Whacky WALL-E

Well, that has been a struggle. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has sent me both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the most recent Pixar animation: WALL-E. So I set out to do a Blu-ray vs DVD comparison. There were some interesting things the process revealed.

First, instead of Disney packing the entire movie into one large 20GB+ file on the disc, as generally happens, it split it up into twenty-ish smaller files, ranging from about half a gigabyte up to over six gigabytes in size. I ended up having to write a DOS batch file to automate the extraction of the shots from these files.

Second, the Blu-ray seems to be region coded for B and C, but not for A. That’s a bit weird, and the first one of those I’ve come across.

Third, the DVD seems to have layers upon layers of protection. When I inserted the disc in the computer, it trashed around for ages before it did anything useful. Here’s what AnyDVD HD eventually reported:

Media is a DVD.
Booktype: dvd-rom (version 1), Layers: 2 (opposite)
Size of first Layer: 2072144 sectors (4047 MBytes)
Total size: 3912832 sectors (7642 MBytes)

Video DVD (or CD) label: WALL_E_LIC2_D1
Media is CSS protected!
Video Standard: PAL
Media is locked to region(s): 2 4!

RCE protection not found.
Found & removed structural copy protection!
Found & removed invalid cell pieces!
Found & removed bogus title set(s)!
UDF filesystem patched!
Autorun not found on Video DVD.
Found & removed 9 potential bad sector protections!
Emulating RPC-2 drive with region 4!

Checking the disc using Windows Explorer, it was reported to have a size of 7.46GB. Opening up the disc and checking the contents of the VIDEO_TS folder, I found claimed contents of 61.7GB. The main *.VOB movie files seemed to be listed under different names eleven times! It seems the studio has screwed around with the disc table of contents. I copied one of these to the hard drive, but despite several applications of ‘Quickstream Fix’ by Video ReDo Plus, attempting to play the resulting file crashed VideoReDo Plus. That’s the first time Quickstream Fix has been unable to produce something playable for me.

Fortunately, the disc working happily in PowerDVD so I was able to get me comparison shots, albeit in a tedious way.

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