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4K/UHD Playback Issues (1 Viewer)

ManW_TheUncool

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Yes, I suspect that's probably the case (and mentioned that earlier in the thread IIRC)... though this particular instance w/ Poltergeist does seem more wide-spread than other instances w/ other releases, especially considering we're now several years into the format (and everyone's aware of that sort of potential playback issue and how to deal w/ it)...

Given we're getting so close to BF month now (probably not BF week anymore) on top of potential Halloween sales, I'll probably just give this issue a bit more time to play itself out before diving in for the upgrade (and probably get it from the 1st upcoming, substantial sale or something)...

I have waaay too much disc backlog (plus so much to watch via streaming to boot) anyway -- I mean... I just placed a 41-title(!) order from the current Kino sale to add to that backlog, LOL...

_Man_
 

Kaskade1309

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I don't think there's an issue specific to Poltergeist. UHDs are just finnicky. I have experienced similar issues to those reported here on about 10-15% of my UHD collection, and a drop of dish soap and a gentle scrub with warm water usually fixes the issue.
Similar issues plague my Bad Boys for Life UHD Blu, where, after viewing the disc for the first time, there are moments when the image pixelates into blocks of weird colored "bricks" and then freezes with some audio dropouts (didn't do this when I first got the disc and played it -- same situation with Poltergeist). I cleaned that disc, but it didn't fix the issue. I'm hesitant to try the cleaning with Poltergeist, but maybe I'll give it a try before I return it for an exchange.

The growling/vibration noises some UHDs cause in my Panasonic UB9000 is another story altogether -- I suppose it has something to do with the velocity these things spin at, but so many in my collection cause the unit to moan, groan and vibrate as they're loading before settling down when the main feature begins. This occurs, just off the top of my head, with Joker, Evil Dead II and now Poltergeist (from what I have read, the last firmware update for the Panasonics caused some titles to act up in terms of noise, and these were a couple of em).

However, as was mentioned above, it seems Poltergeist in particular IS exhibiting specific problems that have been widespread and reported, so there probably have been some defective batches.
 

Kyle_D

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The growling/vibration noises some UHDs cause in my Panasonic UB9000 is another story altogether -- I suppose it has something to do with the velocity these things spin at, but so many in my collection cause the unit to moan, groan and vibrate as they're loading before settling down when the main feature begins. This occurs, just off the top of my head, with Joker, Evil Dead II and now Poltergeist (from what I have read, the last firmware update for the Panasonics caused some titles to act up in terms of noise, and these were a couple of em).
You're hearing the drive spin up and the laser seek the start of the title. If the disc is authored so that the first "pits" of the main feature aren't physically located near the center of the disc, the laser will need to move quickly to seek and focus on those pits. The seek speed of the laser is something that can be influenced by firmware.

However, as was mentioned above, it seems Poltergeist in particular IS exhibiting specific problems that have been widespread and reported, so there probably have been some defective batches.
My personal hypothesis? In my observation and experience, a lot of UHD disc read issues are caused by a thin layer of condensation on the disc surface. Variations in temperature and humidity result in variations in condensation, which can explain why certain discs work fine one week and exhibit issues the next, and vice versa.

Right now--during the Poltergeist release window--temperatures are starting to fall across the country, but humidity is still relatively high in a lot of climates. Hence, more condensation.

Just rinse and wipe the disc off.
 

Kent K H

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Similar issues plague my Bad Boys for Life UHD Blu, where, after viewing the disc for the first time, there are moments when the image pixelates into blocks of weird colored "bricks" and then freezes with some audio dropouts (didn't do this when I first got the disc and played it -- same situation with Poltergeist). I cleaned that disc, but it didn't fix the issue. I'm hesitant to try the cleaning with Poltergeist, but maybe I'll give it a try before I return it for an exchange.

The growling/vibration noises some UHDs cause in my Panasonic UB9000 is another story altogether -- I suppose it has something to do with the velocity these things spin at, but so many in my collection cause the unit to moan, groan and vibrate as they're loading before settling down when the main feature begins. This occurs, just off the top of my head, with Joker, Evil Dead II and now Poltergeist (from what I have read, the last firmware update for the Panasonics caused some titles to act up in terms of noise, and these were a couple of em).

However, as was mentioned above, it seems Poltergeist in particular IS exhibiting specific problems that have been widespread and reported, so there probably have been some defective batches.
I've randomly had similar issues as well where perfectly clean discs, fresh from the package will seize up. It especially seemed to be a problem early on using my player. Hobbs and Shaw and Evil Dead are two I remember it happening with. Something from Vinegar Syndrome as well. Beastmaster, I think. Wiping them off usually does the trick.
 

Kaskade1309

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You're hearing the drive spin up and the laser seek the start of the title. If the disc is authored so that the first "pits" of the main feature aren't physically located near the center of the disc, the laser will need to move quickly to seek and focus on those pits. The seek speed of the laser is something that can be influenced by firmware.
But this is prevalent with UHD BD media, right? Because it's with those discs I'm hearing the noises...

Makes sense, then, that the last update by Panasonic (which was a lifetime ago anyway) may have affected this.
My personal hypothesis? In my observation and experience, a lot of UHD disc read issues are caused by a thin layer of condensation on the disc surface. Variations in temperature and humidity result in variations in condensation, which can explain why certain discs work fine one week and exhibit issues the next, and vice versa.

Right now--during the Poltergeist release window--temperatures are starting to fall across the country, but humidity is still relatively high in a lot of climates. Hence, more condensation.
1664904065094.png

Just rinse and wipe the disc off.
As I said with regard to Bad Boys for Life, that didn't work -- but I can try the soap and water method. Should the drop of Dawn be added to a cloth already damp, or should the soap go directly onto the surface of the disc?
 

Kyle_D

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As I said with regard to Bad Boys for Life, that didn't work -- but I can try the soap and water method. Should the drop of Dawn be added to a cloth already damp, or should the soap go directly onto the surface of the disc?
I don't know if there's a right way or a wrong way to do it, but my process is generally as follows:

1. Rinse the disc surface under slow running water. Distilled water is ideal.
2. Add a drop of dish soap to the disc surface.
3. Gently scrub the disc surface with a clean, soft sponge under slow running water.
4. Rinse the disc surface until all soap is removed
5. Pat the disc surface dry with a microfiber towel.
6. Wait 5 or so minutes for any remaining water on the surface to evaporate. Make sure you don't have any water droplets on the disc surface before you put it in your drive :oops:

Occasionally, it takes 4 or 5 washes to work, and very occasionally I need to put the disc on the shelf for a week before it will play, but this has worked on ~90% of my problematic UHDs.

Caveat: Washing will not work if there are scratches on the disc, if debris is embedded in the disc surface, or if the disc layers aren't bonded properly. I have had some success buffing out light scratches with plastic polishing compound and a microfiber towel, but it's a method of last resort. These usually aren't issues on brand new discs.
 

Kaskade1309

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I don't know if there's a right way or a wrong way to do it, but my process is generally as follows:

1. Rinse the disc surface under slow running water. Distilled water is ideal.
2. Add a drop of dish soap to the disc surface.
3. Gently scrub the disc surface with a clean, soft sponge under slow running water.
4. Rinse the disc surface until all soap is removed
5. Pat the disc surface dry with a microfiber towel.
6. Wait 5 or so minutes for any remaining water on the surface to evaporate. Make sure you don't have any water droplets on the disc surface before you put it in your drive :oops:

Occasionally, it takes 4 or 5 washes to work, and very occasionally I need to put the disc on the shelf for a week before it will play, but this has worked on ~90% of my problematic UHDs.

Caveat: Washing will not work if there are scratches on the disc, if debris is embedded in the disc surface, or if the disc layers aren't bonded properly. I have had some success buffing out light scratches with plastic polishing compound and a microfiber towel, but it's a method of last resort. These usually aren't issues on brand new discs.
Thanks; I'm gonna try the Dawn and hot water method tonight, using some elements suggested by you here and some others I found in the Oppo UDP-203 setup guide:

First: wash it.

Yes, even if the disc looks new, flawless, pristine. I was skeptical at first, but years of experience with Blu-ray convinced me. I have rescued a great many discs that would not work in the player or mount on a computer this way.

Immaculate discs may have invisible films from manufacturing that will interfere with playback. UHD discs are even more sensitve to films, dust, and fingerprints than Blu-ray.

This is what I do:

  • Put the disc in a sink, label side down, data side up.
  • Run hot tap water over it for a minute or more.
  • Lightly sponge the data side with dish soap. Work radially, from the center to the edge. Never rub an optical disc in a circular motion around the hub.
  • Give it a good long rinse with hot water.
  • Dry with a soft cloth. I actually use paper towels. The coating on Blu-ray and UHD is pretty tough, but treat it gently.
My totally unsubstantiated theory is that the plastic of these discs sometimes has internal stresses from manufacturing that causes them to spin funny. (Like a potato chip?) The heat and pressure of scrubbing them releases the stress, making them more playable.

Note that CDs and DVDs have softer coatings which are more scratchable, but which can be polished out with liquid abrasives. I would not try that on Blu-ray or UHD. Useless. Unwise.
 

PopBodhi

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My replacement Poltergeist 4K disc arrived. This one is fine. If you told me back in 1998 that I'd still be dealing with defective movie discs in 2022...
 

Kaskade1309

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My replacement Poltergeist 4K disc arrived. This one is fine. If you told me back in 1998 that I'd still be dealing with defective movie discs in 2022...
Good to know, Bodhi -- were you too experiencing the stuttering/freezing/dropouts on your first copy? Had you tried cleaning it first?

I know exactly what you mean about dealing with defective discs in 2022 -- I say to my wife all the time when we run into problems like this how stupid it is that technology seems to be going backward in terms of reliability, quality and consistency, especially with consumer electronics. It's rare anything just works out of the box anymore...

I'm gonna try to clean the disc tonight based on methods discussed above, and if that doesn't work, I'm getting a replacement.
 

Kaskade1309

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Kyle,

In going over your post again with greater scrutiny, I came across this, which set off alarm bells for me:
Occasionally, it takes 4 or 5 washes to work, and very occasionally I need to put the disc on the shelf for a week before it will play, but this has worked on ~90% of my problematic UHDs.
Have you really needed to clean a disc four or five times to get it to play correctly? I just can't see doing that; I mean, I was going to see if I could get a replacement Poltergeist disc if the cleaning tonight doesn't work...I don't know about trying it multiple times.

And then the thing about putting the disc on the shelf for a week before it would play...why would this happen? What would cause it to play after just sitting like that? What's the underlying factor here?
Caveat: Washing will not work if there are scratches on the disc, if debris is embedded in the disc surface, or if the disc layers aren't bonded properly. I have had some success buffing out light scratches with plastic polishing compound and a microfiber towel, but it's a method of last resort. These usually aren't issues on brand new discs.
Yes, I'd just assume this wouldn't work for scratches; however, I think what is happening, at least with the Poltergeist faulty copies, has more to do with a manufacturing defect that MAY be related to what the guy from the Oppo settings document (who I quoted above) was saying about the hot water and pressure basically "forcing" the discs back into "proper shape."
 

Kaskade1309

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I've randomly had similar issues as well where perfectly clean discs, fresh from the package will seize up. It especially seemed to be a problem early on using my player. Hobbs and Shaw and Evil Dead are two I remember it happening with. Something from Vinegar Syndrome as well. Beastmaster, I think. Wiping them off usually does the trick.
Hi Kent,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to your response here; I also own Hobbs and Shaw and Evil Dead on 4K, but neither of these have given me problems on my Panasonic UB9000 (though, admittedly, I don't care for the pillarboxed, overly-grainy transfer of Evil Dead on 4K, so I always watch the 1080p Blu-ray in its "enhanced widescreen" version available on the accompanying disc) -- Evil Dead II, however, causes extremely loud "wooshing" and moaning noises when the disc is first inserted and begins to load. This doesn't end until the film begins (so it continues making the noises even during the setup menu process). SO weird.
 

PopBodhi

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Good to know, Bodhi -- were you too experiencing the stuttering/freezing/dropouts on your first copy? Had you tried cleaning it first?

I know exactly what you mean about dealing with defective discs in 2022 -- I say to my wife all the time when we run into problems like this how stupid it is that technology seems to be going backward in terms of reliability, quality and consistency, especially with consumer electronics. It's rare anything just works out of the box anymore...

I'm gonna try to clean the disc tonight based on methods discussed above, and if that doesn't work, I'm getting a replacement.
Pixels/freezing were the problem. It was just like some early DVDs. Btw, I've never "washed" a DVD/Blu-ray/4K. I have used moist lens wipes through the years but only when discs have fingerprints and/or excessive dust.
 

Kyle_D

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Kyle,

In going over your post again with greater scrutiny, I came across this, which set off alarm bells for me:

Have you really needed to clean a disc four or five times to get it to play correctly? I just can't see doing that; I mean, I was going to see if I could get a replacement Poltergeist disc if the cleaning tonight doesn't work...I don't know about trying it multiple times.

And then the thing about putting the disc on the shelf for a week before it would play...why would this happen? What would cause it to play after just sitting like that? What's the underlying factor here?

Yes, I'd just assume this wouldn't work for scratches; however, I think what is happening, at least with the Poltergeist faulty copies, has more to do with a manufacturing defect that MAY be related to what the guy from the Oppo settings document (who I quoted above) was saying about the hot water and pressure basically "forcing" the discs back into "proper shape."
I back-up all of my discs to a server, and if there's a single read error, the back-up will fail. Yes, it has taken 4 or 5 washes for certain discs to successfully back-up, even when they are brand new out of the packaging. Sometimes, if washing fails, I will just wait a week and the disc will miraculously read. The prevailing theory is that there is condensation or residual manufacturing film on the disc that prevents the disc from reading correctly. The condensation/film either comes off in the washing process or evaporates after sitting on the shelf.

I have backed-up over 250 UHDs. About 10-15% of my collection required washing before they would successfully back-up, and only two new discs (For a Few Dollars More and Season 7, Disc 2 of Game of Thrones) failed to back-up after multiple washes / sitting on the shelf for a week. Both of those discs had visible manufacturing defects where the layers did not bond properly. The Game of Thrones disc would not read at all and did not exhibit the momentary pixelation you describe with Poltergeist, whereas For a Few Dollars More would play up until the layer change before crapping out entirely. It's a finnicky format.

FWIW, I own Poltergeist, and it backed-up flawlessly on the first attempt out of the packaging.
 

Kaskade1309

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Pixels/freezing were the problem. It was just like some early DVDs. Btw, I've never "washed" a DVD/Blu-ray/4K. I have used moist lens wipes through the years but only when discs have fingerprints and/or excessive dust.
Yeah, that's the issue I have been having with some UHDs (the pixelation/freezing).

As for what to wipe these things with...I have used glass cleaner, eyeglass cleaner and even screen cleaner sprays on discs, but I'm not sure if any of those were effective or did any residual damage; I am going to try the soap and water method later with Poltergeist (which is, ironically, how I clean my old vinyl records -- some Dawn in a small dish mixed with warm water, of which I dab a sponge and work my way around the grooves gently before rinsing really well and drying).
 

Kaskade1309

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I back-up all of my discs to a server, and if there's a single read error, the back-up will fail. Yes, it has taken 4 or 5 washes for certain discs to successfully back-up, even when they are brand new out of the packaging. Sometimes, if washing fails, I will just wait a week and the disc will miraculously read. The prevailing theory is that there is condensation or residual manufacturing film on the disc that prevents the disc from reading correctly. The condensation/film either comes off in the washing process or evaporates after sitting on the shelf.

I have backed-up over 250 UHDs. About 10-15% of my collection required washing before they would successfully back-up, and only two new discs (For a Few Dollars More and Season 7, Disc 2 of Game of Thrones) failed to back-up after multiple washes / sitting on the shelf for a week. Both of those discs had visible manufacturing defects where the layers did not bond properly. The Game of Thrones disc would not read at all and did not exhibit the momentary pixelation you describe with Poltergeist, whereas For a Few Dollars More would play up until the layer change before crapping out entirely. It's a finnicky format.

FWIW, I own Poltergeist, and it backed-up flawlessly on the first attempt out of the packaging.
Interesting; I do not back up any of my physical media (and we own a ton of DVDs/Blu-rays) but playback of some 4K discs -- put directly into a UHD BD player -- has been the issue for us. It seems so weird to me, though, that simply sitting on a shelf would cause the described condensation/film to evaporate...but if you're saying you've experienced it, then you've experienced it (are you sure it wasn't due to another factor?).

As for Poltergeist, you seem to have been one of the lucky consumers who didn't get a bad disc, I suppose; it appears, the more I discuss this with enthusiasts online, that there are more people who aren't experiencing defective Poltergeist 4Ks (unless they just played them once and not again, which would possibly yield inconclusive results because many of us, myself included, are experiencing the playback issues after the disc was played for the very first time) than there are those who are.
 

PopBodhi

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Yeah, that's the issue I have been having with some UHDs (the pixelation/freezing).

As for what to wipe these things with...I have used glass cleaner, eyeglass cleaner and even screen cleaner sprays on discs, but I'm not sure if any of those were effective or did any residual damage; I am going to try the soap and water method later with Poltergeist (which is, ironically, how I clean my old vinyl records -- some Dawn in a small dish mixed with warm water, of which I dab a sponge and work my way around the grooves gently before rinsing really well and drying).
If you're determined to "wash" the disc, use a microfiber cloth to dry it. Remember, paper comes from wood and that's not something you want near a disc or lens surface.
 

Kaskade1309

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If you're determined to "wash" the disc, use a microfiber cloth to dry it. Remember, paper comes from wood and that's not something you want near a disc or lens surface.
The guy from the Oppo UDP-203 "settings document" (sourced from AVS Forum) I cited above claimed he just uses paper towels to dry the discs...you wouldn't recommend even just dabbing at the water on the disc to dry it?

And what about the cleaning "directionality" -- because a disc is authored differently from the way a vinyl LP is pressed (with circular grooves), it is often recommended to wipe/clean from the inner spindle outward to the edges in a "radial" fashion. Should I apply the soap on a soft sponge and work outward in radial straight lines from the inner hub to the edges?
 

PopBodhi

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The guy from the Oppo UDP-203 "settings document" (sourced from AVS Forum) I cited above claimed he just uses paper towels to dry the discs...you wouldn't recommend even just dabbing at the water on the disc to dry it?

And what about the cleaning "directionality" -- because a disc is authored differently from the way a vinyl LP is pressed (with circular grooves), it is often recommended to wipe/clean from the inner spindle outward to the edges in a "radial" fashion. Should I apply the soap on a soft sponge and work outward in radial straight lines from the inner hub to the edges?
I always wipe the disc from the center hub outward, never in a circular motion. I used a paper towel on a lens once and I won't do that again. LOL I suppose you could just dab the disc with a paper towel. These Blu-ray/4K discs *are* touted as scratch resistant after all.
 

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