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My HTPC fails on a few blockbuster rentals

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I can play any regular DVD and most blu-ray dvd's that I rent from blockbuster just fine - occasionally I get a blu-ray rental that will not play, or will play previews only, or will play with the wrong audio. About 9 out of 10 play just fine. Is there a way to know what gives here? I am using powerdvd 7.3 and anydvd hd 6.5.3.9, and I don't get any message saying there is a problem!!!! Is there any setup that will definitely play ALL rentals from blockbuster? (as is the case with regular DVD's) When they make these blu-ray movies on discs, don't they have a standard codec that is supposed to be known to powerdvd and anydvd hd? I just don't get it. Why would they make blu ray dvd's that won't play? It makes me shy about renting because I can't tell which will play and which will not!!!!
post #2 of 20
The most trouble free solution to date is a stand alone player. There are just too many variables in a PC.
post #3 of 20
Could be a few things-perhaps AnyDVD hasn't caught up with the encryption for that particular movie (check out the Slysoft forum for the sticky that lists what films haven't been cracked yet), perhaps (although this is a bit more rare) your version of PDVD hasn't caught up yet (went through this myself with the Bond films last year)-
There's a couple of valid ones for you - whenever a film fails I always hit up Slysoft first and 9 times out of 10 it's on their list-
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Knucklehead90: I am starting to agree - which stand-alone player would be best at playing ALL blu-rays without any bells and whisltes - just play the doggone movie already!

And how do the stand-alone players accomplish the decoding if anydvd-hd can't hack it? Will I have to dial up and get flash downloads from time to time (like when I'm all set to watch a movie and it won't play)? Or have the stand-alone player manufacturers been given the secret codes from all the blu-ray makers and they already embedded them in their firmware? This is all very confusing!
post #5 of 20
Have you upgraded AnyDVD HD? The latest is 6.5.4.0.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleberry View Post

Knucklehead90: I am starting to agree - which stand-alone player would be best at playing ALL blu-rays without any bells and whisltes - just play the doggone movie already!

And how do the stand-alone players accomplish the decoding if anydvd-hd can't hack it? Will I have to dial up and get flash downloads from time to time (like when I'm all set to watch a movie and it won't play)? Or have the stand-alone player manufacturers been given the secret codes from all the blu-ray makers and they already embedded them in their firmware? This is all very confusing!

Even standalones can run into an occasional issue requiring an update - this is usually handled by downloading a manufacturers file, burning it to a DVD and then updating via the DVD.
However, yes, there is an intrinsic simplicity in a standalone that htpc's have yet to match, but for most of us, the additional features an htpc can offer outweigh the simplicity...
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleberry View Post

Knucklehead90: I am starting to agree - which stand-alone player would be best at playing ALL blu-rays without any bells and whisltes - just play the doggone movie already!

My Pioneer 51FD has been awesome. But from casually following the thread, it sounds like you want to try and find an older Japanese mfg one, rather than the newer malasian ones (not sure what mine is).

Quote:


And how do the stand-alone players accomplish the decoding if anydvd-hd can't hack it?

I think it's because they use different sets of keys that don't get changed, BD+ knows they're OK, and probably because the studios actually test BDs against the particular PC you happen to have (which is different from every other PC out there).

Quote:


Will I have to dial up and get flash downloads from time to time (like when I'm all set to watch a movie and it won't play)?

I've never had to. I've done one firmware update, but I did it because it was supposed to improve upconversion. My current firmware is rather old and I know it just played Quantum of Solace and Bolt just fine.

Quote:


Or have the stand-alone player manufacturers been given the secret codes from all the blu-ray makers and they already embedded them in their firmware? This is all very confusing!

Standalones do have entirely different keysets vs PCs. For example IIRC AACS requires PC's to have their keys updated every 90 days, while standalones get "for life" keys.

But really I'm guessing it's testing that's the largest difference. AFAIK, each (major at least) BD that gets produced goes through "rigourous" compatibility testing with all the BD players out there to make sure they work. For standalones that's pretty easy, stick it in a BDP-51FD and it should work in all of them. When it comes to PCs, it's utterly impossible to ensure a disc will work in every permutation of player software, drivers, OS, patches, etc, etc. That's if they test PCs at all.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Stranger99, I looked at the BDP-51FD on amazon and the first customer review says he got a movie that wouldn't play ("Quantum of Solace")

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDP-51...owViewpoints=1

That is the whole point -why would the makers of "Quantum of Solace" rig it so that it wouldn't play in one of the popular stand-alones? And how can the renter know what kinds of tricks they come up with from just reading the cover of the DVD they want to buy/rent? This is definitely not a well-developed enterprise if anyone can say "blu-ray" and some work, some don't, and you have to pay first to find out??????

Anydvd wants more money for each upgrade, unless you go lifetime and that is over 100 Euro's, and they can't be sure even then if it will play ALL discs that say "blu-ray" on the cover - because there apparantly is no concrete standard that all BLU-RAY adherents must comply with? 9 out of 10 is pretty good, but, with older DVD's, it is at least 999 out of 1000 (probably even higher). If all a party wants to do if enjoy the higher def movies experience, all this tricky codecs and such just make for frustration. My neighbor pointed out to me that she can play any vhs tape anywhere anytime and she is holding out on blu-ray until they quit fighting over who can, and who cannot, actually play the dang thang. Imagine paying $300 for the Pioneer blu-ray player, then renting a blu-ray movie and when you are all ready with popcorn and friends, you get that "won't play" nonesense.
post #9 of 20
Quote:


That is the whole point -why would the makers of "Quantum of Solace" rig it so that it wouldn't play in one of the popular stand-alones?

Well, it's not that they rig it NOT to play on that particular model, it's that they (movie studios) keep updating codecs and encryption schemes. The "disc won't play" problem happens far less with stand-alones (hasn't happened in a year for me), but that's why the firmware updates come down the pike every once in awhile.

As far as AnyDVD goes-the list of movies that (currently) won't play is pretty small - did you look at the forum? The fact of the matter is that to play in the HTPC arena, one often needs to follow up in forums and the like to avoid the "%$#! - people are here and the movie won't play" experience - it's all part of the magic

(You can complain about it all you want-but that is the nature of the beast and will continue to be true)
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleberry View Post

Knucklehead90: I am starting to agree - which stand-alone player would be best at playing ALL blu-rays without any bells and whisltes - just play the doggone movie already!

And how do the stand-alone players accomplish the decoding if anydvd-hd can't hack it? Will I have to dial up and get flash downloads from time to time (like when I'm all set to watch a movie and it won't play)? Or have the stand-alone player manufacturers been given the secret codes from all the blu-ray makers and they already embedded them in their firmware? This is all very confusing!

There isn't a single movie that hasnt played when I put it in my PS3...though there are a few stand alone players that are less expensive I dont know how often their firmware would need to be updated?!
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleberry View Post

Stranger99, I looked at the BDP-51FD on amazon and the first customer review says he got a movie that wouldn't play ("Quantum of Solace")

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDP-51...owViewpoints=1

I suggest you go through the 51FD thread in the Blu-ray players section. The current theory is that something happened to the newer, Malasian-built 51FDs that cause them to be treated differently by BD+, or some discs.

I suspect mine's an older Japan model, but all I know is with the 1.21 (IIRC) firmware on mine, it hasn't failed to play anything, asside from one netflix disc that was damaged, but I even got that to play.

Quote:


That is the whole point -why would the makers of "Quantum of Solace" rig it so that it wouldn't play in one of the popular stand-alones? And how can the renter know what kinds of tricks they come up with from just reading the cover of the DVD they want to buy/rent? This is definitely not a well-developed enterprise if anyone can say "blu-ray" and some work, some don't, and you have to pay first to find out??????

I definitely agree that the whole BD system is designed with the wrong priorities in mind.

[UQOTE]Anydvd wants more money for each upgrade, unless you go lifetime and that is over 100 Euro's, and they can't be sure even then if it will play ALL discs that say "blu-ray" on the cover - because there apparantly is no concrete standard that all BLU-RAY adherents must comply with?[/quote]

The real issues is that Blu-ray is such a complex "standard". As for AnyDVD, the problem there is they don't have an AACS/BD+ license so when stuff changes in them, they have to figure out how to work around it.

Quote:


9 out of 10 is pretty good, but, with older DVD's, it is at least 999 out of 1000 (probably even higher). If all a party wants to do if enjoy the higher def movies experience, all this tricky codecs and such just make for frustration. My neighbor pointed out to me that she can play any vhs tape anywhere anytime and she is holding out on blu-ray until they quit fighting over who can, and who cannot, actually play the dang thang. Imagine paying $300 for the Pioneer blu-ray player, then renting a blu-ray movie and when you are all ready with popcorn and friends, you get that "won't play" nonesense.

Trust me, I completely understand. That's why I finally dumped my HTPC, I had too many problem with friends over. I've never had an issue with my Pioneer.
post #12 of 20
You sure you haven't been getting ass-tacular quality movie discs from BB? This month (I rent a lot of movies btw, like 20-24 a month), I got about 8 bad ones. No scratches, just weird spots that look like manufacturing defects. And it's not disc rot either. The movies would skip like crazy. AnyDVD wasn't able to rip the bad discs either regardless of the version...
post #13 of 20
I get a lot of bad blu-ray's from blockbuster. And when I report them they show that they have not been reported before. Yet I know that they have sent some of them right back to me. I can tell cause I mark the bad ones with a permanent marker black dot (on the label side). About 1/4 of the ones I get are bad. And I can see those manufacturing defects as well. They are short lines that would look like cracks but they are below the protective covering.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorona76 View Post


There isn't a single movie that hasnt played when I put it in my PS3..

From the company that basically extorted its way into becoming the current HD optical standard? It damn well better work flawlessly.


Me, I rip exclusively.
post #15 of 20
PowerDVD 7 was terrible. I had many, many problems with it just like this. I'm thinking that a software upgrade would fix these issues, even though you're using it with anydvd.
post #16 of 20
I have lifetime anydvd, PowerDVD 11, MPC-HC, a PS3, Netflix by mail and replaced my optical drive this year.

Sometime BD+ encrypted discs, particularly when just release, get ahead of anydvd and powerdvd software fixes. It has always been fixed, however not always fixed the day I encounter the problem.

Power DVD stops supporting older versions.

My old PS3 with a free internet software upgrade usually will play a disk before anydvd is fixed on the rare occassions BD+ employs a new scheme.

Some discs I get get are cracked, pitted, scratched or badly manufactured and will not play.

Optical drives wear out and need to be replaced.

I gave up on free standing players four years ago. The price of blu-ray players is quite cheap now and they are competitive with optical drives. However, if you rip and time shift your playback of discs a free standing player won't do that. In my experience the free standing player did not keep up with technology advances. I like the integration of a HTPC, the quality of playback and ease of upgrading software and exchanging hardware components.

It is frustrating to have a rental disc that will not play but infrequently that will be the case and from time to time there will be no alternative to sending some money for a fix.
post #17 of 20
I don't recall if I've ever tried playing an actual BD disc in my HTPC (it's got a BD-ROM and lifetime AnyDVD HD) so I can't comment that that particular playback scenario. I used to rip all of my Blu-Rays to iso's and use PDVD 10 and eventually TMT5 for playback while streaming the iso from my server. Results were sketchy at best. The latest and greatest solution I've found is to use MakeMKV for ripping to MKV files and use XBMC with the HD audio patch for playback. I've only found a handful of discs that I couldn't rip for some reason, but I've had almost 500 successful rips. Playback results are about as good as it gets and the best I've seen to date compared to either PDVD or TMT. The best part is that both MakeMKV (while in beta) and XBMC are absolutely free.

I have a standalone BD player that got used exactly twice. I got so fed up with having to deal with trailers, previews, unwanted extras, and all sorts of extraneous crap that I had to wade through just to get to the main movie. With XBMC and MKV's I just select the movie and it starts playing. No skips, stutters, freeze-ups or digital artifacts. Just smooth playback with HD audio from start to finish.
post #18 of 20
When I rent I'll use a stand alone bluray player.

For movies that I buy I'll rip to my HTPC. Over half the movies I buy are music/concert DVDs mostly because I know i will watch them over and over, also I use my HTPC as a music jukebox I have alot of ripped CDs.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruiner View Post

From the company that basically extorted its way into becoming the current HD optical standard? It damn well better work flawlessly.
Me, I rip exclusively.

Extorted, that's a good one. Porn drove that bus...
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post

I have lifetime anydvd, PowerDVD 11, MPC-HC, a PS3, Netflix by mail and replaced my optical drive this year.
Sometime BD+ encrypted discs, particularly when just release, get ahead of anydvd and powerdvd software fixes. It has always been fixed, however not always fixed the day I encounter the problem.
Power DVD stops supporting older versions.
My old PS3 with a free internet software upgrade usually will play a disk before anydvd is fixed on the rare occassions BD+ employs a new scheme.
Some discs I get get are cracked, pitted, scratched or badly manufactured and will not play.
Optical drives wear out and need to be replaced.
I gave up on free standing players four years ago. The price of blu-ray players is quite cheap now and they are competitive with optical drives. However, if you rip and time shift your playback of discs a free standing player won't do that. In my experience the free standing player did not keep up with technology advances. I like the integration of a HTPC, the quality of playback and ease of upgrading software and exchanging hardware components.
It is frustrating to have a rental disc that will not play but infrequently that will be the case and from time to time there will be no alternative to sending some money for a fix.

Ha Ha Ha! Is that the new way to say 'I pirate rentals'.....rolleyes.gif

PS: Do you also 'time share' your 'time shifted' rentals?
Edited by olyteddy - 6/25/12 at 10:23pm
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