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DVDs that just.... "Die"

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31 replies to this topic

#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Chris M

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Posted April 27 2004 - 11:28 AM

Anyone have any DVDs that work fine when you first get them, then soon after they start to pixelate and break up a little into the movie? I have 2 from WB that do that: Empire Records: Fan Edition and Watership Down. There's virtually no markings on them... there's a tiny scratch on Empire Records, but that type of scratch (from center to edge) doesn't make these kind of problems.

Anyone have this or know what to do or know how to get them replaced? They're not exactly new... and it's not "DVD rot".


#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Jake Johnson

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Posted April 27 2004 - 11:44 AM

If its not the dvd's, it might be your player. Did you get a new player right before the problems started happening?
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#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted April 27 2004 - 12:59 PM

Yes, it happened to me with Anchor Bay's The Bedroom Window. Played perfectly upon purchase, about a year and a half later when I attempted to watch it again, it was breaking up and freezing all over the place. I took it over to a friend's house and it did the same thing in his player. The replacement copies all did the same. I assume it was the original disc pressing that just went bad. After being hard to locate for awhile, I found what looked like a second pressing of the title and it played perfectly. Here's hoping it will play fine a year from now.

#4 of 32 OFFLINE   JonZ


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Posted April 27 2004 - 01:16 PM

Ive only had it happen with 2.

Born On The FOurth Of July and it was definitely the disc.

I double dipped for Last Of The Mohicans since I got a 16x9 TV I wanted the ehanced version, and the damn thing froze up me a few times, so Im gonna have to get another.Since I dont have a receipt, itll be a triple dipPosted Image

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Travis Hedger

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Posted April 27 2004 - 02:23 PM

Mine is with Cable Guy. Of course the disc actually surviving an F5 tornado and being found over 1/2 mile away from the tornado events that happened on May 3, 1999 may have something to do with it eventually becoming totally unplayable. Posted Image
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#6 of 32 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H



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Posted April 27 2004 - 02:28 PM

Haven't had this happen yet.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#7 of 32 OFFLINE   mark alan

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Posted April 27 2004 - 03:03 PM

Haven't had this happen yet

Which, had a disc go bad, or get flung a 1/2 mile by an F5 tornado?

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Chris M

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Posted April 27 2004 - 03:32 PM

Has anyone tried re-surfacing the DVDs to see if that corrects the problem?

#9 of 32 OFFLINE   Chuck Stephens

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Posted April 27 2004 - 04:05 PM

I had the same thing happen with Tomorrow Never Dies a few months ago. Just for the hell of it I decided to email MGM about it. Well, low and behold they actually emailed me back and sadi to send the disc in to them and they would take a look at it and send me a replacement copy. I think all of the major studios have an email address so I recommend firing them an email and explaining your situation. I mean these things should theoretically last for a couple of decades so they should replace them if they all of the sudden decide to stop working.

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   Anthony R

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Posted April 27 2004 - 04:59 PM

In all the cases where this has happened to me, it has been due to a dirty disc which simply needed to be cleaned.
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#11 of 32 OFFLINE   GlennH



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Posted April 28 2004 - 02:26 AM

Yes, I've had this happen with probably 4 or 5 discs over the past few years. I attribute it to a manufacturing defect that eventually manifests itself as a layer separation on a dual-layer disc. Often the bad disc will play fine up until the layer change and then the problems start. But sometimes it happens at other places.

Currently I have a problem with Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (animated) which played fine several times but now won't (I started a separate thread on that).

Previously I've had problems with My Fair Lady (the original release) and Ghostbusters, and one or two others I can't remember right now. It's not the player since replacement copies played fine and the problems happened on more than one player/DVD-ROM drive.

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted April 28 2004 - 02:40 AM

Seconding Anthony's comment. Even if the disc looks clean, the laser may not think so.

#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Barry_B_B


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Posted April 28 2004 - 05:41 AM

I think all of the major studios have an email address so I recommend firing them an email and explaining your situation.

I tried this with The Wicker Man, but never got a reply from Anchor Bay. Sad; I really enjoyed this movie and wanted to show it to my fiancee (now wife) and it wouldn't play correctly. No visible scratches, cleaned with alcohol then went out and bought a cleaning system, did not help. May replace one day but there are so many more on our list, don't know when. Posted Image

#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Gary Nash

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:22 AM

I know that many critics in this and other forums have pooh-poohed the notion of faulty discs causing this problem, and suggest that it's down to poor storage or handling by the owner.

I've had this happen with a number of discs and it's certainly not been due to being dirty. I am very meticulous about storage and handling.
I always do a full check on new discs to verify they playback OK - if any suffer pixelation they can be replaced inside the merchant's warranty period.
The annoying thing is that you may not replay a disc for 6 months or so and then find it pixellates - sometimes so severely the player crashes, or the disc has gone so bad, the player is unable to load it.

Most of the discs that have suffered this problem exhibit a kind of watermark/stain under the laminate surface - many people have spotted this type of fault and suggest it could be moisture having been trapped during manufacture, or moisture getting in through a split seam at the edge of the disc.
Apparently, certain manufacturing plants (such a Warner's WAMO) were more susceptible to this that others.

What's more worrying is when you check a new disc, it plays back fine, but on inspection, it has similar staining - is this an indicator that the disc is likely to fail in 6 months?

When you're talking about boxsets, replacements start to make this hobby even more expensive.
My entire set of 'From the Earth to the Moon' had to be replaced and they weren't cheap !

This would appear to be the DVD equivalent of Laser-rot that us LaserDisc owners are all to familiar with.

It's a pity that both these superior video delivery platforms which purport to playback faultlessly after the 100th time are clearly failing to live up to their promise as far as some owners are concerened

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Anthony R

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Posted April 28 2004 - 07:14 AM

Good thing they're getting cheaper and cheaper to back up. Maybe someday even blank dual-layer disks will cost buck a piece.
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#16 of 32 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted April 28 2004 - 07:26 AM

Happened to me with House of Yes (the House of Blues Yes concert video). When I first got it, it played fine, and went back on the shelf for a year or so. Now, no player will even recognize it as a disc -- not even the DVD-ROM in my PC. Nothing visibly wrong with it, either.
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#17 of 32 OFFLINE   GlennH



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Posted April 28 2004 - 07:30 AM

Unlike records or tapes, the deterioration really isn't a function of the number of times the disc is played. Time is the thing, not wear.

So one disc might play fine hundreds of times and be good for many years, while another is played once and craps out in a year.

Fortunately, the incidence rate is pretty low, but it's still a hassle when it happens. It would especially be painful if it should happen to an out-of-print disc or single disc from a box set.

The studios don't want people to be able to back up digital copies of their product, but this is one reason to consider it. Although personally I have done no backing up at all.

#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted April 28 2004 - 05:59 PM

I've been collecting DVDs for seven years, and have gone through at least a couple thousand or more DVDs and have not had one DVD ever turn bad as described by the author of this thread.

I have had DVDs that have had problems from the beginning or, when played on a different player, but never had one work fine one time and later down the road had problems playing back on the same player.

Of the DVDs that I have had a problem with when playing back on the same player it has always been due to damage or smudges on the discs. On rare occasions batches of DVDs can get affected by manufacturing errors, and in those very rare cases I simply contact the distributor and get a replacement disc.

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   DanFe


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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:42 PM

Chicken Run has gone bad for me.

#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Julian Reville

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Posted April 29 2004 - 12:09 AM

Ditto on "From the Earth to the Moon" set (HBO refuses to replace the 1 bad disc)

"Fantasia 2000" also bit the dust (Disney replaced this one)

We have had this conversation before.

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