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Old Universal discs no longer play !?

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#1 of 100 OFFLINE   Anthony Neilson

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Posted October 12 2005 - 02:34 AM

From thedigitalbits.com : "One last note today... we've noticed a strange thing here at The Bits. In going back to a lot of our very early Universal DVD releases (released in 1997 and 1998), we've discovered that many of those discs have simply stopped working in our DVD players. We don't know if the discs' bonding layers have gone bad, or if they're simply not compatible with newer players, or what. Affected so far are our original copies of the special collector's editions of Apollo 13, Psycho, Vertigo and others. We recommend that you check the older Universal titles in your own collections for similar problems. Let us know if you're encountering this as well." Well, on the off-chance, I checked out my R1 C.E's of PSYCHO and VERTIGO from "back in the day". PSYCHO was fine, but then bugger me if VERTIGO wouldn't even load in either of my two machines OR my P.C. It simply wasn't recognising it as a playable disc ! Forgive me if this is mentioned in another thread - I can't see one. But I'd urge all HTF members to check out their early Universal discs. I'm going to try THE BIRDS later. This is a potentially very serious problem, that may - who knows? - affect more than just early Uni discs. If it's just Universal and this turns out to be widespread, I hope you R1 folks sue the b******s and claw back some of the money they've made out of their frequently rotten releases and merciless double-dipping tactics !
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#2 of 100 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted October 12 2005 - 02:42 AM

I was unable to get Vertigo to load, but no problems with Psycho. I need to check Apollo 13 and some others...I would be bummed if I lost that one. - Steve

#3 of 100 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted October 12 2005 - 03:16 AM

I recently checked my original issue of Vertigo and it was still fine.

#4 of 100 OFFLINE   Haggai



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Posted October 12 2005 - 03:22 AM

I might be mis-remembering, but I think this issue of early Universal discs not playing anymore has come up in various threads before, and that Universal has usually been willing to replace those discs. Corrections more than welcome, this is just from vague memory.

#5 of 100 OFFLINE   MikeEckman



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Posted October 12 2005 - 03:23 AM

Other original non Universal discs that reportedly have stopped playing are the original Ghostbusters SE, and Contact. Although I don't have it, I believe the original version of U.S. Marshalls has been reported to stop playing for no reason. I am going to guess this is a glue thing, rather than an incompatibility thing. As I recall, when DVDs first came out, the replication facilities had a very difficult time manufacturing DVD9s. When they first started churning them out, there were no doubt some flaws that have taken a while to surface.
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#6 of 100 OFFLINE   Tim Hoover

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Posted October 12 2005 - 03:53 AM

Were early Universal discs also made at the WAMO plant that had so many problems for WB?
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#7 of 100 OFFLINE   Bradley-E



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Posted October 12 2005 - 04:03 AM

My VERTIGO and APOLLO 13 are dead, but I have early CASINO that still plays.

#8 of 100 OFFLINE   Bleddyn Williams

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Posted October 12 2005 - 04:24 AM

Universal were indeed replacing these discs as of a few months back. I contacted them because both my old Vertigo and Apollo 13 discs no longer played. Psycho was still fine. I don't remember the specifics. I think I used the contact form on the Universal Studios Home Entertainment page. The films were replaced pretty quickly!

#9 of 100 OFFLINE   GlennH



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Posted October 12 2005 - 04:42 AM

Some of these are the same titles that have been mentioned as suffering from "rot" or "delamination" or "layer separation" or whatever term you prefer by many in the past. My original Ghostbusters disc went bad. Last I checked my original (orange-cover) Vertigo it was still okay. Same with Contact and Apollo 13 (although I also now have the newest version of the latter). But that was several months back. I'll have to check them again soon.

#10 of 100 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted October 12 2005 - 06:07 AM

Both Psycho and Vertigo died on me.

#11 of 100 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted October 12 2005 - 06:32 AM

Vertigo is dead, they have agreed to replace it though at first they asked for the original receipt...kind of hard to come by after seven/eight years.
-Kevin M.

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#12 of 100 OFFLINE   WolframM



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Posted October 12 2005 - 06:58 AM

I have four Universal Collector's Edition DVDs that won't load anymore. The already mentioned Vertigo (red cover), Dragonheart, The Jackal and The Apostle.

#13 of 100 OFFLINE   mikey ra

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Posted October 12 2005 - 07:33 AM

I posted this before, but my orange cover Vertigo would not play (Uni replaced with no hassles) and my dvd of the movie Lone Star started glitching up after the layer change (WB replaced with no hassle). I've checked my discs of older Uni titles (Apollo 13, Blue Brothers, BluesBrothers 2000, Psycho, Tremors, The Thing, Backdraft) and other reported problem discs (Ghostbusters SE; Pee-Wee's Big Adventure; Gladiator; Wizard of Oz; LA Confidential, Chicken Run) and no problems there. I started checking for problems with discs manufacturered between 1997-2000 about 6 months ago. I'm about 1/2 through the collection. As I said above - only Lone Star and Vertigo had playback problems.

#14 of 100 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted October 12 2005 - 08:50 AM

Woah! Off to check the oldies!

yikes! If they DO replace the old Vertigo, do they send you the new anamorphic copy?

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#15 of 100 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted October 12 2005 - 09:06 AM

You know, come to think of it, we never had this type of trouble with our videotapes. Posted Image

#16 of 100 OFFLINE   Christopher*KH


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Posted October 12 2005 - 09:39 AM

My copies of...Alfred Hitchock's Psycho: Collector's Edition UPC: 25192-02512 Vertigo: Collector's Edition UPC: 25192-01832 Seems to be fine. I didn't watch them thru and thru, I skipped chapter to chapter to see if anything would happen. As far as I can tell nothing is wrong. thankfully I don't have Apollo13...are there any other DVDs from UNI?
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#17 of 100 OFFLINE   mikey ra

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Posted October 12 2005 - 10:01 AM

Dave Mack: the replacement was not the anamorphic version.

#18 of 100 OFFLINE   Ray_R



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Posted October 12 2005 - 10:01 AM

My DragonHeart: Collector's Edition won't even play yet it has nary a blemish or flaw. Will they replace it if I contact them? Any recommendations? Thanks for the help.Posted Image

#19 of 100 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 12 2005 - 10:19 AM

Interesting what all of you are reporting. I just happened to screen Vertigo (original release) a few weeks ago in my bedroom system and everything was fine. And if I recall, I screened my copy of Apollo 13 (also original release) sometime last year with nary a problem. Psycho, which I've screened about annually, also plays just fine.

#20 of 100 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted October 12 2005 - 10:49 AM

I tried out the PYSCHO Collector's Edition, skimming around. It seems to be fine. For now.

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