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A challenge for the brain trust
#1
OK, so I have an incredibly weird thing I can't figure out. Maybe someone here knows the answer. My 'entertainment budget' is basically a Netflix disc subscription. Last month I decided to become a one percenter and change it over to blu-rays. The little player I have is also a blu-ray player. 

So I got my first batch and every one of them would hang up about halfway through. They would sit there and grind and whine. If you left it a long time, like minutes, it would eventually wake up on the last chapter or two. It's always at the same point on any given disc, always just around halfway through, always wakes up around the end of the movie. You can't FF or chapter forward past that point either. It will still hang up. You can't get close to it by selecting a scene after it and backing up to slightly after there. It will still hang up as you start getting close to it.

At first I though well, OK, bad discs. But they all do that, six of them so far. I upgraded the firmware, did factory resets, but that made no difference. So I started to suspect layer changes. I mean that's what would happen around halfway through, and then maybe a last few chapters are on another layer at the end along with extras or something like that. This was a somewhat older (maybe a year old) cheap Sony. Maybe it just couldn't handle something about newer Blu-ray layer changes.

So finally today I got tired of never being able to watch a movie further than halfway through, and I went and bought a little Samsung. Plugged it in, and wanna guess what happens? The same place on each disc. Checked the firmware and it's up to date.

So I'm at a loss as to what might be going on. The common bits at this point are the TV and the A/V receiver. I'm not sure how either of those would care in the slightest about layer changes inside the player. And I don't have another one, so I can't exactly do a sanity check test. I guess I could try taking the HDMI straight from the player to the TV as a sanity check on the receiver. It's a Marantz SR5005.

Though I've tried playing with various video and audio options, they do nothing and I don't see why they would matter. If they work for half the movie they should work for the rest of the movie. Some of them were Atmos, so I tried not having the player do audio mix-down but let the receiver handle it, but that didn't do any good. 

Anyhoo, any ideas?
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#2
seems odd. i can offer no assistance or ideas, but i am curious the outcome/solution. Smile
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Hue | Sonos | Harmony | Elk M1G // Netatmo / Brultech
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#3
Bizarro! Maybe there is a quantum thread passing through that exact spot on your media center, perhaps moving where it is located...

Seriously though, maybe there is some sort of interference that is affecting the mechanism. What was the quote by Spock from Star Trek... "An ancestor of mine maintained that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the solution" which is really a Sherlock Holmes quote.

It's extremely hard to believe that your receiver or the TV are causing the disc to stop half way through.

I have an older Samsung that will lock up if I pause for more than 3 minutes and it's gawd awful slow to load a Blu Ray up but it doesn't exhibit that weird behavior you are describing. The Oppo doesn't glitch on anything but a really really bad disc but that's to be expected.
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#4
Do you have a BluRay on your PC so you can try ripping them to see if that works?
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#5
I know that works, or it worked previously. I had some ripped Blu-rays a while back which I played via a Dune player and those did fine. Of course those would have been older Blu-rays as well. For that matter I have three BRs on the shelf, and they played fine in the original disc player. I know I played The Matrix not too long ago and it worked fine. Those are also older discs, a few years old at this point or slightly more.

So I'm guessing it's something to do with newer ones. I'll have to try watching one of those older discs again tomorrow night and see if it works just as a sanity check.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#6
Arghh... Talk about coincidence. I just got up to stretch the legs and hooked up the player directly to the TV to rule out the receiver. That hung up just the same. As I was pulling it back out, I noticed what looked like some lint on the outer edge. I looked closer and there is a small crack at the outer edge. Of course that would be where it gets to the end of one layer and goes to the next.

I only have two out right now, so I broke the other one back out of the envelope since I'd not sent it back. And, sure enough, it has almost the same sort of little crack at the outer edge. It was small enough that it was hard to see for someone as blind as me.

These are the only two I'd tried on this new player. The others had already been sent back. So, I guess it's possible that the old player did have a legitimate problem, and just by chance the two I tried with the new player just happened to have a flaw that would cause the same problem. Or, that the other four that I only tried on the old player also had a similar sort of crack.

I checked the other discs pretty closely to make sure they were physically sound, but I may have missed something that small I guess.

Oh well, I'll hold off further judgement until I get the next one. I did put in The Matrix again last night, and just let it run and it never hung up. It would be pretty crazy if I just happened to get six in a row that happened to have an almost imperceptible crack right on the outer edge where they would all exhibit the same sort of problem.

I guess I should put one of those earlier failed ones back at the top of the queue and try it again as a double sanity check.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#7
Oh, and also I remembered that Deep Impact was not the last DVD, it was the first Blu-ray and it played fine. So one of the rental BDs did play correctly. And that was on the old player. So I guess I just got a run of them that had an outer-rim crack. Of course a common thing there is my Post Office and my carrier. Who knows, she may be doing something to them to them that increases a chance of a crack around the edge.

Anyhoo, I'll see how goes moving forward. But I won't get another one until mid-week.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#8
We rent a lot of movies from our Library and I'm constantly amazed at how they do the same thing you are seeing. Seems 1 in 3 don't work right or glitch out during playback.  Then looking at the disc in good light you'll see a little scratch or blemish.  Discs are just not all that resilient to being shared around it seems.  Hopefully it's just the discs...
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#9
Yeh, it's not that uncommon to get a bad one. In this case, I was just thrown by the fact that they all had the same sort of glitch. That threw me and had me thinking it couldn't be the discs since that was too unlikely. But, I guess it's not too unlikely.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#10
I got three new ones in today, and this time one of them has the same small edge crack. But, at least I should be able to watch two of them, assuming nothing else is wrong. So it's getting better. Or I assume it is. We'll see if the player actually plays them.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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