Ken  Burns

National Parks Series on DVD - doesn't work?


Other Rants and Raves


January 2010

Our friend Brent had a problem. He showed up with two sets of the popular Ken Burns six DVD set of the PBS series The National Parks. He had a problem with disks 4-6 of the set he bought, so the company sent him a replacement; they have the same problem. Here's what we found...

Disks 1-3 play fine.

Disks 4-6 won't play in Brent's home DVD player. The FBI warning plays, the PBS intro, then it dies. The same thing happens on his 2008 Mac laptop.

On my 2 year old Dell laptop disks 4-6 cause Windows Media Player to abort. The FBI warning plays, the PBS intro, then the series intro plays. Then up comes the DVD top level menu and BOOM, WMA aborts. Wow.

I then tried PowerDVD, another DVD software application I have on my laptop. The disks play fine with PowerDVD!

We then tried my two year old Sony Home Theater DVD system. It could play all the disks without a problem.

This is a tough problem to Google, but I did find a person complaining about the same thing on

What's up? If you know, please email me.

Jim Schrempp is a sometimes freelance writer (only Vanity Press will publish his work) living in Saratoga, California. His writings have appeared on numerous pages on his own web site. The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of anyone else (although Jim wishes more people shared his opinions)