End of life Blu-ray players - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Recently I have heard some rumors that certain new or newer titles are not able to play on “older” players. For instance that "Avengers" can’t be played on the Sharp BD-HP20 deck as it is an older player and no new firmware is available. I haven’t experienced this problem myself but I have an older Philips that I want to upgrade. However if this is a common problem I will rather wait till I absolutely must or buy a cheap disposable player.

Is this a common problem? Have any of you experienced blu-ray titles that couldn’t be played due to lack of firmware “maintenance”?

Dan
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post #2 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 06:25 AM
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As long as the player is supported from the manufacturer with FW updates, I don't believe a BluRay player will become obsoleted.

I have a Sony BluRay (BDP-S500ES) and a cheap Samsung that have both been supported in the last year with an update so I'm not worried about it.

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post #3 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes exactly. As long as it is supported it will work, but after the support stops then what? Will a player that is end of life and no longer receives updates continue to function? Or will we soon see lot of players no longer able to play the latest titles?

I think a player should last a good bit longer than a year or two. But maybe that is not to be expected?
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post #4 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 07:00 AM
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If this is the case that your Sharp no longer plays new releases and they fail to support with FW updates....I think it would have to be the last Sharp I ever bought. I've never owned Sharp equipment before but thought they were pretty reputable, so a I have a hard time believing that they would stop supporting their equipment.

I see alot of no-name companies coming out with Blu-Ray players for around $50 but have to wonder if you can trust these companies to support the player down the road, when for $100 you can buy a Panasonic, Sony, or Samsung who so far seems to committed to support their products.

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post #5 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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As stated the Sharp is not mine, I have a Philips. I heard that the BD-HP20 is EOL and won’t be able to play certain titles due to lack of updates. The 2009 Philips I have is also EOL as the latest firmware came at the end of 2010. I have not had any problems so far but maybe I’m just lucky.

This is why I try to find out if lack of firmware updates is a problem on older models and if it is expected to be a problem in the future.

Dan
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post #6 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by splotten View Post

As stated the Sharp is not mine, I have a Philips. I heard that the BD-HP20 is EOL and won’t be able to play certain titles due to lack of updates. The 2009 Philips I have is also EOL as the latest firmware came at the end of 2010. I have not had any problems so far but maybe I’m just lucky.
This is why I try to find out if lack of firmware updates is a problem on older models and if it is expected to be a problem in the future.
Dan

By design of current tech, lack of firmware updates will always be a problem. If the manufacturer do not continuously provide FW updates, their devices will eventually go EOL.

So, the question is how much do you trust a particular company to keep on updating their devices long-term. It is indeed bit different, because support is now just as important as build quality.
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post #7 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I think you are right. It really is a matter of trusting a company to bring forth updates whenever it’s needed. Especially if you are in the market for a higher priced model. I can understand that companies stop delivering updates that provide new or improved functions, but I have come to realize that a few years down the road you might not be able to play a disk only because the copy protection or some other non-essential (to the consumer) function is different and not the content. It really makes me pause a little...
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post #8 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 09:53 AM
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I have never had a new release fail to play in any of my Sony players.
I do not expect I ever will. But if I do, the title will be returned as defective.

A long-time audio/video addict!
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post #9 of 33 Old 09-21-2012, 02:57 PM
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Everything still plays on my Panasonic BD10.

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post #10 of 33 Old 09-22-2012, 06:34 AM
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its the risk of early adopters, thats why im glad i got a ps3 as it seems to be the only first generation player still supported by the manufacturer(unlike my dinosaur sammy 1400)

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post #11 of 33 Old 09-22-2012, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splotten View Post

Recently I have heard some rumors that certain new or newer titles are not able to play on “older” players. For instance that "Avengers" can’t be played on the Sharp BD-HP20 deck as it is an older player and no new firmware is available. I haven’t experienced this problem myself but I have an older Philips that I want to upgrade. However if this is a common problem I will rather wait till I absolutely must or buy a cheap disposable player.
Is this a common problem? Have any of you experienced blu-ray titles that couldn’t be played due to lack of firmware “maintenance”?
Dan

If a manufacturer did not give timely updates newer titles could be a problem. that's why i don't goof around when it comes to blu-ray i buy only Oppo and nothing else.
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post #12 of 33 Old 09-22-2012, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dargo View Post

If a manufacturer did not give timely updates newer titles could be a problem. that's why i don't goof around when it comes to blu-ray i buy only Oppo and nothing else.

Oppo surely does send out frequent firmware updates for their blu-ray player products from everything I have read about them.
I tend to wonder why so many firmware updates are needed when other player brands seem to work fine with very few firmware updates.

A long-time audio/video addict!
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post #13 of 33 Old 09-23-2012, 03:20 AM
 
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Ahoy there, Rich (been a while).

Define frequent. I don't know any other CEM who provides BETA updates for their players, so that fact alone makes them stand out in the realm of frequency of updates. Small bug fixes (i.e. disk menu SNAFUs) and feature additions (the last official firmware for the BDP-93 introduced 24fps playback for DVDs) are primarily what come with the updates (and very rarely the removal of a unadvertised feature that the studio mafia/consortium decides it won't tolerate aka ISO playback). Next to the PS3, Oppo players have some of the most prolonged longevity when it comes to getting additional features. The SACD and DVD-A playback along with the wide-ranging audio/video file format support (and associated containers) also means there's room for improvement.
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post #14 of 33 Old 09-23-2012, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
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OK. Im glad that OPPO provides udates for their players on a frequent basis, but not all of us have OPPOs and many of us are OK with lesser players that might not recieve such fine service. I gather that the the EOL player issue is really a non-issue, since no one else has reported players not being able to play newer titles?
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post #15 of 33 Old 09-23-2012, 04:06 AM
 
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I was merely answering the question since Rich seemed to be insinuating Oppo is a buggy mess (half of the updates are, as I explained, beta updates so that they can get customer feedback before pushing the update to the broader customer base). wink.gif

I can't speak for all the old players (God knows I couldn't be tolerating players from the first two generations in 2012; loading times are atrocious and must especially be bad now with the forced trailers and newfangled Java routines), but the Samsung BD-UP5000 combo (HD DVD/blu-ray) player actually requires switching between firmwares to play discs from different times/studios, the last firmware update having come over 2 years ago. I'm not sure if any newer discs can't outright be played, as I no longer have the player and don't keep closer tabs on playability issues, but there is certainly buggy behavior in evidence (along with the aforementioned necessity to switch between firmwares to play certain discs). There were only ever 3 combo players (from the Koreans), so this lack of support is probably more of an exception than the norm.
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post #16 of 33 Old 09-23-2012, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

Ahoy there, Rich (been a while).
Define frequent. I don't know any other CEM who provides BETA updates for their players, so that fact alone makes them stand out in the realm of frequency of updates. Small bug fixes (i.e. disk menu SNAFUs) and feature additions (the last official firmware for the BDP-93 introduced 24fps playback for DVDs) are primarily what come with the updates (and very rarely the removal of a unadvertised feature that the studio mafia/consortium decides it won't tolerate aka ISO playback). Next to the PS3, Oppo players have some of the most prolonged longevity when it comes to getting additional features. The SACD and DVD-A playback along with the wide-ranging audio/video file format support (and associated containers) also means there's room for improvement.

Hi Vinnie,
Good to trade perspectives and messages with you again. Hope all is well for you.
Yeah - I DO think a fair number of Oppo firmware updates are due to their own problems they are correcting. The good news is they work on them and get fixes out, for sure - unlike folks like Samsung.
For me - I rather prefer my Sony ES player that consistently works just fine without a ton of firmware updates (maybe 1 per year, if that and I have never had one needed to fix a playback issue on anything).
But that's just me. :-)

A long-time audio/video addict!
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post #17 of 33 Old 09-23-2012, 09:03 PM
 
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I catch your drift. It may help that Sony is also a movie studio and the lead member of the BD consortium, so they're a step ahead of the pack as it is. I am not particularly fond of Sony (understatement) for a myriad of mostly unrelated reasons, but I won't fault others for enjoying the benefits that Sony affords in the realm of BD players/support. In fact, if EOL is your primary concern, Sony might be the best brand to choose.
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post #18 of 33 Old 09-24-2012, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

I catch your drift. It may help that Sony is also a movie studio and the lead member of the BD consortium, so they're a step ahead of the pack as it is. I am not particularly fond of Sony (understatement) for a myriad of mostly unrelated reasons, but I won't fault others for enjoying the benefits that Sony affords in the realm of BD players/support. In fact, if EOL is your primary concern, Sony might be the best brand to choose.

You make good points (as usual). I've often wondered if Sony gets early info on upcoming copy protection schemes movie studios like to play with and stay ahead of the pack that way. And to be fair, my players do not include some of the latest capabilities (no 3D - don't like it, and no streaming - I don't stream anything & can stream via my TV if I get the urge to). This may also reduce the possibilities for flaws in the firmware.
But however they do it, I AM a fan of Sony CE hardware as I've always gotten good quality & reliable performance out of their equipment.
And so far, my blu-ray players (3 different models, but all similar vintage) have been great so all is well.

A long-time audio/video addict!
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post #19 of 33 Old 09-25-2012, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by teachsac View Post

Everything still plays on my Panasonic BD10.
S~

That is good to hear. Have you tried even the latest titles with complicated BD-java menus?

I've been trying to determine which brand players have the best title support after many years. I looked some oldest Panasonic models including BD10 you mentioned and I saw last firmware for it has been released back 2008. On the other hand Sony has released firmware updates for oldest player even 2012.
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post #20 of 33 Old 09-25-2012, 08:05 AM
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I have (luckily) yet to find anything that doesn't play on my Samsung 2550, which hasn't had an update for at least 2 years. On the other hand, I see where software players (like for PC) have required updates to play some new titles. I wish I understood how/why the "keys" seem to last longer on hardware based players, but I hope that doesn't change: I sure don't want to give up my 2550!

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post #21 of 33 Old 09-25-2012, 09:43 AM
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Firmware updates seem to be needed for often for players that support BD Live. So some older players that didn't support BD Live have no problems with newer discs. I don't know if that applies to your player or not.

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post #22 of 33 Old 09-25-2012, 01:41 PM
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It´s absolutely insane that you would need to update firmware to play blu-ray discs. I have found a problem with bluray discs released 2012 not being playable on any of my 4 bluray players.

Maybe it´s the possibility of firmware updates that is the villain. It means it´s not critical the distributors follow set standards???
Look at what happened with console gaming when you got these internet updates. There is hardly ever a console title that doesn´t get patches. It´s an excuse to release things prematurely and fix after launch.
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post #23 of 33 Old 09-25-2012, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by oqvist View Post

It´s absolutely insane that you would need to update firmware to play blu-ray discs. I have found a problem with bluray discs released 2012 not being playable on any of my 4 bluray players.
Maybe it´s the possibility of firmware updates that is the villain. It means it´s not critical the distributors follow set standards???
Look at what happened with console gaming when you got these internet updates. There is hardly ever a console title that doesn´t get patches. It´s an excuse to release things prematurely and fix after launch.

It's not about standards or new BDlive features, but to add new keys for their DRM system. New BDs are signed with new keys that simply are not in the old players, so a FW update must be made so the player get those new keys.

I don't know the details, but it's akin to Public Key Encryption (which I'm very familiar with).
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post #24 of 33 Old 09-25-2012, 10:22 PM
 
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^That's only ONE cause of playability issues...if there is some new experimental Java code being employed on recent titles and it makes a reference to some Java routine that is not defined in the player's firmware, there's a chance said player might hang up and not allow you to access the film/feature.
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post #25 of 33 Old 09-26-2012, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by oqvist View Post

It´s absolutely insane that you would need to update firmware to play blu-ray discs. I have found a problem with bluray discs released 2012 not being playable on any of my 4 bluray players.

Well I don't mind if I need to update players firmware to be able to play certain new title but what I would mind is that when I have a title that needs firmware update and it is not available for my player (either player is old model and no more updates or simply that I have to wait for weeks it to be released). This is why I have always liked PS3, you always have needed firmware update available. I often rent latest titles (because many new movies are so bad that I never want to see them again) and it would be shame if my player is not able to play them.
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post #26 of 33 Old 09-26-2012, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

^That's only ONE cause of playability issues...if there is some new experimental Java code being employed on recent titles and it makes a reference to some Java routine that is not defined in the player's firmware, there's a chance said player might hang up and not allow you to access the film/feature.

True, but it's common practice in software to test whether such new functionality is available; then if it isn't, produce a way around it. I have to imagine or hope that a way to "just play the disc" is coded as an alternative if some functionality isn't available.

I wonder with the arrival of the dual-core players, Oppo and s790, what if a couple years from now some BD-live functionality that makes use of higher processing power may no longer work on older single-core players. Again, I still hope the fallback to "just play the disc" will be there.

There is no way around keys though...
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post #27 of 33 Old 09-26-2012, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Lebowski View Post

Well I don't mind if I need to update players firmware to be able to play certain new title but what I would mind is that when I have a title that needs firmware update and it is not available for my player (either player is old model and no more updates or simply that I have to wait for weeks it to be released). This is why I have always liked PS3, you always have needed firmware update available. I often rent latest titles (because many new movies are so bad that I never want to see them again) and it would be shame if my player is not able to play them.

The problem is . . those frequent firmware updates sometimes take away also . . such as the PS3 firmware update that came with cinavia imbedded in it, or the Oppo firmware that disabled the ability to play ISO's . . .

A long-time audio/video addict!
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post #28 of 33 Old 09-26-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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^Yup, it can be a double-edged sword. The ISO playback feature was added unexpectedly, though. If reviewers on Amazon hadn't mentioned it, there's a chance the player might still have it today.mad.gif
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post #29 of 33 Old 09-26-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich86 View Post

The problem is . . those frequent firmware updates sometimes take away also . . such as the PS3 firmware update that came with cinavia imbedded in it, or the Oppo firmware that disabled the ability to play ISO's . . .

I know. That's why you basically need two players, one that you never update and another that is up to date and able to play new titles. I already got both but the PS3 reserved for new titles is dying and I need to decide wether just get another PS3 or take my changes with standalone player which may not be so quickly supported as PS3 is.
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post #30 of 33 Old 09-27-2012, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Lebowski View Post

I know. That's why you basically need two players, one that you never update and another that is up to date and able to play new titles. I already got both but the PS3 reserved for new titles is dying and I need to decide wether just get another PS3 or take my changes with standalone player which may not be so quickly supported as PS3 is.

So far, I have no need for 2 players since my existing players have always played new titles without issue and without new firmware. But the future may bring unpleasant surprises.

A long-time audio/video addict!
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