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Hey Universal! No More Double Sided Discs!


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66 replies to this topic

#1 of 67 Derek K.

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Posted October 19 2005 - 04:02 AM

Its glitch heaven on most of these discs, so won't you kindly stop releasing tv on dvd this way?

I know its cheaper for you guys, but you're ending up with a ton of returns because of it.

Thanks, and have a nice day.

#2 of 67 RickER

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Posted October 19 2005 - 04:11 AM

I love the Universal threads, and i ride the double sided hate wagon with ya. But we have quite a few of them going.
Look at the old "Universal discs are dieing", "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "Universal Hammer Collection", "Bela Legosi (sp?) Collection", and more than 1 "Universal Stop using double sided discs" thread.

#3 of 67 Daniel-M

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Posted October 19 2005 - 05:28 AM

somebody should really direct Universal to this forum

#4 of 67 Gord Lacey

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Posted October 19 2005 - 05:52 AM

This really needs to be in the "Studio Feedback" area.

I've mentioned it to them a lot; I even sent off an email about it today. I think the DVD-18 is an acceptable format PROVIDING IT WORKS. These discs don't work, so they shouldn't be used. If DVD-9s became faulty then I'd feel the same way about them being used.

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#5 of 67 Mark Talmadge

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Posted October 19 2005 - 07:09 AM

Gord has my vote on this issue. If Universal could find a process for making the DVD-18's work I don't think it would be an issue but I think that Universal may not be seriously taking this into account. While ADV Films has recognized this problem, being that they are a realtively small company compared to Universal, I don't think Universal has taken the issue too seriously because they have have a certain level on how many compaints about a problem with their disks may constitute some action.

Since Universal is a larege company, and not many consumers file complaints, they may on the wavelength that the complaints right now are currently an acceptable risk.

#6 of 67 TravisR

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Posted October 19 2005 - 07:26 AM

Here's what I said about DVD-18s in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents thread. I think it's pretty applicable here:

Everyone that has a bad copy (or those who are not buying a copy due to that fear) should call Universal's customer service and let them know about the problem or that they aren't buying because their releases constantly have problems. I'm sure they get defective copies back from Amazon, Best Buy, etc and know that a problem exists. However, getting calls from consumers is going to get them to correct whatever the problem is or dump DVD-18s all together alot faster than talking about it on a message board will.

#7 of 67 Jordan_Rebner

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Posted October 19 2005 - 08:07 AM

Just wondering if this problem affects Sliders Season 3, I was goign to be picking it up soon but now I kind of want to hold off on that.

#8 of 67 RickER

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Posted October 19 2005 - 08:21 AM

The Sliders thing is the worst packaging i have EVER seen. Discs crammed in foam rubber slits. kept me from buying it more than the $80 to $90 price did. More money saved thanks to Universal!

#9 of 67 Jesse Skeen

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Posted October 19 2005 - 09:47 AM

Well, I just finished watching the entire "Emergency" set on my 7-year old DVL-909 with NO problems whatsover, and I won't tolerate even the slightest glitch! With so much stuff out there to buy right now, I picked this title partly BECAUSE it was on 2 DVD-18s, as they still have a big "neato" factor to me. It would have been a lot less appealing if it had been stretched out to 4 single-sided discs instead, besides the show wasn't as exciting as I remembered it. My only complaint is that they are still putting NO printing whatsoever on side 2 of the discs- that definitely needs to change. If they'd put better printing on 2-sided discs (like they have on most of the CD/DVD DualDiscs) I bet that would solve half the complaints about them right there. It's a little troubling that they are making discs in Mexico no doubt because of the cheap labor, but as of yet I haven't gotten any defective ones from there in any form. I wouldn't be surprised if that's where all the problem discs are coming from though- is Universal keeping track of where the discs were manufactured when defects are reported?

I think I've been exceptionally lucky even with hundreds of discs and a relatively old player- I can count on one hand the number of discs I've had to exchange because of defects (one was a DVD-9 made by Warner that locked up the first day I got it, another was a DVD-9 made by Crest National that played fine when it was new but developed 'rot' and wouldn't play a year later.)

BTW I HATE those "overlapping" cases with a passion- I hate them more than the person who most hates 2-sided discs! There's been titles I've held off buying just because they came packaged that way- again, with so many titles out there, things like that become a factor in deciding what to buy. (Don't even get me started on those slipcases with NO shrinkwrap over them...)
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#10 of 67 Juan Books

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Posted October 19 2005 - 12:06 PM

The problem is, I buy TV on DVD to have the option of watching what I want, when I want to, so I don't see my DVDs right away. In fact, most of the time, they sit on my shelves for years until the mood strikes me. For example, I have Law & Order seasons one and two unwatched, and way out of the time frame for an exchange from the vendor.

If I can't be confident that my DVDs will work at *any* time in the future, I just won't bother with them at all. I don't need the stress of having to check out every DVD I buy to be able to exchange it in case a glitch is present. So yeah, count me out of Universal double-sided DVDs until I hear of *no* reports of defective discs...

#11 of 67 John*D

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Posted October 19 2005 - 01:20 PM

Quote:
Just wondering if this problem affects Sliders Season 3, I was goign to be picking it up soon but now I kind of want to hold off on that.


I haven't had any problems with Season 3. I just finished watching the set today.

Quote:
The Sliders thing is the worst packaging i have EVER seen. Discs crammed in foam rubber slits. kept me from buying it more than the $80 to $90 price did. More money saved thanks to Universal!


Definitely! The Season 3 packaging is just as bad

---

The only problem I have had with a UNI DVD is the Season 2 set of A-team. I had a disc that would skip in certain sections. I think there were scratches on the disc.

I ended up returning the set and getting a replacement. No problems with the replacement.


I prefer regular DVD-9s. I like the disc art and having the ability to easily see what disc is which. The writing on the inner ring of a DVD-18 is really small and annoying. Plus you have to be extra carefull b/c you can't hold it on one side, but rather the edges.

#12 of 67 Mike*SC

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Posted October 20 2005 - 10:51 AM

What exactly is the problem with these double-sided DVDs? I guess they don't work for a lot of people. I'm surprised, though, because I have three DVD players (not counting the ones in my computers), and have never had a problem even with an old DVD-18. And though my main DVD player is less than a year old, my others are a seven-year-old cheap standalone model and an almost-as-old portable player that my kids have dropped on airplanes more than once. Am I just incredibly lucky?

#13 of 67 Alan_H

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Posted October 20 2005 - 02:41 PM

The problem is, I buy TV on DVD to have the option of watching what I want, when I want to, so I don't see my DVDs right away. In fact, most of the time, they sit on my shelves for years until the mood strikes me. For example, I have Law & Order seasons one and two unwatched, and way out of the time frame for an exchange from the vendor.
If I can't be confident that my DVDs will work at *any* time in the future, I just won't bother with them at all. I don't need the stress of having to check out every DVD I buy to be able to exchange it in case a glitch is present. So yeah, count me out of Universal double-sided DVDs until I hear of *no* reports of defective discs...
Very well said, Juan Posted Image

Mike, if you own lots of Universal DVD-18s and all of them play perfectly - then yes, you are incredibly lucky!

#14 of 67 Yumbo

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Posted October 20 2005 - 03:11 PM

They are also more prone to scratching!
2 sides to look after.
Can't read miniscule labelling - which side is which. Sometimes blank.
...and playback errors.

at least Warner (West Wing) has stopped using them (along with New Line - Platinum Line).

C'mon Universal!

#15 of 67 Mike*SC

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Posted October 20 2005 - 05:56 PM

Quote:
Mike, if you own lots of Universal DVD-18s and all of them play perfectly - then yes, you are incredibly lucky!


Well, I like to think so! I haven't exactly done exhaustive research on this (I haven't dragged out all Universal DVD-18s and played them), but I have played a few recently. And none were faulty out of the box, because I know I don't have any unplayed Universal DVDs.

Forgive my naivete, but are people on this thread suggesting that other companies have managed to press better (less faulty) DVD-18s?

#16 of 67 Sean Aaron

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Posted October 20 2005 - 08:57 PM

I've only had a couple of glitches and only one of those was persistant. The only NBC/Universal series I buy are Law and Order (all of them). I ended up contacting customer service directly (not a straightforward affair, and they have _one_ person who deals with DVD exchanges) and got a swapped disc that was QA'ed and worked fine.

The particular glitch was apparently not being able to make a layer change successfully. A layer change happened during a scene transition and skipped 10min. of the episode. I could scan back so that I only missed 1.5min., but that really was not tolerable so I did the single disc exchange. Why there would be a layer change mid-episode when there's only four to a side is beyond me. In fact layer-change placement has long been a source of confusion to me. I assume it's down to poor authoring tools in feature films that have them in the middle of a scene, but in episodic television where I should think you could fit two episodes per layer, I don't see why there should ever be one at all.

DVD-18 seems like a decent idea. Putting a full series of "hour-long" dramas on two or three DVDs instead of six does make a difference to my shelf space, but clearly the QA needs to be really really good. I just got LO:SVU series two and had no issues whatsoever. Maybe a DVD player that does buffering to minimise layer-change issues would also tolerate mastering errors better? I suppose this could be one benefit of moving to a format like Blu-Ray, although greater disc fragility and lower player fault tolerances are making me shy of going down that road.

If DVD-18 helps keep the shows coming faster, then I can live with the odd returned disc.

#17 of 67 Gord Lacey

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Posted October 21 2005 - 02:09 AM

ALL the problems I've had with Universal's DVD-18s include footage at the end of episode 2 (on the disc), or the start of episode 3 (on the disc). This content would be nearest to the edge of the DVD; I think it's obvious that there are issues with the media that's being used by the replication facility. Universal could switch to DVD-9s and package them in the double-slim cases. They'd look the same on the shelf and wouldn't cause problems with players.

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#18 of 67 Randy*S

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Posted October 21 2005 - 03:40 AM

I have three best of abbott and costello sets and had no problems but I really, really hate double sided discs because I always scratch them or get fingerprints on them no matter how careful I am. I'm a normal guy not a museum currator.
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#19 of 67 RoyM

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Posted October 21 2005 - 05:31 AM

I have purchased several of the Universal DVD-18 releases over the last few years (A&C sets, Monster Legacy collections, Hope/Crosby Road collection, Hammer, Lugosi). I have only spot checked most of those (and not very exhaustively by any means), but never had any problems with the dozens of contained movies I've watched, so I assumed that for whatever reason my player would handle them fine.

Well, what do you know but that the other night I popped in disk two of the Dracula Legacy collection to watch "House of Dracula" and the movie stuttered, pixelated and finally seized up halfway through. Arggh! I guess my player wasn't so bulletproof to these disks after all. I also tried the disk on my other (lower budget) player and had the same problem in the same place. Clearly, the fault is with the disk and not my player. Anyway, now I am a believer that these disks have clearly been mismanufactured on a widespread, if not universal (pun intended) basis.

And the problem isn't limited to Universal and their sloppy manufacturing. I recently picked up the lower priced re-release of "The Outer Limits" Original Series season two (MGM), and found the second side of disk two in that set was so messed up it wouldn't even load on either of my players. Four returns for exchange later with Deep Discount DVD (over four months of time), I still haven't received a set with a non-defective disk. I've all but given up on that route and will have to resort to trying to find this at a local B&M.

Looking at the surface of the bad Outer Limits disk (it's the same one in every set I've received) one can clearly see that there is some kind of manufacturing defect - a cloudy, pockmarked mass on the disk substrate. I have seen complaints about this posted at several forums (including here) and on Amazon. Still as far as I know, MGM hasn't acknowledged the problem or done anything about it (recall, exchange program, etc.). Perhaps so few people have purchased the set recently and/or checked it that it has flew under the radar.

In any case, these problems are extremely frustrating for the consumer. I have amassed a very large DVD collection over the past five years of collecting, but have begun to lose interest recently in continuing to add to my collection mainly because it seems that quality standards have begun to be so neglected by the studios and DVD manufacturers. I don't mind the occasional defect as that is bound to occur, but the refusal of these studios to own up to these problems is intolerable. And for some of the studios to blatantly continue to produce defective products even when consumers have had widespread complaints (certainly the case with Universal) is nothing short of disgusting.

#20 of 67 Brian Himes

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Posted October 21 2005 - 06:02 AM

I finished watching three of my Universal TV sets (Quincy, McMillian & Wife, and Emergency) and for the first time I didn't have any problems with the sets. So I picked up Kolchak. I haven't watched it yet, but I'm hopeful that it too will be glitch free.

I just wish Universal would stop using double sided dics all together. I really hate them. In the past I've had nothing but problems.





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