In Memoriam: When DVDs become coasters

NormanicGrav

ヽ(⌐■_■)ノ♪♬
AUKN Staff
Oh hell, this is going south faster than I expected.

There's been a mini-update to this, it seems most of the patches did come back so there's now a select few remaining.

Also I believe some patches are unobtainable due to servers being closed years ago.
 

Girls with Guns

Dragon Knight
If only things would be made with preservation in mind. If I want to play a game of Quake III today I can, but I doubt that would be possible in the 2040's for the many battle royale games that are popular now.
Wow, this brings back memories! To this day, my favorite game of all time was Quake III. Unbelievably, back in the late 90's early 2000's I worked in the IT department of a local telephone company, and the upper management actually allowed the IT department to setup a local Quake III server directly on the company's internal network, so the ten of us in IT could all play against each other over our lunch hour and after work. We did that for quite a few years, and shortly after I left the company I was told they setup an internal Call of Duty server to replace Quake III. That was a really great place to work at! 🥳
 
I think this might be a coaster... I stuck the Bayonetta: Bloody Fate BD check disc in last night, and it played fine to begin with on my home cinema, until right until the last five minutes, when there was an almighty gltch and freeze. It subsequently played fine in a standalone player, but not that home cinema.

I seem to recall that it glitched with a little pixellation at that point when I played it five years ago, but last night was a total freeze. No damage visible on the disc, so probably not 'rot'.

On the bright side... I hated it even more this time than the first. So it's not like I want to watch it again!
 

Dai

Hunter
I think this might be a coaster... I stuck the Bayonetta: Bloody Fate BD check disc in last night, and it played fine to begin with on my home cinema, until right until the last five minutes, when there was an almighty gltch and freeze. It subsequently played fine in a standalone player, but not that home cinema.

I seem to recall that it glitched with a little pixellation at that point when I played it five years ago, but last night was a total freeze. No damage visible on the disc, so probably not 'rot'.

On the bright side... I hated it even more this time than the first. So it's not like I want to watch it again!
It sounds like a flaw was always there. If it plays okay on a different device, it's possible that the lens on your home cinema's drive has picked up debris or started to decalibrate slightly. As with the horror story about disc cleaning kits that I posted earlier in the thread, I've never had a good experience with trying to clean optical drive lenses either. The two methods I know of are lens-cleaning discs (if the lens is inaccessible) or gently wiping the lens with a few drops of 100% isopropyl on a cotton bud (if it's accessible). But as I say, I've had no good experiences with either method.

It's also possible that your hate destroyed the disc.
 

Dai

Hunter
Here we go again.
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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is one of my favourite live-action shows. I bought the blu-rays in 2010 and rewatch them every year or two. They've always played fine, but this time the first disc of season 2 immediately started skipping like a five-year-old girl on the last day of school. I tested it on two players, and while it's worse on the Panasonic than the PS4, it skipped on both. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop.

There's no visible damage to the disc, but I did notice the play surface was oddly greasy when I tried wiping it. It didn't have a visible cloudy layer that wiped off, as I find with some blu-rays; it just had this persistent almost sticky texture to it.

Hilariously(!) at one point the Panasonic player popped up a system warning that I'd never seen before: "copyright violation". Is it a copyright violation to sell people awful quality discs that self-terminate after barely a decade? It certainly should be. But I imagine the damage just made the player mistakenly think it was a bootleg copy for a moment (it's not).

This is the third disc that's started acting up on me in as many months: one DVD and two blu-rays. It's making me look at my video collection in a different way, less like a permanent library, and more like a collection of perishables. I almost feel like they should be labelled with a 'best before' date.

I imagine the age of the blu-rays drives is part (but not all) of the problem, since the newest device I have is the PS4, which is six years old at this point. So now I'm faced with the question of whether I should crack open the Panasonic player and try cleaning the lens. I have this vague memory of someone saying that they'd never had a good experience with doing that though.

I've never had a good experience with trying to clean optical drive lenses either.

Oh yeah, it was me.

I've ordered a can of compressed air and a vial of pure isopropyl, but I'm fully expecting that I'll just end up making things worse if I actually try cleaning the lens. I'll be interested to see if it looks visibly dirty, but it's equally possible that it's just started to decalibrate from heat warping over time, in which case there's little I can do unless there's a potentiometer adjustment screw in there.

In preparation, I checked Youtube to see if I could find a teardown of a Panasonic player so I could get some idea of how to access the drive assembly. Well I found one... and it was a kid of no more than ten, who took it apart with the player plugged into the mains and switched on!! 😨 He'd disabled comments, so I couldn't warn him how close he was to electrocuting himself.
 
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Here we go again.
View attachment 18913

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is one of my favourite live-action shows. I bought the blu-rays in 2010 and rewatch them every year or two. They've always played fine, but this time the first disc of season 2 immediately started skipping like a five-year-old girl on the last day of school. I tested it on two players, and while it's worse on the Panasonic than the PS4, it skipped on both. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop.

There's no visible damage to the disc, but I did notice the play surface was oddly greasy when I tried wiping it. It didn't have a visible cloudy layer that wiped off, as I find with some blu-rays; it just had this persistent almost sticky texture to it.

Hilariously(!) at one point the Panasonic player popped up a system warning that I'd never seen before: "copyright violation". Is it a copyright violation to sell people awful quality discs that self-terminate after barely a decade? It certainly should be. But I imagine the damage just made the player mistakenly think it was a bootleg copy for a moment (it's not).

This is the third disc that's started acting up on me in as many months: one DVD and two blu-rays. It's making me look at my video collection in a different way, less like a permanent library, and more like a collection of perishables. I almost feel like they should be labelled with a 'best before' date.

I imagine the age of the blu-rays drives is part (but not all) of the problem, since the newest device I have is the PS4, which is six years old at this point. So now I'm faced with the question of whether I should crack open the Panasonic player and try cleaning the lens. I have this vague memory of someone saying that they'd never had a good experience with doing that though.



Oh yeah, it was me.

I've ordered a can of compressed air and a vial of pure isopropyl, but I'm fully expecting that I'll just end up making things worse if I actually try cleaning the lens. I'll be interested to see if it looks visibly dirty, but it's equally possible that it's just started to decalibrate from heat warping over time, in which case there's little I can do unless there's a potentiometer adjustment screw in there.

In preparation, I checked Youtube to see if I could find a teardown of a Panasonic player so I could get some idea of how to access the drive assembly. Well I found one... and it was a kid of no more than ten, who took it apart with the player plugged into the mains and switched on!! 😨 He'd disabled comments, so I couldn't warn him how close he was to electrocuting himself.
I’d seriously reconsider messing around with Blu-ray internals. It may be a waste of time, especially if the player has no trouble with most other discs, and it’s just a few that fail. That indicates the issue is with the media and not the player.

Twenty years ago, lasers in media players were solid state devices, gallium arsenide crystals and the like that lasted forever, certainly longer than any other component in the device. Those crystals are limited, and about ten or fifteen years ago manufacturers switched to organic dye lasers, which can be produced in far greater numbers. They are also tuneable, can handle more power for writers and re-writers and are more versatile. The problem is that the organic compound has a life that is magnitudes smaller than the solid state lasers. Personally, I suspect the organic dye starts decaying as soon as it’s manufactured, and the devices age on the shop shelf, but that’s just the conspiracy theorist in me.

I still own and use a twenty year old DVD player and thirty year old CD Walkman. but in the last ten years, I‘ve had three Blu-ray players fail, and four CD players. They’re made to become obsolete now. They should make them like record players, the lasers should be like styluses, user serviceable parts.

I’ve been told only the first generation of Blu-ray players had solid state lasers, but without firmware updates and the like, and Java weirdness, I doubt they play the majority of Blu rays.
 

Dai

Hunter
Twenty years ago, lasers in media players were solid state devices, gallium arsenide crystals and the like that lasted forever, certainly longer than any other component in the device. Those crystals are limited, and about ten or fifteen years ago manufacturers switched to organic dye lasers, which can be produced in far greater numbers. They are also tuneable, can handle more power for writers and re-writers and are more versatile. The problem is that the organic compound has a life that is magnitudes smaller than the solid state lasers. Personally, I suspect the organic dye starts decaying as soon as it’s manufactured, and the devices age on the shop shelf, but that’s just the conspiracy theorist in me.

I still own and use a twenty year old DVD player and thirty year old CD Walkman. but in the last ten years, I‘ve had three Blu-ray players fail, and four CD players. They’re made to become obsolete now. They should make them like record players, the lasers should be like styluses, user serviceable parts.

I’ve been told only the first generation of Blu-ray players had solid state lasers, but without firmware updates and the like, and Java weirdness, I doubt they play the majority of Blu rays.
That's interesting. I had no idea that the materials for the lens had changed. This makes me wonder if the lens in my PS3 might be in better condition than the newer devices, but it's the 2009 revision, so that's probably too recent.

You're probably right about it being a bad idea to do anything with the lens. It's just weird that I've had this sudden run of discs failing in the last few months, so it's hard not to start suspecting the hardware is a factor. It would be nice if these devices had some kind of self-diagnostics that could give an idea of whether a problem is caused by the hardware or media, but it's too much to expect manufacturers to care about the usability these things once they've sold them.

Sometimes I wonder if the disc cases are part of the problem. The interior hinged trays are often made of a softer, slicker plastic than the main case, and it's often the ones in those trays where I find this greasy residue on the discs. So is the problem the disc deteriorating, or the case deteriorating and depositing something onto the disc? In this case I'm talking about loads of discs that I've just wiped clean and have then worked fine, so it's weird.
 

Vincentdante

Combat Butler
Here we go again.
View attachment 18913

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is one of my favourite live-action shows. I bought the blu-rays in 2010 and rewatch them every year or two. They've always played fine, but this time the first disc of season 2 immediately started skipping like a five-year-old girl on the last day of school. I tested it on two players, and while it's worse on the Panasonic than the PS4, it skipped on both. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop.

There's no visible damage to the disc, but I did notice the play surface was oddly greasy when I tried wiping it. It didn't have a visible cloudy layer that wiped off, as I find with some blu-rays; it just had this persistent almost sticky texture to it.

Hilariously(!) at one point the Panasonic player popped up a system warning that I'd never seen before: "copyright violation". Is it a copyright violation to sell people awful quality discs that self-terminate after barely a decade? It certainly should be. But I imagine the damage just made the player mistakenly think it was a bootleg copy for a moment (it's not).

This is the third disc that's started acting up on me in as many months: one DVD and two blu-rays. It's making me look at my video collection in a different way, less like a permanent library, and more like a collection of perishables. I almost feel like they should be labelled with a 'best before' date.

I imagine the age of the blu-rays drives is part (but not all) of the problem, since the newest device I have is the PS4, which is six years old at this point. So now I'm faced with the question of whether I should crack open the Panasonic player and try cleaning the lens. I have this vague memory of someone saying that they'd never had a good experience with doing that though.



Oh yeah, it was me.

I've ordered a can of compressed air and a vial of pure isopropyl, but I'm fully expecting that I'll just end up making things worse if I actually try cleaning the lens. I'll be interested to see if it looks visibly dirty, but it's equally possible that it's just started to decalibrate from heat warping over time, in which case there's little I can do unless there's a potentiometer adjustment screw in there.

In preparation, I checked Youtube to see if I could find a teardown of a Panasonic player so I could get some idea of how to access the drive assembly. Well I found one... and it was a kid of no more than ten, who took it apart with the player plugged into the mains and switched on!! 😨 He'd disabled comments, so I couldn't warn him how close he was to electrocuting himself.
I agree with Just Passing Through, it sounds like an issue with a disc itself. I would suggest trying to clean the discs with this grease on with a microfibre cloth or a lint free cloth and a dash of warm water with cleaning solution or if that doesn't work a small amount of isopropyl alchohol.

The grease itself might be a result of humidity in the room it's being stored in (which can happen if you are storing them in rooms like a bedroom for example). If it's possible it might be worth looking into alternative storage to help preservation or alternetively you could buy a cheap dehumidifier from poundland and replace that every few months. I did this myself to preserve the comic books in my bedroom which were starting to wave.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
might be a result of humidity in the room it's being stored in
I’ve wondered about that myself, thankfully I haven’t ever had a disc go bad (though looking at some of my CDs rather than DVDs I think it’s probably just a matter of time) but I use my heating so little the gas supplier actually wrote to me recently to make sure I was still living in the house(!) and always have windows at least on the latch. Mainly I do that because central heating + double glazing makes me feel awful, but it may also have the added benefit that my discs/books don’t experience any rapid temperature fluctuations.
 

Vincentdante

Combat Butler
I’ve wondered about that myself, thankfully I haven’t ever had a disc go bad (though looking at some of my CDs rather than DVDs I think it’s probably just a matter of time) but I use my heating so little the gas supplier actually wrote to me recently to make sure I was still living in the house(!) and always have windows at least on the latch. Mainly I do that because central heating + double glazing makes me feel awful, but it may also have the added benefit that my discs/books don’t experience any rapid temperature fluctuations.
Indeed. My bedroom is quite cozy as well hence the waving and it's worse for my comic books because they aren't so easily repaired sadly and I think they might be like that forever :(. But I keep all my my discs in my living room where they should be fine and anything I'll bring to my mums house is in my bedroom and put in a wardrobe which offers some protection as well, at least I assume.
 

Dai

Hunter
The grease itself might be a result of humidity in the room it's being stored in (which can happen if you are storing them in rooms like a bedroom for example). If it's possible it might be worth looking into alternative storage to help preservation or alternetively you could buy a cheap dehumidifier from poundland and replace that every few months. I did this myself to preserve the comic books in my bedroom which were starting to wave.
That's a good point. I've never noticed any humidity damage to paper in here, but maybe the hot summers we've had in recent years are a factor. I make sure that nothing is positioned where it would catch direct sunlight, but the window is west-facing, and the room can get very hot in the evenings during summer.

Or maybe it's because I've been working from home for most of the last year, and my mere presence is enough to make everything around me decay...
 

ayase

State Alchemist
it's worse for my comic books because they aren't so easily repaired sadly and I think they might be like that forever
Bit off topic (still media preservation I suppose) but you can fix that, I had quite a lot of printed material in storage for a while where it suffered similarly, but with pressure over time they can be straightened. Just stick each one under something flat and heavy (I used two removable bookshelves with heavier books stacked on the top one). The worst thing you can do is put bent/wavy books together on a shelf, because they just reinforce each others’ warped-ness.
 

Vincentdante

Combat Butler
Bit off topic (still media preservation I suppose) but you can fix that, I had quite a lot of printed material in storage for a while where it suffered similarly, but with pressure over time they can be straightened. Just stick each one under something flat and heavy (I used two removable bookshelves with heavier books stacked on the top one). The worst thing you can do is put bent/wavy books together on a shelf, because they just reinforce each others’ warped-ness.
I'll try that. Good thing I have a lot of omnibus.
 

Dai

Hunter
Having one problem after another like this has changed my whole attitude towards upgrading DVDs. I always used to donate my DVDs to charity when I upgraded something to blu-ray, but now I'm so wary of the blu-ray eventually keeling over that I've started keeping the original DVDs as backups, and filing them away in folders like this. So congratulations, purveyors of short-lived blu-rays, you've turned me into even more of a miser than I used to be.
 

zrdb

Great Teacher
Cleaning a dvd or bluray laser lens is pretty simple-just blow it off with a can of compressed air. To be honest I've only had 1 or 2 of the hundreds of blurays and dvds I own fail.
 
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