So I have to create a PowerPoint presentation for my company, which will be used at multiple locations. We want to use some video on a DVD. Problem: the license terms for the DVD specifically forbid "digitizing or encoding" the material, so I can't just cut out the clip(s) I want, and we don't want to play the whole 56-minute video. (Each location will have a paid-for copy of the DVD.)

I don't want our presenters to have to load their DVD software, manually cue up the correct segment, and switch programs. The goal is for everything to flow smoothly.

I also can't install additional software like Onstage DVD or the equivalent. Corporate environment, it would take months to be approved at best.

I tried creating a Windows Media Player ActiveX object on the slide, with the URL set to the VIDEO_TS.IFO file, but it doesn't actually play. (This would still have the problem of requiring the presenter to know how to open the object's properties and manually enter the drive letter of his/her DVD drive.)

So I'm wondering: is there a way to do this? I don't know VBA, but I'm wondering if it is possible to write a script that will play a clip from a local DVD?


  • Does it have to be Powerpoint or is there any other software at all that can be used? For example VLC or Mediaplayer Classic, neither of which require actual installation... VLC would allow some level of scripting to happen and so you could potentially detect the drive and set it playing via a Windows batch file. – Mokubai Jun 7 '11 at 17:19
  • As I wrote, I'm in a corporate environment. Installing any software outside the standard suite just is not in the cards. Thanks. – CarlF Jun 7 '11 at 17:45
  • Oh, just thought about another thing, try setting the video file to be played to "VIDEO_TS.VOB" rather than the "VIDEO_TS.IFO" file. – Mokubai Jun 7 '11 at 17:55

I am not a lawyer, but I suspect that despite their terms, this may fall under fair use. To be sure, why don't you call them and ask permission. I suspect they may give it considering every site has paid for full usage.

  • They specifically refuse permission in a big sticker on the box, but you think they'll grant it verbally? – CarlF Jun 7 '11 at 13:47
  • @CarlF, if you call them then they may give you written permission, while what is on the box is a general "you may not do this" contractual agreement it would definitely be within the power of the company to write some kind of contract that, with certain terms such as limited copying and liability for the material being distributed illegally, would exclude you from the "no digital copying" clause. Talk to them, if you really need it then they may be able to help. – Mokubai Jun 7 '11 at 17:14
  • Carl, I have had companies give me permission to do things with software that they otherwise refused in the EULA. They make a lot of these provisions to make sure they get paid, but once they have, they are happy. A quick phone call will tell you if you have a shot. – KCotreau Jun 10 '11 at 4:29

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