Welcome to Andy Rathbone's Web site

Site menu:

I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

This website keeps you up-to-date on my books, and your computers. Each week, I answer a reader's question on-line.

Windows 11 For Dummies on sale now!

Windows 11 For Dummies

Drop by Amazon.com for big discounts on Windows 11 For Dummies.

Site search

Popular Posts

Recent Comments


My TV’s DVD player can’t display my CD’s photos!

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mutednarayan/729874990/

Photo by mutednarayan

Q: I am trying to copy digital photos from my computer to a compact disc to play on my TV’s Panasonic DVD player.

But even when I tell Windows 7 to create a CD using the “With a cd/dvd player” option, my DVD player can’t display the photos. The DVD player just says, “Cannot open files.”

My computer can still display the photos, though. What’s wrong?

A: Actually, you’re doing everything correctly on your end.

The problem comes from crankiness found with many DVD players, including yours. DVD players connected to TV sets aren’t as smart as the DVD players inside computers.

Most TV-bound DVD players can’t handle more than 500 images on a CD, a limitation unknown to most consumers. When you copy 500 or more images to a CD, your DVD player will probably choke on it.

Your computer will still be able to read the CD just fine. But when the DVD player sees more than 500 files sitting on the CD, it chokes, sending you the non-helpful message of “Cannot open files.”

There’s a solution, though:

Your DVD player can handle more than 500 files on a CD, but only if those files live inside a folder.

So, copy all the digital photos you want to a temporary folder on your Desktop.

Then copy that photo-stuffed folder to your CD. When your DVD player opens the CD, it only sees one folder, so it doesn’t panic. Select that folder with your DVD’s remote, and you’ll see your oodles of digital photos inside, waiting to be displayed.

Slipping your photos into folders before burning them to a CD comes in handy other ways, as well, as it lets you organize your photos by theme, date, trip, event, or any other method.


Comment from Jasper Wilson
Time January 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Answered the question precisely without any waffle. Good stuff. Thanks.

Comment from C. K. Walter
Time September 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

I have the same problem. Recorded a DVD-R on Windows Vista; clicked on Master format; it shows my 23 pictures fine on the computer; Toshiba DVD player says Loading, then Disk Error.

Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time September 13, 2012 at 11:30 am

CK Walter — have you tried playing the CD in different DVD players? That would tell you whether the problem lies with your disc itself or your Toshiba DVD player.

Comment from Art
Time July 22, 2019 at 10:03 am

This is complete BS! Your DVD player, no matter how new will only be able to display 500 items total. Does not matter if they are burned to a disc or put on an external hard drive. You can organize everything meticulously into folders and when you go to play your photo DVD, you find out the sad truth that your player won’t read them. My PC reads 30,000 files, my DVD player selects a random set of 500 photos regardless of how they are organized or cataloged. I spent weeks cataloging the photos based on this advice and it failed. It’s not the burning that fails, it’s the DVD player and it WILL NOT accept more than the 500 files it selects. Out of 30,000 photos, it only reads a random 500 of them. It seems as if there is no way around this issue regardless of how you proceed. I want all of them viewable on my stand alone DVD player, not just on my PC.

Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time July 24, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Art: Can you cite your sources as to the 500-file limit? Could you be hitting a limit for your particular make/model of DVD player?

Comment from Robert McGuinty
Time November 7, 2021 at 9:25 am

I have documents copied onto to a CD, can I display the documents on a TV screen using a CD or DVD player?


Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time November 8, 2021 at 10:17 am

Robert: I don’t know of any CD or DVD players that are smart enough to display documents. You’d probably need to connect your PC to your TV and use the TV as an external monitor.

Write a comment