DVD Drive Problems

Here a short note regarding DVD feedback:

Note that there is no guarantee that a DVD can be played with any DVD player. You might notice that a particular DVD cannot be watched with your computer DVD drive. Also, it might happen that you can watch it with a particular DVD player software but not with another.

Also, it can happen that a DVD makes quite loud spinning noises, or that a DVD just stops working at some point and eventually continues.

This all is a result of tolerances summing up to levels that sometimes exceed the capabilities of hard- or software. 

Solution:

1) the obvious: make sure the DVD is clean and does not have excessive scratches. There are scratch-out products available. Also, check that there is no dust or other stuff in the DVD drive. A hair for instance can substantially impair the drive function.

2) unfortunately, the built-in drives of modern computers are not designed for continuous operation. They will fail eventually long before the usual life-end of the computer. So, as a general advice we recommend to use an external USB DVD drive, and maybe just a second one as back-up. If a DVD does not play in the one player, it might do so with the other. USB DVD drives are not expensive and will ease your life a lot when using DVD feedback a lot.

3) you can also create an ISO image of your favorite DVDs. The ISO image can be played directly with some DVD player programs, including the Cygnet DVD player.

In addition, here a few more recommendations for the computer settings to make sure that the DVD feedback runs smoothly:

4) make sure that the power settings of the computer are set to "maximum performance". Be also vigilant about that setting. We noticed that some software maintenance such as Windows updates would set this to power saving and such. It is like you take your car to maintenance and the car shop owner limits the power of your car to 20HP to motivate you to save gas ;)

Also, please disable all screensavers and other programs that might interfere with normal operation.

5) NOTE: some computer manufacturers install special power management software, which can severely interfere with your feedback animations, especially DVD feedback. We identified at least one product that MUST be uninstalled: If you have a HP computer, please check if a program named "HP Power Assistant" is installed. In case you have problems with DVD performance, uninstall it. (if you think you need it, you may also try an upgrade)

6) NOTE: NEVER install the program "VideoLAN VLC Media Player" on your computer. This free open-source software is the basis for the Advanced Media Player. A manual installation will likely render the Advanced Media Player of Cygnet useless. In case that happened, then please un-install VLC Media Player and re-install Cygnet.

7) Anti-Virus software: Cygnet has been qualified with computers that run Norton Internet Security. So, it is safe to use the Norton products. It is not known if anti-virus or firewall programs of other vendors interfere with the neurofeedback software. In case of suspected performance problems it might be worthwhile to uninstall the respective product.


Last, a hint regarding rare crashes of Advanced Media Player when trying to play a DVD:

a "workaround" in some cases is to check the "Don't use Disk Menus" in "Play DVD". After that, may DVDs will work, which were refused before or even made the Advanced Media Player crash.


Finally:

Please note the license terms of the DVDs that you are playing in the therapy sessions. Many DVDs are only licensed for private home use.

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