Do Blu-rays rot?

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Lincoln Spector
Yesterday, I decided to revisit one of my favorite films, 8 1/2--an older Criterion disc I hadn't played in years. But when I put the disc into the player, the TV showed the signals that it's getting a connection, and then it went black. I tried this several times.

Then, just now, I tried it on my computer with Leawo Blu-ray Player software. It recognized the movie title, but couldn't get started.

1595790197407.png


Is it possible that the disc has died over time?

Lincoln
 

Josh Steinberg

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Absolutely.

Most Blu-rays are dual layer and it’s often the glue between the layers that goes bad over time making the disc unplayable.

You might want to try emailing Criterion - they’re generally pretty good about offering exchanges under these circumstances if it’s something that’s still in print. Can’t hurt to try!
 
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jcroy

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Regardless of what anyone else believes, I generally assume disc rot is inevitable.

Just consider yourself lucky if none of your discs rot away within your own lifetime.
 

willyTass

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Which is why I hoped a few years ago they could make all Blu rays single layer and use HEVC codec

Blu ray at 1920 x 1080p is more than enough to capture the grandeur of 35 mm film
 

jcroy

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Which is why I hoped a few years ago they could make all Blu rays single layer and use HEVC codec
As much as I wanted to believe (theoretically) that single-layer bluray discs MIGHT be less prone to rotting, it turns out it didn't matter at all in the end.

I have several single-layer bluray discs manufactured by Lionsgate, which now have unreadable sectors due to rot or are outright unplayable. Many years ago there were no problems playing these exact same discs.
 

Thomas T

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Seriously, is anything permanent? Our computers crash and die, our blu ray players eventually stop working (I'm on my third player), our automobiles poop out, our coffee makers stop working, our air conditioners conk out, etc. etc. etc. There's no reason to believe that (some) blu rays and DVDs won't eventually go bad.
 
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David Norman

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Yesterday, I decided to revisit one of my favorite films, 8 1/2--an older Criterion disc I hadn't played in years. But when I put the disc into the player, the TV showed the signals that it's getting a connection, and then it went black. I tried this several times.

Then, just now, I tried it on my computer with Leawo Blu-ray Player software. It recognized the movie title, but couldn't get started.



Is it possible that the disc has died over time?

Lincoln
Sure in general I've had a few discs go bad over time, but more specifically there was a bad batch of Criterion produced by one plant several years ago and had a high % go bad relatively quickly (as well as a bunch of Well-Go disc and several other manufacturers who were using that plant).


Criterion had a blurb on their website listing about a 8-10 discs known to be affected though there seemed to be a longer list of 30+ or so that were thought by the consumers to be involved. I had all of the official and unofficial discs which I checked a couple times and 2 were bad and replaced (Summer Hours and Walkabout). I've only found one more Criterion that has become unplayable since then - the original release of Lady Vanishes. Since I also bought the Hitchcock boxset a few years later, I actually have teh repressing of that title too so I haven't bothered with an exchange yet. 8 1/2 was in the middle of the time frame all those releases and I'm pretty sure some people had issues with it, but I'm not sure which plant it was produced.

 
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Malcolm R

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Seriously, is anything permanent? Our computers crash and die, our blu ray players eventually stop working (I'm on my third player), our automobiles poop out, our coffee makers stop working, our air conditioners conk out, etc. etc. etc. There's no reason to believe that (some) blu rays and DVDs won't eventually go bad.
No. Anything and everything degrades and deteriorates eventually. Some just faster than others.
 

Lord Dalek

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Yesterday, I decided to revisit one of my favorite films, 8 1/2--an older Criterion disc I hadn't played in years. But when I put the disc into the player, the TV showed the signals that it's getting a connection, and then it went black. I tried this several times.

Then, just now, I tried it on my computer with Leawo Blu-ray Player software. It recognized the movie title, but couldn't get started.

View attachment 75991

Is it possible that the disc has died over time?

Lincoln
Criterion had a recall where the protective coating on older pressings of their discs turned bronze. You might want to check yours.
 

Billy Batson

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Ha, this is the one subject that we don't want to read about here. Sod streaming, we have our discs, for the rest of our lives if we want...& then you get troubling posts like this. I think I'm okay with my CDs, well I read of some bronzing over a few years back, but I understand that was a manufacturing problem, I've had no trouble (the CD may only hold 79 minutes of music & nothing else, but the lack of complexity may be the thing that stops them going wrong). I've had a bit of trouble with just a few DVDs, & so far my Blu-rays have been okay, but maybe they're just too complex for their own good. As someone posted, nothing lasts for ever, & that includes us!
 

Rick Thompson

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What will obsolete the disks is not the disk itself, but the actual players will vanish. Anyone seen an 8-track player recently? If you can find one, those tapes will play. How about a turntable with 78rpm speed? Or a reel-to-reel deck? Or a 5-1/4" disk drive? Or a 3-1/2" drive? (Though interestingly A and B are still reserved for floppy drives on a computer, which is why the first hard drive is always C.) Then you have ZIP drives and DivX. Anyone seen a punch card reader recently? The list goes on. You can still find some of these if you (a) look hard and (b) have the cash to spend on a niche product, but it ain't easy. I forget the last time I saw a cassette deck.
 
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Billy Batson

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Yup, I have to agree with Rick there. The last few years I was working on telecine, was all about archiving (& that's been giving a good living to a lot of people), & as kit is going wrong, there's nothing to replace it, optical sound reading heads, mag heads (for tape). I remember there was a hundreds of hours on U-matic tape (news stuff), & the trouble the company had in getting U-matic player that was in working order, & then they had to really nurse it along (I think it just made it!). I bought a few spare CD players (good makes too) very cheaply from charity shops, so I'll always know I can play my CDs (a bit nuts I know, but I feel better for having them), the shops were full of DVD/Blu-ray players a few years ago, not so much now. How many VHS or Betamax machines around? And a lot of professional formats are in short supply (good luck in locating a D1 or D2 machine), & floppy discs & so on...

Technology marches on.
 
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Peter Apruzzese

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If it's a concern, rip your optical media to hard drives (and have backups) as soon as confirming playablility of the disc.

As of now, I've got about 4000 CD's ripped (lossless) and about 100 or so DVDs ripped (mkv). Slowly making my way through my DVDs as it seems as soon as I rip something a Blu-ray gets released. Haven't ripped any Blu-rays as I've not yet encountered any defective titles.
 

jcroy

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What will obsolete the disks is not the disk itself, but the actual players will vanish.

Then you have ZIP drives and DivX.
If you mean DIVX as a disc based format only sold by Circuit City back in the late-1990s, it died a painful death two decades ago.

On the other hand, Divx as a video compression/container format will probably be forever playable on open source players such as VLC. Even long after commercial video players stop supporting the divx format.

(IIRC, the latter named itself with the same/similar namesake after the former, primarily as a form of sarcasm or "dark humor").
 

jcroy

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What will obsolete the disks is not the disk itself, but the actual players will vanish. Anyone seen an 8-track player recently?
In the case of dvd-video, just about all of the patents have expired already. The remaining dvd patents still unexpired, are releated to reading burned dvd-r, dvd-rw, dvd-ram, etc .. type discs.

(Currently it is possible to make a patent-free computer cd/dvd drive, which can only read cd/cdr and dvd discs. But not dvdr/dvdrw/dvd-ram type discs).

As long as enough people are still buying standalone dvd players and/or computer cd/dvd drives, manufacturers will still make new players/drives.

I suspect in the case of 8-track, vhs, etc ..., the number of customers buying the "legacy" players just wasn't enough anymore to run as a sustainable business manufacturing model.
 

Stephen Buccleugh

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I just tried to watch the Criterion WALKABOUT on my LG 4K player. Truly, it is at least half-dead, stopping at 49:56. I bought this years ago. I will email Criterion and ask them to send me a replacement. I've had several laser discs that died of disc rot over the years, but hadn't encountered this problem with blu-rays until today.
 

Rick Thompson

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With hard drives so inexpensive now, that's what I've started doing with favourites and rare or out of print titles.
Hard drives go obsolete too. Good luck finding a modern motherboard that supports IDE drives. Even SATA is being gradually replaced.
 

Sam Favate

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I guess I have been very lucky. The first CD I bought in 1985 still plays. It was the beginning of thousands of shiny discs in my house.

What about these M-disc BD-Rs that allegedly keep your data safe for 1,000 years? They claim to write the data on some kind of rock-like surface. I have one (that I haven't used) that claims M-disc "is designed to resist physical and chemical changes like light, heat, humidity and magnetism."

Funny story: At a friend's house for a Christmas party like 25 years ago. Someone says "CDs are indestructible!" I pointed out that wasn't true, as did another guy. My friend (whose house it was) says "Let's see!" and takes his Foreigner "4" CD out of the case, drops it on the floor and drags it across the wood floor with his foot! He then puts it in the CD player, and, of course, it doesn't work. He and the guy who said CDs were indestructible started yelling "See? They're not! They lie!"
 

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