see any files on either computer.
The disc itself is a DVD-R.
Was the disk finalised?  I don't know and cant easily find out as it was recorded in the USA (by a relation of my relation) and I am in the UK.  It did play on a commercial DVR of the person I borrowed it from.  Is there a way that I can check if the disc has been finalised without having access to the device it was recorded on?
Are there any tools that can see the raw data on the disc?  
Failing that, I may just go back and check that this disc still plays on the device that it was shown to me on.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Nero at least (and I'm sure there are many other burning packages) will look for open sessions on a DVD before allowing you to use the media.
Did you try looking at the physical appearance of the disk to see if there is a clearly marked area.
I still suspect you've got the wrong DVD.
gerlisAuthor Commented:
Nero wouldnt read it - mainlt because Windows couldnt see a file to open.  As for the appearance of the disc, there is a clearly marked area.
I think your DVD player cant see the data because perhaps it hasnt been finalised or it cant read DVD-R disks. Most new DVD players support all formats. IF you can get a pc to recognise the disk Im sure you will be able to play it.
gerlisAuthor Commented:
Regrettably, I was not able to read the DVD.  I went back to my elderly relation to return the disc and, miraculously, he produced the original VCR tape from which the DVD was created.  This I was able to copy and have therefore resolved the problem.

Thanks very much for your help.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Just out of interest did the DVD you took back play OK?
gerlisAuthor Commented:
Resolved by me.
gerlisAuthor Commented:
I don't know.  My relation is away at present, but I will ask him when he is back and let you know.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
MultiMedia Applications

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.