Please note that many of our FAQs were originally published between 2001-2007. Minor details such as prices, products and details will be from the time the post was originally published. Some of the FAQs have been updated.
Want to know more about DVDs?
Ever wondered how a DVD is different from a CD, whether a Laserdisc is anything like a DVD, what a Video CD is, what a Super Video CD is, where you can get a DVD Burner, how to make your own DVDs, what the difference between DVD-R, DVD+R and DVD-R is, how Video DVDs differ from Recordable DVDs, whether DVD-Audio can discs be copied, Stream Recording, Enhanced DVD’s.
Can I play DVD’s and DVD extras on my PS2?
Yes. Everything your Lounge DVD does, so PS2 can do too. The only drawback is operating the DVD controls with the PS2 joypad. Checkout the DVD Remote.
Can I play DVD Audio on my PS2?
No. DVD Audio is not compatible with Playstation 2, but CD Audio discs are.
Can I play VCDs on my PS2?
No. VCDs are not compatible with Playstation 2.
Can I copy DVDs?
Yes. Checkout the Article and follow the Guidance.
What are DVD Regions?
Film Companies encode DVD’s with Region Codes, and only machines and DVD’s with the same region code will work together. This allows them to stagger global release dates and stops people buying import DVDs before a film’s Cinema or Video release.
PlayStation 2 is not a Multi-Regional DVD player. So to ensure you have complete DVD movie compatibility you will need to purchase a PlayStation 2 from the country you will be purchasing/hiring DVD movies from. UK PlayStation 2’s will only play DVD’s purchased here in the UK (Region 2) and also DVDs with “All” region symbols. If for example you purchase a DVD movie in Australia, it will only work on a PlayStation 2 from Australia (Region 4).
There are 8 regions. A region number superimposed on a world globe identifies both DVD players and discs. If a disc plays in more than one region it will have more than one number on the globe.
Region 1: U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories.
Region 2: Japan, UK, Europe, South Africa and Middle East (including Egypt & Saudi Arabia).
Region 3: Southeast Asia and East Asia (including Hong Kong).
Region 4: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean.
Region 5: Eastern Europe (Former Soviet Union), Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea and Mongolia.
Region 6: China.
Region 7: Reserved.
Region 8: Special international venues (aeroplanes, cruise ships, etc.).
What is DVD Region X?
Despite what we said above there is a way around the DVD regional encoding. The Datel DVD Region X Card (a simple plug in card and boot up CD) disables the regional lockout allowing your PS2 to play DVDs from any of the 6 Territorial Regions around the world. All you need to do then is get an import DVD.
Why will my PlayStation 2 not play DVD movies?
Are you using PAL, region 2 DVDs? The PlayStation 2 will play only DVDs from the Region from they are purchased (without DVD X).
Are they all genuine commercial copies? You must only use official software with PlayStation 2. Bootleg or copies are unlikely to work.
Are the DVDs scratched or dirty ? If they are scratched and you have tried your disk on another PlayStation 2 and it will still not play, you will need to purchase a new disk for this issue to be resolved. If they are dirty clean the disk carefully – following normal disk-cleaning guidelines – and re-try.
Do other DVDs work on the PlayStation 2? If yes, try your DVDs on another PlayStation 2. If your DVDs play on another PlayStation 2, contact the Sony Telephone Helpline.
Why does my PlayStation 2 display the message ‘This disc cannot be played due to regional restrictions’?
Ensure that your PlayStation 2 was purchased in the UK and that it has a PAL logo on the label at the back of the machine. If not, you will need to use DVDs from the Region the PlayStation 2 was purchased in. Check the instruction manual received in the PS 2 box.
If your PS2 is PAL are the DVDs you are using also Region 2 PAL? You should use only Region 2 DVDs as a PlayStation 2 purchased in the UK is Region 2 only – see DVD Region X to overcome this.
Have you tried using other Region 2 DVDs? If not, try other disks that are definitely Region 2. If you have tried other Region 2 DVDs on your PlayStation 2 and they will not work, or have tried your DVDs on another PlayStation 2 and they worked perfectly, contact the Sony Telephone Helpline.
What is DVD Green Screen?
Sony in addition to Macrovision – a system which prevents recording DVDs onto VHS Video by making the picture go fuzzy if you try to record – also disabled RGB playback on PS2 for the same reason. So DVD Green (a green picture) as it is now known is the image you get if you try to play a DVD with an RGB SCART lead. To overcome the problem get the DVD Region X software which also has the added benefit detailed above.
Why does the Picture display in Black and White when playing DVDs?
Check that you do not have the AV cable plugged into your VCR. If you do have your video signal going through your VCR, try instead plugging directly into the TV. There is an encryption code called Macrovision both in your VCR and on DVDs. This is created so you cannot copy a DVD film on to a video tape.
The Macrovision protection system may also be experienced when using a PlayStation 2 with a TV/ Video Combi system. As some TV/ Video combi units automatically route inputs through the internal VCR, this may activate the encryption process and cause a light and dark or black and white effect. Use an alternative television while playing DVD’s.
Is your TV on the correct AV channel? Selecting the wrong AV channel can result in a black and white picture (on both games and DVD movies). Ensure that your console is connected directly into your TV as detailed in the instruction manual. Try cycling through every AV channel by pressing the AV button on your TV remote control to scroll through.
If the problem only affects certain DVDs it may be a PAL/ NTSC issue. European PAL PlayStation 2 consoles will play Region 2 DVD movies as sold throughout Europe. They will also play NTSC Region 2 discs (eg Japanese) and ‘All Region’ discs, but your TV will need to be a multi-standard model that can accept an NTSC signal. If your TV is not multi-standard, and an NTSC disc is played, a black & white picture will result. This is so even with Region X software.
Generally use only original (non-pirated) DVD Movies marked PAL ‘Region 2’ to prevent any issues described above for UK PS2s.
Where can I get Discs repaired?
If you want a reliable disc repair service checkout ScratchBUSTERS Just send the disc in one of their FREEPOST envelopes and they will make it as good as new.
ScratchBUSTERS can extend the life of your disk – NO FIX, NO FEE, you have nothing to lose. Request a FREEPOST envelope now and revive all of your favourite games, music and films with SCRATCH BUSTERS.
(Update: since this article was orgionally published sadly ScratchBUSTERS closed in 2010). If your disc needs repair then why not try out CD Fixer service which is similar to what ScratchBUSTERS use to offer.
Do I need the Sony DVD Remote?
If you are a frequent DVD user the Sony DVD Remote Control is worth owning for better functional control and it also includes the updated PS2 DVD driver. The Joypad is not the ideal remote for DVD users, and the Sony Remote is just like the real thing ! It makes all the features selectable from the DVD pause menu available at the touch of a button (press Start) and adds 3 speeds of forward and reverse playback. Which DVD Remote will work with my PS2? Check Here.
DVD Controls: Use these commands on the Dual Shock Controller for DVD control:
– DVD Command Dual Shock Function
– Stop/Play Start
– Pause Triangle
– View Menu Triangle to pause, then Square to go to the menu
– Confirm Circle
– Cancel X
– Fast Forward R2
– Next Chapter R1
– Rewind L2
– Previous Chapter L1
– Menu Navigation D-Pad
Region X and Remote Incompatibilities?
If you are having trouble getting your Sony Remote to work while you are using Region X Memory Card there is now a code solution. Go to: www.dvdregionx.com and input the relevant code.
The alternative is to remove your Memory Card (containing the new DVD player software) – your remote won’t work so you will have to use the joypad again but at least you can still use DVD X !
How to check your PlayStation 2 has the latest DVD drivers. First switch the PlayStation 2 on without a disk in the drawer. Then press the triangle button to access the options screen. Under “DVD Player” there will be a
number next to it. If the number is 2.10E, these are the latest drivers from SCEE.
If the numbers next to “DVD Player” are either 1.20E or 1.30E you are able to upgrade to version 2.10E. However, the DVD driver 2.10E is for use with the DVD remote control. Upgrading your driver settings will not improve DVD playability.
How to upgrade your PlayStation 2 DVD drivers. You need to get hold Sony PS2 DVD Remote Controller peripheral. This is supplied with a utility disk – this disk contains the software to upgrade the DVD player version from either V1.20E or V1.30E to V2.10.
The original DVD player software resides on a ROM chip built into the PlayStation 2 hardware. The upgrade is applied to a PlayStation 2 memory card i.e. it is necessary for you to use a memory card both to perform the upgrade, and to utilise the V2.10 DVD player software. This will be explained in the instruction manual supplied with the remote controller.
The space used on an 8Mb PlayStation 2 memory card is just over 2000 Kb – 1/4 of the card capacity – the rest of the card can be used as normal for game saving etc. You are unable to copy the DVD player from card to card – it must always be loaded from the utility disc to a memory card.
Provided the memory card containing the V2.10 DVD player firmware is inserted in your PlayStation 2 console, V2.10 will be the active version superseding the built-in version. The console automatically detects the memory card resident version, there is no need to ‘switch’ over to the memory card resident version in any way once the card is plugged in.
Why is my DVDs Audio Out of Synch?
Some DVD’s not up to specification do not play well on PS2, and you may find after about 30 minutes the sound drifts out of synch with the picture – some may not play at all. To fix the problem firstly make sure the DVD is clean and secondly try turning on the Debug Mode. Do this by going into the PS2 “System Configuration” mode and turn on “Debugging” mode and turn the “Digital Output” off. This may free up enough system power to stop these niggling problems.
You will need to ensure that you do not have Dolby Digital and DTS set to ‘on’ at the same time as this will almost certainly result in the speech going out of sync – use only the mode you are playing it in.
Also refer to the audio set up diagram on page 15 of your PlayStation 2 manual – this may hold a solution.
If this fails buy or borrow the official Sony DVD Remote disc which will replace the old Version 1.01 DVD driver with the new Version 2.01. This should solve the problem. The latest DVD remote will have the latest Driver. If you are not sure which DVD Remote you need Check Here.
Why are Sound Levels Low when playing DVDs?
In order to produce the best possible sound quality, analogue sound output on DVD movies is often at a lower volume than that on VCRs or TV broadcasts. This is not a fault with the console or with individual DVD movies.
DVD Volume can be adjusted within the DVD ‘Audio Setup’ menu. Select ‘+1’ or ‘+2’ as appropriate. Note that this setting is for analogue sound output only, and cannot be adjusted if the ‘Dolby Digital’ setting is set to the ‘ON’ position.
Change TV Screen Settings while watching DVD – You will need to play the DVD and wait a second for it to play through slightly. Then press the Circle button to stop the film (push this ONLY ONCE) and press Select and you should see the on-screen menu. Go to the icon that looks like a briefcase, select this, then select ‘Screen Set-up’. Now move down where you see ‘TV Type’ highlighted in blue and move the controller direction pad to the right. You should be able to choose from 16:9, 4:3 letterbox, and 4:3 pan-and-scan.
Why am I asked for a Password every time I try to play a DVD movie?
Most DVD films released in Europe do not have parental control software programming within the disk. However, if the ‘enter password’ screen does appear, you will need to disable this function to progress. Enter 7444 in the password section.
If your PlayStation 2 then displays ‘invalid password’, re-enter the password screen and press the Select button followed by 7444. This will delete any password in your PlayStation 2’s memory. Your PlayStation 2 will then ask you to enter a new password. Enter a new password. You will then be asked to ‘confirm new password’. After confirming this new password you will then be allowed to enter the parental control menu. Set the region to England, and the parental lock level to off. Ejecting and closing the disk tray will then save the DVD menu options.