Someone I know (who shall remain unnamed for their privacy) brought me a “mature” DVD and an interesting challenge that I couldn’t refuse. This DVD has a “main” movie and then a large variety of “extra” add-in scenes that appear to add up to drastically more time than the “main” video. However, this DVD had a feature that I haven’t ever seen or heard of before: when you try to pick any of these 20 or so extra scenes to watch, you have to call a 900 number and enter a 4-digit PIN code to watch them. Some of the exact text on the screen, for anyone who is going to search for it, is as follows:
To watch this sequence, please call 1-900-622-9900. Then, enter the following reference number: 114. Or send by SNMS (text message): SUN114 to the following number: 64762. (blahblahblah) This is a “lock & pay” system offered by Euro First Multimedia. (more junk in mouse-type that I won’t bother with)
They’re monetizing a DVD they’ve already sold! I know that DVDs contain program code in the IFO files, and I know that it isn’t THAT complicated, so I started to look at the code with a program called PGCEdit…and I noticed something fishy. To play the video, the code selects “angle 2″ (yes, that’s right, the almost-never-used multiple angles feature of DVD video). So, with that in mind, I quickly figured out a solution and beat the challenge. I’m going to share those steps with you now.
- Install Media Player Classic Home Cinema (run a search for MPC-HC and it’ll come up quickly).
- Go to File – Open DVD, and select your DVD drive from the list.
- When the DVD starts to play, right-click on the video and go to Navigate – Jump To… – (select whatever chapter you want!)
- If the video doesn’t play correctly after selecting a chapter, you’ve found one of the “lock and pay” streams. To fix it…
- Right-click the video and go to Navigate – Video Angle – Angle 2.
That’s it, you should be able to view the “locked out” video without tediously figuring out or paying money for a PIN code!