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post #1 of 41 Old 08-13-2010, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=182980&d=1281714403
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2009
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 632 Minutes
Genre: TV Drama/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, C.S. Lee, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, Desmond Harrington, John Lithgow, James Remar
Directed by: Various
Music by: Daniel Licht
Written by: Various
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 17, 2010







"Take life. Seriously"



Film Synopsis:

The Showtime Original Series DEXTER is back with an all-new season, and this time America's favorite serial killer has gone from freewheeling bachelor to responsible husband and doting dad. Maintaining an average-guy facade while satisfying his need to kill has never been easy. But now, with wife and kids in tow, Dexter's got more to lose then ever, as he gets drawn into a deadly game with a killer every bit as dangerous and conflicted as he is.



My Take:

For those who may not be familiar with Dexter it is a crime drama about Dexter Morgan, a man who leads a double life as an incredibly likeable forensics expert for the Miami Police Department and as an emotionless vigilante serial killer. Taught by his foster father to harness his lust for blood and killing, Dexter lives by his own strict moral code - he only kills murderers who can't otherwise be brought to justice. Dexter is a killer who grapples with fitting into society while, at the same time, he struggles with his inability to feel emotion. The irony of Dexter's life is that he works closely as a blood splatter analyst with the very people who hunt his kind - the homicide departments. Dexter is a dark and oddly entertaining program filled with interesting archetypes and characters. Fortunately for the innocent Dexter has channeled his penchant for blood into ridding Miami of the criminal element that have fallen through the cracks or who have failed to receive proper justice through the system. His work for the Miami PD puts him in close contact with those who would normally be on the hunt for him which allows him to keep them safely at arms length. While this plays a crucial role in the shows plot what I find just as interesting are the cases that he routinely gets involved in as a forensic analyst for the Miami PD and his struggles to try to appear normal in his daily interaction with the people in his life. He is a complex individual who has no illusions about who he is or what he is capable of. The series is based upon the novel Darkly dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay.

The show opens with a grisly murder that introduces this season's villain, the Trinity Killer, played by the wonderfully diverse John Lithgow. He presents a formidable adversary for Dexter while representing someone that like Dexter himself works behind a façade that no one has yet to see through. Meanwhile new husband and father Dexter struggles to acclimate to his new domestic situation while balancing that between work and his extra curricular evening activities. Burning the candle at both ends nearly has disastrous results when Dexter falls asleep at the wheel and crashes after completion of a much deserving conquest. Romance blossoms at the office and leads to complications during the squad's investigation of a series of robberies gone bad that later become known as the vacation murders. Retired FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine) returns and brings to light his theories on the Trinity Killer. His presence causes conflict between Deb and live in boyfriend Anton, and for good reason. Rita and the neighbors form a neighborhood watch in order to catch/deter a local vandal. The increased activity puts a crimp in Dexter's movements after hours so he decides to make finding the culprit a priority.

He chooses his next target which proves to be quite a challenge especially in light of her occupation. Rita discovers that Dexter has not been truthful regarding the seriousness of his car accident or the status of his old apartment, more couples therapy. After Trinity violently tips his hand in order to preserve his identity and purpose Dexter sets his sights on the most deadly adversary he has every encountered. The finale resulted in the highest-rated original series episode ever aired on Showtime. Not to be missed Season Four continues to push the envelope by engaging the audience each week as the show builds to the superlative climax in the final episode. All 12 one hour Season Four episodes are spread out over three BD-50 Blu-ray Discs. Once again I am surprised at the lack of bonus content that accompanies this set. There are no bonus supplements available unless you access to BD-Live. Those without BD-Live enabled players or access to the internet, are out of luck. Even with the inclusion of MovieIQ the BD-Live content doesn't offer fans or newcomers to the series anything worthy of note which is disappointing. Regardless, Dexter: Season Four on Blu-ray still shines brilliantly.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, thematic material and language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Dexter: Season Four comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.6 Mbps.

I have reviewed each season of Dexter on Blu-ray Disc and it has consistently looked and sounded great in high definition and this presentation is no different. Images are three dimensional, exquisitely detailed, and at times seem to visually transcend the boundaries of the camera's lens to provide the looking through a window perspective. Colors are visually stimulating with rich, vivid highlights and natural rendering that looks superb. Fleshtones are delineated with enriching complexional structure and lifelike depiction. Contrast is strong without being distractingly overstated and blacks are dynamic, with deep, gradational quality and revealing detail in low lighting and shadowy backgrounds. Grain is rendered in fine visible layers that rarely drew my attention. This is a pristine and near reference quality presentation that looks impressive and is sure to please regardless of the size of your display.

The Dolby TrueHD multi-channel soundtrack is presented similarly to the season's two previous releases and offers excellent lossless sound quality. Dynamics are robust without being ostentatious. Dialogue is rendered with clear intonation and deep room penetration which elevates the quality of Dexter's running monologue through the center channel speaker. The front soundstage is nicely diffused with excellent separation and clearly articulated detail. The presentation didn't offer much in the way of discrete surround sound however the sound field had appreciable depth and spatial dimension via ambient extension through the rear channels. Bass response wasn't room shaking however it appropriately supported the source elements and provided a tight, punchy low end.



Bonus Features:

  • It should be noted that all of the bonus material is only accessible via BD-Live which requires an internet connected BD Profile 2.0 player. I was surprised to see the inclusion of MovieIQ, an interactive feature which I have only seen on Sony Blu-ray titles which allows fans the option of viewing continuously updated details on the cast and crew and to explore relevant trivia such as production facts, music, and soundtrack information which are tied into scenes from the show. All of the streamed content is 480p standard definition presented in a window with the option of full screen viewing.


  • BD-Live Special Features:

  • Interviews with Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Lauren Velez, David Zayas, John Lithgow, Clyde Phillips, James Remar, C.S. Lee

  • Showtime Series Californication: Season 3 - episodes 1 & 2

  • Showtime Series The Tudors: Season 4 - episodes 1 & 2


Final Thoughts:

Dexter: Season Four continues the success of the show's first three seasons and makes for a dark, compelling and interesting crime drama that features Michael C. Hall in a role that is far and away his best. The show features well drawn characters, stimulating writing and apt direction. Season Four is terrific features a storyline that sees Dexter struggle to juggle his new personal life between his job and extra curricular activities. Season guest star John Lithgow gives a wonderful and engaging performance (which earned him a Golden Globe) that perfectly accented the show's theme. Its technical presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Paramount is strong as it looks and sounds excellent. The bonus content doesn't offer fans much in the way of interesting features and consists only of some brief cast interviews and basic MovieIQ data. Add to that the fact that access to the bonus features is only available through BD-Live (which leave those without BD-Live functionality out in the cold) and this is very disappointing. While this is worthy of consideration I hardly find it a deal breaker because this is simply one of the best shows on cable TV. Fans of the series can look forward to owning it on Blu-ray disc. If you have not seen it I would highly recommend that you check it out.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 41 Old 08-13-2010, 09:13 AM
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While this is worthy of consideration I hardly find it a deal breaker because this is simply one of the best shows on cable TV.

Agreed

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post #3 of 41 Old 08-13-2010, 11:07 AM
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Agreed

Double agreed

Cant wait for the next season in Sept!

Thanks for taking the time to dig through a whole season Ralph.
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post #4 of 41 Old 08-13-2010, 02:13 PM
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Agreed



I really need to sit down and see what all the fuss is about.

Thanks for the review Ralph!
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post #5 of 41 Old 08-13-2010, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I really need to sit down and see what all the fuss is about.

Thanks for the review Ralph!

Greetings,

It's well done and lots of fun...


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post #6 of 41 Old 08-13-2010, 03:11 PM
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A great review of one of my all time favorite shows. The only time I activate Showtime is for Dexter. Thanks, Ralph..

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post #7 of 41 Old 08-13-2010, 05:23 PM
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Lucky you Ralph! I am absolutely dying to see this and I hope these ship out of my queue next week. Looks like the video presentation is on par with the other 3 seasons from the score getting a 90. I recently upgraded from a standard 5.1 audio receiver to a 5.1 A/V receiver (Pioneer VSX-820K) back in May. I think I have yet to throw a Blu-ray disc into my PS3 where the audio on the disc is Dolby TrueHD. Virtually every Blu-ray title I have either rented or bought as of late has contained a DTS-HD MA track. I am sort of excited to see how the Dolby TrueHD track will sound on my new receiver considering I have yet to watch a Blu-ray title with Dolby True HD.
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post #8 of 41 Old 08-14-2010, 11:48 AM
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Season 4 blew me away. Trinity's storyline was epic, and the final scene haunted me for weeks
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post #9 of 41 Old 08-14-2010, 02:19 PM
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This is probably the best show on television. I'll be buying it this Tuesday!

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post #10 of 41 Old 08-16-2010, 07:30 PM
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If only they'd release this series on BD in Europe
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post #11 of 41 Old 08-18-2010, 10:53 AM
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+1 on the PQ and AQ ratings. The opening sequence music is awesome in surround with a good subwoofer.

Note that there is now a complete season 1-4 set available on BD, but it's just a bundle of the individual season sets.
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post #12 of 41 Old 08-19-2010, 07:53 PM
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Adding: One of the best things about this set is that it's non-JAVA, so if your player supports disc resume you can stop and re-start anywhere you like without re-loading menus.
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post #13 of 41 Old 08-22-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Adding: One of the best things about this set is that it's non-JAVA, so if your player supports disc resume you can stop and re-start anywhere you like without re-loading menus.


Yeah, that has turned out to be a big PLUS for my wife and I. She had surgery last week and has spent much of this week on pain killers so she often conked out in mid-episode so it was nice to later resume the disc where we left off without going through a minute or two's worth of start-up.

Regarding S4 - (I won't break any spoilers in case anyone still wants to see S4)

Wow. We finished watching the last episode last night. I pretty much knew what happened to a key character at the end of the last episode just days after the episode was originally broadcast, but knowing just that "it" happens with no details how it all came together maybe made watching this season unfold even more intense. The show really reached a much higher level this season than it has before and casting Lithgow was a stroke of genius. I think the level of writing and acting is just miles above just about anything else on the tube. It's amazing to think that Hall has undergoing cancer treatment during shooting of the last few episodes.

Anyone on the fence about checking this show out - imo it's among the very best series that have *ever* been broadcast. You do need to start from Season 1 and view chronologically and I do think the show kind of took a dip on Season 3 but overall, it's absolutely worthy viewing.

And yeah, I too agree with Ralph regarding the utter lack of on-disc extras. It's one of the few tv series collections I'd actually *like* to go through some bonus features and tying them to BD Live isn't cool. However, I think Blu-ray purchasers should feel lucky they even get subtitles - the dvd sets do not have subs, you have to use your monitor's clunky CC option as if you were watching a broadcast tv show.

T.B.
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post #14 of 41 Old 08-22-2010, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post


And yeah, I too agree with Ralph regarding the utter lack of on-disc extras. It's one of the few tv series collections I'd actually *like* to go through some bonus features and tying them to BD Live isn't cool. However, I think Blu-ray purchasers should feel lucky they even get subtitles - the dvd sets do not have subs, you have to use your monitor's clunky CC option as if you were watching a broadcast tv show.

T.B.

With 4 episodes per disc, there's not room for much "extra". I'd rather have the PQ than the extras. The extras are nothing more than web videos that are/were available at sho.com while the season was airing, so it's not like it's anything new. At least this set has BD-Live content that actually relates to the show.
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post #15 of 41 Old 08-22-2010, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

Season 4 blew me away. Trinity's storyline was epic, and the final scene haunted me for weeks

+1.......CRAZY last episode!

When does season 5 start? I will probably activate showtime just to watch it if its not too much.

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post #16 of 41 Old 08-22-2010, 04:15 PM
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+1.......CRAZY last episode!

When does season 5 start? I will probably activate showtime just to watch it if its not too much.

Sept 26th

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!

Here is the Season 5 trailer; could be the best season yet! Do NOT watch if you haven't caught up and finished season 4:

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post #17 of 41 Old 08-22-2010, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Sept 26th

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!

Here is the Season 5 trailer; could be the best season yet! Do NOT watch if you haven't caught up and finished season 4:

Greetings,

Outstanding! Thanks for sharing Nuance..


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post #18 of 41 Old 08-23-2010, 02:10 PM
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I really need to sit down and see what all the fuss is about.

Thanks for the review Ralph!
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post #19 of 41 Old 08-23-2010, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Sept 26th

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!

Here is the Season 5 trailer; could be the best season yet! Do NOT watch if you haven't caught up and finished season 4:

Thanks for that...... this looks like it will be another great season!

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post #20 of 41 Old 08-24-2010, 06:31 AM
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I love Dexter and own all four seasons on Blu-ray. But ... I've had some problems with my copy of Season 4, so I returned it to Amazon for replacement.

Sorry if the following should be in another forum, not sure where to put it!

All three discs played fine on first viewing, but after playing fine once, disc 2 no longer plays. My Panny BD-60 says it's reading the disc, but then the counter sits at 0000, while the TV displays a black screen. When I press the "Top Menu" button, the TV displays message that the command is unavailable, but the screen remains black, and nothing will make the machine play. Although I can make the player re-read the disc, the counter returns to 0000, and a black screen is displayed. My second copy has behaved the same way.

What complicates matters is that I received my replacement Dexter season 4 set along with my new Oppo BDP-80, after I'd returned the first disc set, so I am unable to test the first Dexter season 4 on the Oppo.

The Oppo plays all three discs, but the audio briefly cuts out during the intro where Dexter prepares his breakfast and flosses his teeth. It does this on all three discs. It cuts out twice on disc 1 and at least once on discs 2 and 3. (It's simply a momentary loss of signal to the speakers, according to the display on the receiver. (It continues to show TrueHD as the decoder.) The audio drop-outs are always in the same places on the respective discs.

Both disc players are running their latest firmware. Both players are set to bitstream audio to my Yamaha RX-V467 and are connected via HDMI using the same known-good HDMI cable and the same HDMI input on the receiver. (I have tried a second known-good HDMI cable with identical results.)

Panny BD-60 did cut out once during the intro on disc 3, but I could not duplicate the error, so it may have been a fluke.

Audio on all discs plays without incident if I set the disc players to LPCM. In addition, the intros on my seasons 1-3 disc bitstream TrueHD just fine from the Oppo (and the Panny).

I called Oppo, and they suggested I return the player for a replacement even though they didn't think the problem is with the Oppo.

I've googled and searched this forum but found nothing on the subject of intermittent bitstream audio loss and the BDP-80.

I've never had a problem playing any discs on my Panny, and I've played bits and pieces of quite a few discs since I received the Oppo. So far, all play fine. I'm beginning to wonder if there are problems with the Dexter season 4 disc set, and my particular players are picking them up.

I do have a replacement Oppo on the way, but I'd appreciate any help in the meantime. Has anyone else experienced bitstream audio loss via HDMI with this player?

Thx!
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post #21 of 41 Old 08-24-2010, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twokatmew View Post

All three discs played fine on first viewing, but after playing fine once, disc 2 no longer plays. My Panny BD-60 says it's reading the disc, but then the counter sits at 0000, while the TV displays a black screen. When I press the "Top Menu" button, the TV displays message that the command is unavailable, but the screen remains black, and nothing will make the machine play. Although I can make the player re-read the disc, the counter returns to 0000, and a black screen is displayed. My second copy has behaved the same way.

Turn off BD-Live and see if that helps in the Panny. This is a non-JAVA set, so it's possible the Panny is getting hung up trying to resume playback. I don't know if it even has that function.

Quote:


The Oppo plays all three discs, but the audio briefly cuts out during the intro where Dexter prepares his breakfast and flosses his teeth. It does this on all three discs. It cuts out twice on disc 1 and at least once on discs 2 and 3. (It's simply a momentary loss of signal to the speakers, according to the display on the receiver. (It continues to show TrueHD as the decoder.) The audio drop-outs are always in the same places on the respective discs.

A known issue with some DTHD tracks. A FW fix is pending at Oppo. I think they didn't understand what you were reporting, since the replacement player will do the same thing until the new FW comes out.
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post #22 of 41 Old 08-24-2010, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Turn off BD-Live and see if that helps in the Panny. This is a non-JAVA set, so it's possible the Panny is getting hung up trying to resume playback. I don't know if it even has that function.

Thank you for the fast response! The Panny is pretty primitive compared to the Oppo BDP-80, and now that I have the Oppo, my Panny will be relegated to outputting 480i over component video to my old Panny tube TV. It will rarely get used now. I just mentioned all the details to help in figuring out if this is a problem with the Dexter season 4 blu set and/or the players.

I should have mentioned that I have BD-Live disabled on both the Panny and the Oppo. But ... the latest two Panny firmware updates have caused the machine to generate an error message something to the effect that the network connection was refused and that I should check the BD-Live settings. Of course my network connection works fine. I get this error even if I set BD-Live to "limited," which is how it had been set till very recently. I have to set BD-Live for full capability to avoid that message. Instead, I just leave BD-Live off and ignore the message.

Quote:


A known issue with some DTHD tracks. A FW fix is pending at Oppo. I think they didn't understand what you were reporting, since the replacement player will do the same thing until the new FW comes out.

I guess they didn't understand, because I asked if bitstream audio drop-out was an issue that could possibly be resolved with a firmware update, and they said there was no known issue....

This is good news though, as it means my disc set is fine, and my Oppo player will be fine eventually.

I'll do more troubleshooting with the Panny, but chances are I'll never watch Dexter season 4 on it.

Thanks so much for your help!
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post #23 of 41 Old 08-24-2010, 08:24 AM
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This is good news though, as it means my disc set is fine, and my Oppo player will be fine eventually.

Yes. In fact the set does the same thing here on the latest public firmware in my BDP-83.
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post #24 of 41 Old 08-24-2010, 08:37 AM
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Yes. In fact the set does the same thing here on the latest public firmware in my BDP-83.

Thanks to your help, I also solved the problem on my Panny BD-60, too. I had to turn off BD-Live and remove the SD card (required for BD-Live data storage).

It's strange though, because leaving the SD card inserted (whether BD-Live was on or off) caused no problems with playing discs 1 or 3, only disc 2. The SD card is known-good though.

Anyway, I can now play Dexter season 4 on my old Panny that I'll rarely use.

Thanks so much!!
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post #25 of 41 Old 08-24-2010, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by twokatmew View Post

Thanks to your help, I also solved the problem on my Panny BD-60, too. I had to turn off BD-Live and remove the SD card (required for BD-Live data storage).

It's strange though, because leaving the SD card inserted (whether BD-Live was on or off) caused no problems with playing discs 1 or 3, only disc 2. The SD card is known-good though.

Anyway, I can now play Dexter season 4 on my old Panny that I'll rarely use.

Thanks so much!!

Further OT now: If the player has an option to "erase storage" that would have done the trick too.
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post #26 of 41 Old 08-30-2010, 11:49 PM
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I finally got around to watching season 4. I thought it was great, especially the last third of the season where things really got going. The ending made me so mad though!
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post #27 of 41 Old 08-31-2010, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally got around to watching season 4. I thought it was great, especially the last third of the season where things really got going. The ending made me so mad though!

Greetings,

I agree Matt, and yes the ending was definitely tough..


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Greetings,

I agree Matt, and yes the ending was definitely tough..


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It blew my mind, but it's going to make season five a thriller!

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post #29 of 41 Old 09-01-2010, 06:49 PM
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It blew my mind, but it's going to make season five a thriller!

For sure. Season 5 seems like its going to be very tense from the trailer thats on Youtube.
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post #30 of 41 Old 09-10-2010, 07:58 AM
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I just wanted to comment on the Dexter Season 4 bluray issue, even though my home theater setup probably isn't up to par.

For starters, I'm watching these discs on a Playstation 3. Disc 1 plays fine, although when I load the disc, it goes straight to a sub-menu (with interviews, and episodes of other shows, like Weeds) rather than loading the main menu directly. Inconvenient, but manageable.

However, I just switched to disc 2, and it behaves exactly as twokatmew described. The player recognizes that there is a bluray disc present, and attempts to play it, but eventually just goes to a black screen. The counter reads zeros, and trying to navigate to the main menu, or chapter skip, results in "This operation not available here" being displayed.

Disc 3 behaves the same way as Disc 2.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, especially since I've been waiting almost 2 yrs to watch this Season, and Season 5 is fast approaching.
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