I was playing a brand new DVD-A, and while navigating the menus my two-month-old player froze and would not respond to the navigation buttons on the remote. This has happened before with other DVD-As, so I just turned the player off using the power button on the remote, then on again after a minute or so. Upon power on, there were some unusual tr-r-r-r-r sounds from the loader that I attributed to normal seek after a crash, otherwise everything seemed back to normal. However, when I took the DVD out, to my horror, I noticed four concentric abrasions on the play side of the disc, about an inch long, eighth of an inch wide, two and two on the opposite sides of the disc. Additionally, the transparent center has also circular scrapes. See partial picture:
I have been now testing the player for a couple of days with multiple discs including the originally damaged one (it still plays) with the following results:
I cannot make the player freeze on regular CDs and DVD-Video. I can make it freeze on Dual Layer DVD-Audio (King Crimson IEZP-24 Japan set, bit-identical to US KCSP2: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XTUZIC
The freezes are not repeatable, but frequent enough that I was able to make them happen four times in 15 minutes, not always by the same button press sequence, but similar to this:
Go to the Extras menu, drill down to one of the sub-menus, select a track to play, then press Previous track, Next track buttons on the remote several times at random intervals. Eventually, the player stopped responding to all remote buttons except power off and a repetitive quiet seek noise was heard from the loader about once a second.
In most of these cases, turning the player off and on recovered gracefully, resuming playback from the same position. In one case, though, the player did not resume, but started playing the main menu. This was the same situation as when the disc got damaged. IN THIS ONLY CASE there was the tr-r-r-r-r seeking noise heard upon powering on, but this time the tr-r-r-r sound was quieter, more normal seeking noise than I remember from the disc damage incident on Friday. On Friday, it seemed to have a more sinister tinge to it.
So, no disc was damaged during this testing. I strongly suspect that the original disc damage happened during the power up after the freeze and the freeze is not the cause, but maybe a prerequisite or could be completely unrelated.
I am not familiar with how the loader is designed internally, but I think the center damage must have been caused by slipping on the spindle table either because the disc is not clamped securely or is dragging on something. I initially thought the play area damage could have been caused by dragging on the loading tray, but I know now it could not - I tried to rotate a test disc on the tray and due to the indentation of the tray the scrapes would happen much closer to the edge than on the originally damaged disk. So the laser lens is the more likely culprit?
I also believe I could prevent another disc from being damaged by not pressing the power on button with the disk in the loader, but rather pressing the eject button on the loader, which will power on the player without spinning up the disc.
Anyway, I of course contacted Oppo and they said that damage like that could be caused by moving or bumping the player during use. This absolutely was not the case. There was no one near the player and there was no external vibration (traffic, earthquake) in the house at the time.
Oppo further suggested sending the player in, but since the problem is not repeatable, they said they would likely swap the player for another (refurbished or customer returned). They also sent me a label to return the player on their nickel, which was very nice.
So, my questions are:
A) Has anyone experienced disc damage in the player?
B) Would you send the player to be replaced? I know it seems like a no-brainer, but if this was either a freak occurrence or is some rare problem present in all units, all I would accomplish by the exchange would be that I'd get essentially a USED player with unknown history, and worse yet, quite possibly with the new firmware with the ISO playback disabled.
I don't know what to do and I can't sleep at night. I have tons of irreplaceable out of print discs, esp. SACDs that I cannot afford to get damaged. I do not trust the current unit but I'm not sure I would be able to quite trust the replacement either. But I otherwise like the BDP-95 very much and would love to keep it as my primary player.
Sorry for the long post.