Hammer Horror Series, Franchise disc errors?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I know Universal DVD-18 have played hell with some players but I've been fortunate not to have any glitches on any so far EXCEPT for this collection. Don't know if it is because they are in color vs b/w for the others? About half will play properly on my Toshiba SD-2800 and though better, still get a few glitches on the Apex AD-1200. Neither are progressive scan.

    Was wondering what the success ratio has been with this set and if Universal has address the problem - or offer exchanges?

    Eric
     
  2. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I don't think color vs. black and white has anything to do with it. I had a hell of a bad time with the all-black-and-white BELA LUGOSI COLLECTION!

    There's little you can do, except hope that Universal revisits these titles and does them properly - that is, issues them on DVD-9's which are way more likely to play on ANY player, at ANY time.
     
  3. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    It's a total coin toss as to what's going to give you problems. My Lugosi set was fine, the side 2 on both Hammer discs did the stutter dance.

    Sad thing is, I considered my self lucky with the HAmmer disc, I went through 4 boxsets of the "Universal Monsters Franchise" set (the one with the mini-busts) before I found one that would play house of frankenstein properly.
     
  4. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    As for the color vs black and white, was wondering if maybe compression on these DVD-18 also plays a factor. Color takes up more space and they have 2 movies per side.

    I guess I have been fortunate with the Franchise sets. I also have the bust set and all disc played fine for me. Have The Mummy Legacy and Creature From the Black lagoon and again, they played fine except I had one floater in Mummy and the scuff played hell until I was able to clean it up and then it played fine. Also have the Lagosi and Mae West Franchise sets and they too played fine. This hammer set (the only color set I have) is the one that is hiccupping, pixelating, and freezing up on me.

    Eric
     
  5. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    As I wanted these films, I wasn't going to cut my nose off to spite my face. I was lucky to get a good set on the first go-around. A friend of mine ended up returning his defected discs THREE times. I suggest anyone else that has had this trouble do the same. If the disc is defective, it's spoiled goods and qualifies for a refund.
     
  6. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Unfortunately, though, even if a disc plays fine in one player at any given time, it's possible to screw up at some future date - and a good disc may possibly malfunction when you use a new machine one day. So having a set that "plays correctly" for now doesn't guarantee you'll always be able to watch it - unfortunately.
     
  7. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    True but this is true of any DVD and is in no way exclusive to or more likely to happen with a DVD-18.

    I did not hear of as many problems with this set as with some of the other Universal DVD18's. My set works fine. I have yet to have a DVD18 or DVD14 that will not play. I have had a few DVD9's that would not play.
     
  8. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I don't mean to be argumentative, Randy, but are you saying you truly haven't heard of more operating difficulties with the HAMMER set (as opposed to others)? Man, I've never heard of a MORE troublesome collection than the Hammer Set! Consider yourself lucky!

    It's obvious that this is a legitimate gripe. If you notice, Universal has wised up and is now finally going back to the infinitely more reliable DVD-9 format for their upcoming horror films. I'm afraid I can't agree with you about having more problems with the standard DVD-9 format, though ... at least, it's not been my experience since I've collected discs since the 1997 launch.
     
  9. Jonathan Murray

    Jonathan Murray Auditioning

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    DVD-18s, especially from Universal, have always been problematic for me.

    It's not actually a problem with the pressing or the color format or anything other than the way DVD-18s are put together, apparently.

    It doesn't really have much to do with your player, either. Some players are more tolerant of scratches just as some players are more tolerant of DVD-18s. It's still a matter of the disc itself being somewhat flaky.

    You can see the problem with DVD-18s by doing a transfer rate test on your computer with one of these discs. You'll get the expected transfer rate increase until it gets close to the edge of the disc and then the transfer rate falls dramatically right at the layer change. Sometimes it falls below 1x which is going to be a problem.

    More often than not, this test on regular DVD-9 shows a more perfect scan without the telltale fall in transfer rate DVD-18s exhibit. You will see the transfer rate steadily climb until the layer change at which point it steadily falls. No dramatic peaks and valleys as the reader has trouble "seeing" the information on the disc.

    These results are consistent on multiple DVD readers. Just as with players, some readers show a more dramatic decrease in transfer rate but it is almost always there with these Universal discs (in my experience). This behavior is far less apparent with DVD-18s from Warner though it does still occasionally happen -- usually without playback errors and glitches, though (not as severe).


    I have actually been able to play some previously glitchy Universal DVD-18s using the following method. I take a can of compressed air and I will blast the very edge of the disc, actually aiming the air stream between where the two layers are sandwiched together. Short blasts, being careful not to spray any of the liquid contents onto the disc. Hold the can far enough away from the disc so it doesn't get damaged by the coldness of the air. I rotate the disc while doing this and then try the disc in my player again. Sometimes it takes a few tries. Sometimes it never works at all. I've had a surprising amount of success with this method, though. (Sometimes I blow between the layers myself but you're liable to get spittle all over your precious discs that way.)

    I wouldn't suggest this method -- I would just try to get the disc replaced if possible. Don't try this at home, I won't be held responsible for any damage, etc. Compressed air cans contain cold liquid that could damage the disc if used improperly.


    I wonder if what's happening is that the glue is weakened at the edges or even nearly non-existent in some cases and pieces of dust and debris are getting caught between the layers and causing problems.

    I would be interested in what brands of players people are using that never, or rarely, have problems with DVD-18s. My Philips is far more tolerant of them than my Sony, for example.
     

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