So I've been trying to watch more movies on my BH200, and on both HD DVD and BD discs, I've been experiencing very brief audio dropouts as well as very brief "video distortions" - basically, the video gets scrambled and some green interference appears for a split second, and then the disc keeps playing normally (there is usually no audio dropout during this). For both the audio and video issues, I'll rewind back to the exact scene where this happens, and it does not reproduce itself, so it just seems to happen at random spots and will not happen at the same spot again.
More troubling is another problem where the disc will freeze, and then after about 15 seconds, the unit will completely shut itself off. It will then boot up fine and play through the problem scene without another issue. I can almost live with the brief audio/video issues, but this problem is quite annoying. I've had a few viewings where I watched an entire movie without problem, but this freeze/shutdown problem has happened just as frequently. This also happens to BD and HD DVD discs.
Has anyone else had this problem? I've tried to check to see what firmware I am running, and I've been unsuccessful in doing so - I've followed the directions in the firmware FAQ, but nothing pops up after I punch in the sequence of numbers while in the screen size menu. I am assuming it is very old firmware, since this was a Best Buy open box deal (they probably never updated anything) and it is a November 2007 build date. I am thinking that this might be a problem with the unit itself as opposed to a firmware problem, but what is the best firmware for me to upgrade to? I supposed it can't hurt to upgrade to see if it fixes these problems, but very interested to hear what others think......
Otherwise, does LG still repair these things, should I need to go that route? I actually still think I'm within my 30 day return window to Best Buy, although I still don't want to give up hope on having a dual format player in my living room, but maybe it will just be easier to get my $$$ back......
I'd try first updating to April '08 firmware (yes, a year old). If you do that successfully and still experience these glitches, then you have a decision to make (take it back or send it-in to LG for repair).
Not sure what I'd do--depends I suppose on how good a deal I got from BB. But if you paid a couple hundred $ for it IMO you should just take it back for a full refund.
P.S. My BH200 has April '08 firmware and I've played many dozens of discs with never once an audio dropout, video glitch, or freeze-up as you've described. Sounds "broke" to me.
Just a guess, but sounds like both problems could be the same. The "audio dropout" is par for the course, but the macroblocking and distorted video is more likely a data loss problem. Either a damaged or dirty disc could cause this. If the discs are pristine I'd go with the drive or cabling problem (internal to the BH200). DVD players are configured differently than PC drives. On a DVD it's OK to lose data, these compression streams can handle a little data loss, but a lot of data loss will cause video problems. A PC, on the other hand, will retry to read until the data is successfully read.
The second problem could be tied to the first problem, either drive isn't responding, data stream is dropped. After that a watchdog timer may expire when this problem persists for an fixed period of time.
This may be fixed by doing something as simple as opening up the unit and making sure all the connections are good, unconnect and reconnect everything internally. If you're not use to tinkering like this I'd say to send it in for repair. But, before rule out the dirty/damaged discs.
I ended up loading the December '08 firmware that is available on the LG website - one, because I couldn't readily find the April '08 firmware, and two, if I did end up calling LG, I know they would have told me to update to the latest firmware anyways before processing a warranty claim.
I've watched two movies so far, both HD DVD: Batman Begins and Old School. Maybe I'm jinxing myself here, but both movies played with no noticeable problems all the way through. No audio dropouts, no video dropouts/distortions, and no freezing.
I'll have to watch a BD or two soon to test those as well, but the problem was happening whether I was playing an HD DVD or BD disc (in fact, Batman Begins was one of the problem discs before the new firmware upload).
Interestingly enough, the old firmware that was on the machine appeared to be from October '07, which I didn't even see on the list in the Firmware FAQ.
I just hope this thing continues to work like it has for the past couple of nights......
I'm not surprised your box had ancient firmware, but I'm a little surprised that new firmware MIGHT have fixed your issues...that would be really good news wouldn't it! Best-of-luck with testing a few BD discs and please be sure to report back!
Had the chance to watch 1408 on BD tonight.....no problems at all. Hopefully I'll get to watch some more movies this weekend - two BDs that definitely gave me problems were Hellboy and The Dark Knight, so I'm eager to watch those two to see if they play without any issues.
I've now completely played the Dark Knight and Hellboy BDs with no issues. So far, it looks like the newer firmware has worked wonders with my machine. Not sure if this helps anyone out there who may be having similar issues, but I'm going to keep knocking on wood and (hopefully) continue to enjoy my BH200.