dvd idle


Prominent Member
Jun 21, 2001
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Has anyone got any views on dvdidle?
the link is dvdidle.com
its suppose to preserve the life of your dvd rom by using the hard drive ie instead of the rom spinning all the time creating heat and noise it utalises the hard drive so in a typical movie running for 90 minutes the dvd rom only spins for 15 minutes.It works for win dvd and power dvd ok but i must stress its not happy with the theatertek player (possibilly those ravisent filter) anyway its a 30 day free trial and if you want to make it permenant it cost about £12-£14 to register (if i remember properly)

the obvious question i asked the author was how do i know its working, the answer is after a while the busy led light on the dvd rom goes out.

hope this is useful to some of you


Thanks for the pointer!

I am using it with Zoom Player (simply added it to the list of players) and it seems to work as advertised!

It also lets me skip the annoying FBI warning which I love!

I configured it for a 9GB cache size and watched Farscape. Sure enough, not long into the first episode the DVD light turned off and the rest of the disk came from the HD cache!
Sounds like a pointless utility to me.

I'd rather have my DVD ROM break down than my hard drive.

With the cost of a DVD-ROM being relatively cheap now it makes more sense to use your DVD-ROM rather than put excess wear on a hard drive.

A decent DVD-ROM should last for along time anyway plus they are designed to be used for long lengthy periods. I don't know whether you guys are speaking from bad experience but I've had my 2x Creative DVD-ROM which was one of the early first generation models and I have experienced no problems with it at all.
I've had nothing but problems with DVDidle when the cache is set to more than 1GB.

With a 4-9GB cache the picture breaks up into blocks and races ahead to the other parts of the video whilst the audio stays as it should. THis happens no matter what disc I use.

Their website and lack of info/documentation on it tell me that this product is not yet mature enough to sell or it is a very small company which lack the resources to develop it properly.

As a modern DVD-Rom drive has a 120,000 hour life methinks it is also redundant and just takes away CPU bandwidth from the DVD software codec.
think you're missing the point about dvdidle..

harddrive (and memory) will always be faster than a DVD drive, so caching does make sense. if it helps the performance of the PC on dvd duties then its worth trying.. any effect on pans/ layer changes/ fan cutting in will all be appreciated.

as for the company being too small and lacking resources.. I wouldn't hold it against them. everyone has to start somewhere surely (even Microsoft were a small outfit originally).

their other product, dvd region free, is a really neat piece of software and enables me to use my laptop for HTPC duties - impossible otherwise since its RPC2 locked.

one of the dvdidle developers is registered here as a forum member so you can always put a question here and ask for some feedback.

any feedback is good especially if the product gets improved from it.
I'd have to disagree with the last comment.

I initially had my 2x speed DVD ROM running on a Celeron 300A system with 64MB of RAM. The system performed flawlessly when replaying DVDs (even layer changes went un-noticed). The fact that a hard drive will always out perform a CD / DVD ROM in data transfer makes no difference in this situation. You don't want to watch the movie any faster than normal running speed do you?!!?

Unless your system is pre 300 Mhz then I see no need to use a utility that caches information before replaying it.

As for the comment that describes it helping on pans. I am presuming you are refering to shots where the camera pans (or sweeps) across a scene. Even if the dvd-rom was having problems playing back a film it would not descriminate against different types of shot. To a DVD-ROM its just another piece of data. Unless the scene contained fast action with low bitrate then this is where you could experience pixelation on the screen (which would be down to a below spec system <300 Mhz system)

The only problem I can see you would be getting with pan shots would be with NTSC discs. These discs are telecined for TV which involves a process that inserts an extra frame every fourth frame. These extra frames are not usually obvious except in shots where the camera may sweep or pan across a scene, where the extra frame becomes apparant in that the picture appears to pause very slightly giving a juddered sweep.

Overall, where once upon a time when data transfer was slower and processor speed could not process the information fast enough for playback was a problem. This is not so for most systems these days. There should be no need to cache to the hard drive. This is just replication of activity and increased demand on the hard drive. Use your DVD ROM. This is much cheaper to replace and not as detrimental as a hard drive going down.
Who needs DVD idle? Just rip the entire DVD to an ISO on the hard drive and run it from there. I keep my top ten DVD's on the hard drive so no more swapping discs around either.
Originally posted by DazJWood
I'd have to disagree with the last comment.

we'll have to both disagree then.;)

you'll notice I also mentioned fans cutting in, as well as pans and layer changes.

certainly on my laptop the fan is more likely to cut in with the extended use of the DVD drive rather than the HD, so for me there is a beneficial use of some form of caching.

to each his own, if it does nothing for you then fine.

doesn't mean its the same for everyone else though.
Although both hard drives and DVD drives generate a large amount of the heat inside a case I would be surprised if a DVD-drive spinning at single speed to replay a film would dissapate more heat than a hard drive in continual use. Generally a hard drive would produce more heat. (data on a hard drive that is not defragmented regularly tends to be spread out more meaning more work for the read heads. Data on a DVD is written with files stored complete in one area therefore meaning less movement of the read head)

This is obviously dependant on the different makes and characteristics of hard drives and dvd drives. Certainly some brands of hard drive produce less heat dissapation than others, equally so do some DVD drives.

I am also quite surprised the fan is a distraction. The fans on the laptops I use operate at a whisper and I can honestly say I don't notice them being there at all. Saying that our laptops at my work place are specifically for the office environment, geared towards quiet working areas and presentational use so may well be fitted with super quiet fans. Plus I can't say I have watched a DVD on any of them so it may become more apparant I guess if I were to watch one (hey it'd be nice if I could watch DVDs at work!!! :) )

Anyhow its hard to determine straight facts with so many different varieties of components available so what works best for you is what you should continue with. I'd just be happier with knowing that I have less chance of losing the contents of my hard drive due to failure over a DVD drive expiring.

Happy home computing!!!
Thanks for your comments chaps, it would appear we all have different opinions on this application some good and others indifferent, at the end of the day if we are happy with our set ups then thats fine its all down to personel preference, in principle dvdidle is a good idea, however after further testing this week i can reveal it does not work with certain software players ie theatertek and the author has confirmed the two dont work together which is a bummer since my prefered player is theatertek, in the future as dvdidle matures the incompatability may be fixed hence i will remain on the fence for the time being.



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