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post #1 of 39 Old 08-01-2014, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Are My BDs Degrading?

All my Blu-ray discs are in pristine condition and both players (a high-end BDP-S760 in my HT room and a BDP-S3200 in my bedroom) have their firmware up to date.

However, my BDP-S760 seems to be having trouble loading some of my discs. I get an "Invalid" message on the display and a "Cannot operate this disc." message on the screen. After opening and closing the disc tray 3 - 50 times, the player is able to eventually load the disc and, after that, it will play it flawlessly. This happens with only a couple of Blu-ray discs which used to play perfectly before.

The newer BDP-S3200 appears a bit "stronger" as it can still read the degrading discs.

What is the life of a commercial Blu-ray disc? Are they supposed to decay so quickly?
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post #2 of 39 Old 08-01-2014, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael9009 View Post
All my Blu-ray discs are in pristine condition and both players (a high-end BDP-S760 in my HT room and a BDP-S3200 in my bedroom) have their firmware up to date.

However, my BDP-S760 seems to be having trouble loading some of my discs. I get an "Invalid" message on the display and a "Cannot operate this disc." message on the screen. After opening and closing the disc tray 3 - 50 times, the player is able to eventually load the disc and, after that, it will play it flawlessly. This happens with only a couple of Blu-ray discs which used to play perfectly before.

The newer BDP-S3200 appears a bit "stronger" as it can still read the degrading discs.

What is the life of a commercial Blu-ray disc? Are they supposed to decay so quickly?
By what your trying to describe does not sound like disc issues. Rather it appears to be a player problem. Make sure you have the latest software and don't assume a player's laser read mechanism can't go bad or become misaligned due to mechanical issues or even not reading properly due to dust. Some disc's are more sensitive to playing errors than others as well.
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post #3 of 39 Old 08-01-2014, 04:53 PM
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It sounds like your BD player's laser is slowly dying, unless you are coating your Blu-rays in grime and dirt.

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post #4 of 39 Old 08-01-2014, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Really? If it's the player, that sucks. I cleaned the two discs very carefully, but they still have the problem. The weird thing is that all my other BDs work perfectly fine.

And, again, it's happening only during the loading phase of the disc. Once it's loaded, after several tries, the disc will play perfectly as many time as I want.

Could it be that newer discs may have some features that might be incompatible with a player I bought in 2010 (2009 model)?
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post #5 of 39 Old 08-01-2014, 09:13 PM
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Eventually all machines that use a laser to read discs (CD, SACD, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, DVD, and even Laserdiscs) will stop reading discs. Laser's die out, tracking systems go out on alignment, and so on. Compared to your other A/V equipment a disc player if more like a car, just like a car get an estimate and fix or replace.
Properly cared for your discs will out live all of us.
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post #6 of 39 Old 08-02-2014, 10:12 AM
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I've had issues with specific discs and specific players before. But it was something about the way those particular discs were made, they had those issues the day I bought them, nothing to do with degradation. They work fine in one player, have all kinds of issues in another.
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post #7 of 39 Old 08-02-2014, 03:35 PM
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When my first BD player was going bad, I thought it was discs, too. It started with a few isolated titles, then became a bunch of titles before it simply wouldn't play anything except a few select BD titles and DVDs.

After getting a new player, every "problem disc" played fine and they all still do.
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post #8 of 39 Old 08-02-2014, 03:56 PM
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Your blurays will outlive you.


100-150 years is what manufacturers are expecting.
http://superuser.com/questions/25136...-blu-ray-discs


Some as much as 1000 years
http://www.slashgear.com/millenniata...span-06285189/




The method of recording isn't using light sensitive methods like DVD optical drives. So BluRays are tougher - it's gotta be your player.
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post #9 of 39 Old 08-02-2014, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Funny, I've got two much older and significantly heavier-used Toshiba HD DVD players and both still work as solid as new. I don't think I've used the Sony BDP-S760 more than, say, 400 hours during its entire lifetime.

Again, the problem happens only with one or two Blu-ray discs in my collection, and only during the initial loading stage of the disc. Once the disc loads, it works perfectly well.

I remember I turned off the feature that allows the player to access the Internet recently because I've got sick and tired of the discs downloading movie trailers and waiting forever for the movie to start. I also pulled out the 4 GB USB stick that I had plugged in at the back. But I don't think these are related to the issue that I'm having.

My fear is that it may be a BD software issue in the sense that newer discs may not be compatible with older players. Sony did not push a firmware update for this model since 2012. Could this be perhaps the reason?
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post #10 of 39 Old 08-04-2014, 12:17 PM
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It might be, but there is no way to tell for sure without debug info from the player that is generated when discs are loaded. The only discs I've ever had any real problem with were Lionsgate titles, like "The Devil's Rejects", which won't load on my older Sony players.
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post #11 of 39 Old 08-04-2014, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
It might be, but there is no way to tell for sure without debug info from the player that is generated when discs are loaded. The only discs I've ever had any real problem with were Lionsgate titles, like "The Devil's Rejects", which won't load on my older Sony players.
That's interesting. Is there a way to obtain the the debug info that you mentioned? Thanks.
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post #12 of 39 Old 08-05-2014, 12:38 AM
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Definitely the player. A couple of years ago I bought a player made by Panasonic that had a problem dealing with many of the discs that arrived from Netflix. I always blamed it on Netflix - scratches, dirty discs and so on. One day I put a modest home theater in my bedroom and had very little room for a player so I chose a very cheap player made by Samsung because it fit in the space I had available. To my surprise it handled all the BD's that came in from Netflix as long as they weren't cracked. I could take one that wouldn't load on the Panasonic downstairs and watch it just fine in the bedroom.


So I bought a more upscale model by Samsung for the main home theater. Same result. The Samsungs are simply better at dealing with imperfect discs than the Panasonics. There may be many players that aren't so fussy about loading BD's. But at least you know that Samsung makes some that fit the bill.
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post #13 of 39 Old 08-05-2014, 06:50 AM
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On that note, I've had a lot of problems with discs that were "imperfect" with my high-end $300 Samsung player, so I replaced it with a cheapo Sony.
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post #14 of 39 Old 08-05-2014, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael9009 View Post
That's interesting. Is there a way to obtain the the debug info that you mentioned? Thanks.

Most definitely, but I couldn't tell you how. Most likely, it involves the service menu for the Blu-Ray player - not accessible by you unless you have the access method from the manufacturer - and the rear USB port on the player. That's how it goes with HDTVs and I have no reason to believe it would be different for Blu-Ray players.
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post #15 of 39 Old 08-06-2014, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael9009 View Post
Funny, I've got two much older and significantly heavier-used Toshiba HD DVD players and both still work as solid as new. I don't think I've used the Sony BDP-S760 more than, say, 400 hours during its entire lifetime.

Again, the problem happens only with one or two Blu-ray discs in my collection, and only during the initial loading stage of the disc. Once the disc loads, it works perfectly well.

I remember I turned off the feature that allows the player to access the Internet recently because I've got sick and tired of the discs downloading movie trailers and waiting forever for the movie to start. I also pulled out the 4 GB USB stick that I had plugged in at the back. But I don't think these are related to the issue that I'm having.

My fear is that it may be a BD software issue in the sense that newer discs may not be compatible with older players. Sony did not push a firmware update for this model since 2012. Could this be perhaps the reason?
The initial loading of the disc is the most intensive for the player. There's all kinds of scanning and loading going on to figure out what the disc is, what size it is, what content is on it and the decryption process itself to do any of the other stuff.

Even just spinning up the disc the first time can be an issue if the drive motor is failing.

Further, older players could very well be more robust and reliable since they may have been put out before many companies started using over the top cost cutting measures in a race to the bottom of the retail chain.

For what it's worth, I have BD Live turned off on every player I own. All it's good for is making me watch trailers and slowing down the loading of the disc. As a result, in theory, turning it off shouldn't cause your issue. However, you may want to plug the storage back in. I found my old player would sometimes fail to load a disc without a small amount of thumb drive storage plugged in, even with BD Live turned off.
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post #16 of 39 Old 08-07-2014, 07:05 AM
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For my player it's discs which are closest to 16 grams. If a disc is less than 15.5 grams it rattles with an unknown disc. Over 16.5 gives no disc.
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post #17 of 39 Old 08-09-2014, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post
When my first BD player was going bad, I thought it was discs, too. It started with a few isolated titles, then became a bunch of titles before it simply wouldn't play anything except a few select BD titles and DVDs.

After getting a new player, every "problem disc" played fine and they all still do.

I had the same problem on a Panny BD player that I had to junk after only 2 years. It started out with select BDs and then more and more. DVDs still played fine but I junked it and got an Oppo.
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post #18 of 39 Old 08-11-2015, 12:40 PM
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DVD Degradation: most unplayable 15+ years later now

I have actually bought Blu-ray versions of most of my favorite movies but I still have a lot of DVD's of movies not worth upgrading. I have now noted that the majority of my DVD'd don't even play any longer... they just skip. They all have been kept in a near flawless environment (my home theater that has no light) without scratching or scuffs (and only watched a handful of times). The DVD media is just going bad. We all knew formats like DVD-R would do this over time but even as an IT guy with knowledge of how data media can degrade, I didn't think a stamped DVD would die so fast. I'm having to toss out a lot of DVD's lately.

I'm really hoping that one of the original selling points of Blu-ray holds true with its thicker surface. Is it actually possible Blu-Rays go bad faster due to density????

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post #19 of 39 Old 08-11-2015, 12:49 PM
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I don't know about density but a number of my Blu-Rays have gone bad...


Starship Troopers
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Fifth Element (original release)
A Knight's Tale

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post #20 of 39 Old 08-11-2015, 01:58 PM
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Blu-ray seems a more stable format than HD DVD, which many died very quickly. I have no illusions that Blu-rays will last decades and decades. Some early DVDs are no more than coasters now, though most still play. I haven't seen systemic reports of Blu-ray failure except in cases when the manufacturer pressed a bad batch like some Well GO USA and Criterion Blu-rays.

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post #21 of 39 Old 08-11-2015, 03:49 PM
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Last time I tried some early DVDs, purchased 1998/99, they played fine.
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post #22 of 39 Old 08-11-2015, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Blu-ray seems a more stable format than HD DVD, which many died very quickly. I have no illusions that Blu-rays will last decades and decades. Some early DVDs are no more than coasters now, though most still play. I haven't seen systemic reports of Blu-ray failure except in cases when the manufacturer pressed a bad batch like some Well GO USA and Criterion Blu-rays.
Gee I did not expect such a uninformed post here. The vast majority of the rotting HD-DVD discs are WB all from the same manufacturer, Cinram. It is no more a format induced problem then the rotting Well GO USA and Criterion Blu-ray disc are a format induced problem.

The other HD-DVD distributors that used a different manufacturer by an amazing coincidence are not rotting.

As for a disc life span wither blu-ray or not, if you bother to read the many articles on the subject they all say the same thing. Manufacturer claims are not reliable and the life span is only known many years after the discs have been made.
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post #23 of 39 Old 08-12-2015, 04:11 AM
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I'm puzzled too. Not sure if it's a disc issue or player. Seems like there's no rhyme or reason. I have two Blu Ray players, one ancient, one new. Both up to date with current FW's. My copy of "The Descent" no longer loads on either machine, pfft. I thought it was just the older Panny unit beginning to fail on me, but I dunno, why would some titles fail to read on it yet others load right up? Stranger yet, that older player will have a problem with one disc out of a SET, unable to read it, yet another disc from that same set will load just fine - go figure. So it seems SOME discs will eventually degrade. I take care of my stuff too btw, buy new discs, always handle properly/with care. Oh well..I'll pick up another new copy of the Descent, it's cheap enuff now...maybe I'll get 5 or 6 years out of it as well.

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post #24 of 39 Old 08-12-2015, 01:20 PM
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The Descent? That is one of the Blu-rays well known to have had bad pressings during the early days of the format. Many of those early Lionsgate BDs have gone dead after once playing.

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post #25 of 39 Old 08-12-2015, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
The Descent? That is one of the Blu-rays well known to have had bad pressings during the early days of the format. Many of those early Lionsgate BDs have gone dead after once playing.
Thanks...and that's a shame...guess I should be grateful my copy lasted as long as it did!!

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post #26 of 39 Old 08-12-2015, 05:33 PM
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Thanks...and that's a shame...guess I should be grateful my copy lasted as long as it did!!
Contact Lionsgate, tell them it is defective, and ask for a replacement copy.
They will probably comply (at least most other studios provide that level of customer support).
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post #27 of 39 Old 08-12-2015, 06:14 PM
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Is there a list of Lionsgate titles with bad pressings?
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post #28 of 39 Old 08-13-2015, 09:45 AM
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I'm late to the party but I had a similar experience. My first step in reading issues is to clean the disc and use a cleaning disc in the Blu-ray player that was designed for cleaning Blu-ray players, so all that follows is for read issues after a fresh cleaning of both the player and the disc. In my case, I had an LG Blu-ray player that, after a couple years of frequent use, had issues with a few Blu-ray discs from Netflix, and then more and more Blu-ray discs had issues playing, but never DVDs. I took the Blu-ray player back to Best Buy and, under the extend service plan they replaced the laser/drive assembly, and then it worked great for another one and a half years before it started having issues again, this time after the extended service plan had expired. That is when I purchased the Sony BDP-S3100 Player and every Blu-ray disc the LG had issues with worked fine in the Sony. I kept the LG around for playing DVDs but finally ended up just tossing it.

It was in those times I did some reading up on the issue. Some sites stated that there are multiple lasers in the assembly: a "blue" (violet) laser for reading Blu-ray discs, a red laser for DVDs, and an IR laser for CDs. The "blue" laser loses its brightness with use quicker than the other lasers and over time the player will have more and more difficulties reading Blu-ray discs. One site claimed that the physical tolerances of reading Blu-ray discs was tighter and it takes less wear to cause the drive mechanism to not properly track the pits, but DVDs and CDs use longer wavelengths and larger pits and can tolerate more wear in the drive mechanism. All sites I read seemed to be in agreement that the failure mode generally starts with just a few Blu-ray discs that could not be read, most frequently at load time, and over time more and more Blu-ray discs cannot be read, but usually there is no trouble with DVDs.

As far as allowing the disc to access the Internet, I had paid extra for BD Live when I purchased the LG, but 99% of the time the BD Live content available were additional trailers, not what we would consider "special features" (commentaries, behind the scenes, how certain affects were achieved), so I ended up disabling BD Live and many Blu-ray discs load faster, and not one of the discs I had rented from Netflix failed to play, but a couple discs did warn me of no BD Live but allowed me to continue. Still, having an Internet-connected player, even with BD Live disabled, makes it a whole lot more convenient for updating the player's software, which sometimes is needed with a new release of some Blu-ray discs.

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post #29 of 39 Old 08-13-2015, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post
Is there a list of Lionsgate titles with bad pressings?
I remember that early pressings of Basic Instinct and Total Recall have had issues. Mostly stuff pressed around 2006 to 2007.

Lionsgate has never had very good customer service like the other studios. I've heard conflicting reports on whether they will replace defective BDs.

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post #30 of 39 Old 08-13-2015, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
I remember that early pressings of Basic Instinct and Total Recall have had issues. Mostly stuff pressed around 2006 to 2007.

Lionsgate has never had very good customer service like the other studios. I've heard conflicting reports on whether they will replace defective BDs.
Lionsgate replaced my defective "The Conspirator" blu-ray disc with no hassle not all that long ago.
I started out with a message to their general inquiries address, but the actual replacement was handled by folks at this customer service email address:

lionsgatecs@orderassistance.com
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