DVD Rot! My Sweet Hereafter has gone to the sweet hereafter

Discussion in 'DVD' started by StevenA, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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    I thought it couldn't happen to me!

    Whether it really should be called DVD Rot or a more accurate name, this is a phenomenon I had tried to ignore and hope was simply a case of people being careless with their discs and mistaking scratches and fingerprints for more mysterious deterioration of their discs.

    Well, my absolutely pristine copy of The Sweet Hereafter (New Line), which played flawlessly a couple of years ago, now struggles to get through the post-layer-change scenes. It pixilates frequently and skips and freezes. Taking out the disc and reinserting it simply results in the same problems at exactly the same points. I have tried other players and, interestingly, a Pioneer played the disc with no problems but an Apex froze in the same problem areas (my player is a Sony). I conclude from this that while some players may be better at others at reading certain "rotted" discs, there is definitely a problem of some kind with the disc, that was not apparent when I first played it years ago.

    The disc is a WAMO-produced disc, but then again many of my discs have the WAMO imprint, and (so far) this is the only time I've seen any errors.

    Has anybody had any success getting discs replaced by studios years after purchase?
     
  2. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Take your player in to the authorized dealer, it needs to be fixed. It's not the disc, it's the player.
    Both Moulin Rouge! and Snow White And The 7 Dwarfs wouldn't play properly on my Pioneer DV-343 and they put in a new chip and both discs play beautifully now.
    If a DVD plays perfectly the first time and then later has problems, 98% of the time it's the player. Hey, it's a machine, they break down, have problems, need to be repaired.
     
  3. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I totally disagree Thomas. Didn't you read what Steven wrote?
     
  4. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Rot is real, and has nothing to do with the player, other than some players may be able to error correct their way through corrupted data.

    I have had two discs so far rot on me: The Postman and the third disc of the From the Earth to the Moon box set. I hope there aren't any more lurking in my collection, but both the above titles played flawlessly when new, but later there was a visible deterioration of the playing surface, and they became unplayable.

    I just checked my Sweet hereafter, and it has developed the start of rot, with a visible deterioration between the layers. I guess another one is going back.
     
  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    I also had a copy of ghostbusters that had trouble. Not sure if it was at the layer change.
     
  6. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    My Sony player gets heavy use, and has been wonky for the last eighteen months of its 3+year lifespan. I wouldn't be so quick to rule out player problems. I own over 300 discs and my household averages watching three to four titles a weekday ... so far no discs have turned up bad unless they came that way.
     
  7. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    The only disc I've had go bad on me is the Supplements disc for The Phantom Menace. It freezes up when I first put it in and then the player will not even recognize that it contains a disc. I too have a Sony.
    I purchased it the day it came out, and also wonder if there is anybody connected with it (studio, retailer, disc manufacturer?) who would give me a replacement.
    Anybody?
     
  8. Rob Cooper

    Rob Cooper Stunt Coordinator

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    My copy of Blade did this. It was one of the first discs I bought so I watched it quite a bit. Then a year or two later I tried to play it and it pixelated and froze after the layer change (I think it was in chapter 37 or something).

    I asked Newline customer services and the customer service line for my dvd player and neither of them were too much help.

    Ive since gotten a new player. The new player gets through the disc but with heavy pixelation at various points through the end of the film. I assume the new player just has better error correction.
     
  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I was just talking to my local retailler about this rot issue, specifically the four disc From the Earth to the Moon, which I bought when it first came out. Their policy is to just take them back and offer an exchange, so if you have a good retailler they may be willing to help.

    As for it being a player problem, that is always a possibility, but on all the discs I've seen that have rotted, it is not hard to tell from visual inspection.
     
  10. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    Where is the layer change? I am going to check mine later.

    Also, here is a phone # for WAMO, 818-638-0401 (another one is 570-383-3291 - I think this is in PA where they actually make them. The first is sales in CA). I received an e-mail from them awhile ago. They insist this is a limited phenomenon (and very very rare in recent years) and that they will always replace them, no matter the age of the disc.

    They also said if it worked but then went bad later that it probably still should not have made it out of the factory (in other words it was defective from the get-go).

    I sure hope so as I have a large collection (around 1,000) and would easily lose sleep if this happened a lot.

    The only ones of mine to die so far were Ghostbusters (which was almost 100% of the first batch) and Gladiator (which was common supposedly).

    Part of me wonders if old players that cause the disc to get very warm of part of the problem. I had and old Sony, which worked great, but the discs would come out very, very warm. My new one (Sony also) you can literally play a disc all day and it will be cool to touch when you remove it. Anything to this?
     
  11. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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    Very interesting comments from everybody.

    I'd prefer the problem to be with the player, rather than worrying about other discs in my collection going bad, but unfortunately it does seem to be a disc issue, since the disc has problems at exactly the same points on at least two players.

    I never thought of asking WAMO for a replacement. I may try that. (The funny thing is I bought it so long ago, I've forgotten which retailer I used. I think it may have been Amazon.)

     
  12. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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  13. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    The only problem disc I've had was Kentucky Fried Movie (first print, original cover art) which died a slow painful death about a year ago.
     
  14. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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  15. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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  16. Mikal Haydn

    Mikal Haydn Agent

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    My 'Sweet Hereafter' exhibits the same problems. Player is a Pioneer DVL-919. Watched it throughout 2 yrs ago. Its recently been unable to proceed past the layer change.

    The only DVD out of 230 to have this problem. (My Fair lady is fine as is Yellow Submarine and ghostbusters - none of these are from WAMO though, in fact all other WAMO discs are fine).
     
  17. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    As far as replacements, I was able to exchange Ghostbusters at BestBuy for a new one. I communicated with Warner and MGM on My Fair Lady and Yellow Sub since they had been purchased long ago online (Reel.com I think). I was able to get them to send me new ones after I sent my bad ones in. A hassle to be sure, but they did it.
     
  18. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    I can only speak from my personal experience. I guess I've been lucky. I have over 1,600 DVDs and I use my DVD library fairly frequently and the problems I've had with my DVDs have always been player problems. Even the few I've attempted to return played perfectly on the store's player. I simply took the offending disc and my player to the authorized dealer, showed them the problem and they fixed it.
     
  19. Simon Basso

    Simon Basso Stunt Coordinator

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    My Sweet Hereafter went bad within four months of a purchase made the week after release. Was I impressed.
     
  20. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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    I'm happy to hear that Thomas T. I'm curious as to what player and model you own. I would really like to get a high-end player, 400 to 700 dollar range. I would think that I could find one that reads errors better than the rest.
     

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