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How do duff DVDs arise?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by plasmattack, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. plasmattack

    plasmattack
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    I'm having pause/stutter problems with Black Hawk Down and Arcam’s DV88+ although the disc plays fine in a PS2. This suggests a problem with the player; however, Arcam states that BHD is not known as a "problem" disc. Doubtless there are other DV88+/BHD owners, so, given Arcam’s stance and apparent trustworthiness, the conclusion must be that BHD on DVD is generally okay. Two questions arise:

    1) How can a disc play fine on one player and not on another?

    2) If there is a manufacturing defect on the disc, how do such defects typically arise?

    I should add that there are no visible defects on the disc.
     
  2. plasmattack

    plasmattack
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    Let me put this another way: is it possible to have a disc play properly on one player and not on another, and to conclude, "That's a duff disc"?
     
  3. PoochJD

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    Hi,

    You asked:

    1) How can a disc play fine on one player and not on another?
    and...
    2) If there is a manufacturing defect on the disc, how do such defects typically arise?


    Answers:
    1) It is completely possible, as you have just found out. Normally, it's down to one player or the other, not being of a high enough standard to read the disc properly. Most modern DVD's have so much technology built into them, (e.g. seamless branching, multiple languages, multiple audio tracks, subtitles, all those extras, etc, etc), that some DVD players simply can't cope, and throw their hands in the air and shout "I quit!". Without meaning to sound biased, PS2's are only DVD compatible, but that does not mean they will play any or every DVD you throw at it - a major issue that most PS2 users appear to forget. Also, some cheaper DVD players also do the same. They simply can't cope with the disc's technology, unlike say a Pioneer, or Sony could.

    2) Just because a disc plays in one machine, but not another, is not necessarily a faulty disc, nor does it imply a manufacturer's mistake. Manufacturers try to test their latest discs on as many brands and makes of machines as possible, but not all of them will accept the discs. If over 95% of them accept the disc (for example), then they will normally let the other 5% of DVD users suffer. However, even if you get two identical DVD players, there's still no guarantee the DVD will play perfectly on both machines.

    Essentially, all you can do, is either cope with the hassle, or upgrade to a better DVD machine.

    Pooch
     
  4. Taz

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    I didn't know that pooch. thats useful to know. Cheers.


    Taz.
     
  5. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Taz,

    That percentage, was only an example. I don't know what the percentage is, if one exists at all, but I'm sure I won't be far off. It would be impossible for any manufacturer to guarantee their product will work on every, single piece of equipment, be it a DVD, a CD, an audio cassette, or whatever.

    Pooch
     
  6. Taz

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    Still a handy thing to quote in the boozer mate;)

    Taz.
     
  7. Lex

    Lex
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    I have one disc like this - first disc of first season of Angel - it will not play on my PS2 (it says disc read error), but it plays fine on all my other dvd players!
     
  8. plasmattack

    plasmattack
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    No, you've all got it the wrong way around. I said that I had problems playing Black Hawk Down on Arcam's DV88+ (£1000) but did not have problems on a PS2.

    How do you account for that?
     
  9. Geezer

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    I think its a bit much to say they have all got it wrong, these were just examples of problems. Just because a product is more expensive doesnt mean it will play everything.
     
  10. Kenneth.Hoiland

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    I have had the same problem arise with one particulart disc.
    It's called Flåklypa Grand Prix (Radcliffe Grand Prix) and is the most viewed Norwegian movie of all time. (6 million people have seen it in Norway and we are 4.8 million alltogether :) )

    The disc did not play in my Pioneer DV 515. I have never had a problem with any discs in it and it has worked perfectly for over 4 years now. If I bump the player a couple of times while it's loading it will get to the menu and play the first layer of the disc. But when the layer change comes it can't find it and will eject itself.

    I went to a local Sony and Phillips dealer and tested on 3 different new DVD players and only a Phillips player managed to load and play the disc. The two other machines (Sony) got a no disc error.

    This DVD is brand new and one of the most sold DVDs in Norway and not being able to play my childhoods most beloved movie really makes me p****d off..

    So, duff discs does certainly exist

    Kenneth
     
  11. PoochJD

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    Plasmaattack,

    You said: "No, you've all got it the wrong way around. I said that I had problems playing Black Hawk Down on Arcam's DV88+ (£1000) but did not have problems on a PS2"

    As Geezer said, they were only examples. Essentially, just because your PS2 CAN play the disc, does NOT mean that your Arcam DVD player will. One may play the disc, the other may not. It's simply pot luck, I'm afraid.

    Like I said, the only way to deal with this problem is either:

    1) Accept that not every disc will play on every single piece of DVD equipment, be it a DVD player, DVD Rom drive, or a PS2.

    Or...

    2) Buy a newer, more expensive player, e.g. a Sony, Pioneer, or something similar, and make sure that you take that particular "problem" DVD with you, to test on the machine so that you can be certain it will play it.

    Pooch
     
  12. plasmattack

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    They had got it wrong in that they evidently misunderstood the first post in this thread. Besides, the words I actually used were "wrong way around" and I was not disagreeing with the basic tenets.

    Arcam are saying there are no known problems with Black Hawk Down on their player. My disc is proving troublesome on the DV88+ but plays fine on my PS2. If Arcam says there's nothing they can do then my only recourse is to return the disc, even though there are no visible defects. Is it reasonable for me to hope that another copy will be okay?
     
  13. plasmattack

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    Sorry, Pooch, I know you're trying to help. :) (Also, I think my last post was added at the same time as yours, so I didn't get to read it until afterwards.) To address your points:

    1) I can't accept that the disc won't play on my DV88+ because Arcam have stated that the disc should play on it.

    2) I think one grand on a new model of DVD player is expensive enough, thanks.

    Maybe the player is at fault although all my other discs play fine on it - so a player fault seems unlikely to me. I have noticed that finger marks on a disc can affect the player, so maybe it is very sensitive to surface defects and maybe my copy of Black Hawk Down has a similar defect that is not visible to the naked eye but that the player is picking up.

    My preferred option is to swap the disc for a new one. But this will only be worth a try if it is acknowledged that discs can be badly manufactured, one way or another. Is this the case?
     
  14. plasmattack

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    Kenneth, did you get another copy and, if so, was it okay?
     
  15. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I don't recall having this type of problem on CD, audio cassette or vinyl.

    If cassettes or records didn't work with some type of players the market would have died a death in the very early stages.

    It is comparatively recently that the great British public have come to accept the Bill Gates concept of selling goods that aren't guaranteed to work properly.
     
  16. Kenneth.Hoiland

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    No plasmattack I did not ghet a new disc. The disc was given to me for X-mas and bought in Norway. So exchanging it is not as easy as i would prefer. I'll probably end up buying another copy myself.


    K
     
  17. James45

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    I think some people on this thread are taking entirely the wrong attitude. If the equipment has the DVD-Video logo on the box it should play every single piece of DVD-Video software you throw at it.

    How many people here have a cd that doesn't play in certain cd players (apart from those new copy protected ones)? Exactly... no-one! DVD is a standard as is cd, manufacturers should stick to those standards and comply with the regulations or their players should be withdrawn from the market. Maybe the region system allows manufacturers to cloud the issue and deny responsibility. As for your Arcam speak to John Dawson, on this forum, he's yer man and will sort you out.

    And could the British public please wake up and stop bloody accepting everything without complaint!!:mad:
     
  18. AOD

    AOD
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    If only it were that simple.

    You're right in that it comes down to standards, but more importantly how different companies choose to implement them. Some standards are very well defined and set out how things should be done.

    Others are very loosely defined and leave a lot up to the company concerned. It does seem as though the DVD standards are a good deal "looser" than say, the Red Book CD standard and this is where the fun starts.

    Small differences in implementation can have a huge impact on the actual operation, once you start combining that with disc authoring errors and anomalies you have a real recipe for problems.

    Consider the following hypothetical example. Lets suppose that the DVD standards say that main menus must conform to a set of rules. Suppose you have a disc that breaks those rules, what should the player do? Should it load the menu anyway and ignore the bits it can't understand or that are "out of spec", or should it just sit there refusing to do anything?

    I have a couple of players at home that are 100% US R1 machines. Yet one of them won't even bring up the menu for Gladiator, whereas the other is perfectly happy. Yet that same machine that hated Gladiator would play every aspect of The Matrix without so much as a hiccup.

    Your best bet is to have a machine where the firmware can be upgraded and the company has a good track record for customer service. Two such outfits that spring to mind are Arcam & Tag.
     
  19. plasmattack

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    I am expecting a firmware upgrade through the post any time now. For some reason I have a nagging suspicion that it won't make any difference and I'll end up swapping the disc anyway. We'll see.
     
  20. James45

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    but what I'm saying is we should be complaining to the companies that flout the standards and force them into complying more strictly by not buying.

    Why would a company flout the standards anyway? surely the aim is to make a working player or disc, if it don't work for some then they haven't done their job.

    I would be interested to hear John Dawson's opinion on this thread as a manufacturer.
     
  21. PoochJD

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    Hi,

    Well, apologies to anyone, if they felt I may have made remarks about this issue, that may not have been based on definitive knowledge. Also, I had no idea that the Arcam was such an expensive model. :(

    I still stick by the fact that not EVERY machine will play EVERY DVD you throw at it. It should play them all, but it may not. There's no guarantee here. Basically, it sounds like the DVD is at fault, in one way or another, rather than the player.

    Arcam may say the disc should play, but they will say that, to protect their own backsides. They aren't going to want to admit to any kind of liability or culpability, for fear of lawsuits, etc, etc.

    Try another copy of the film, and see if it works. If it doesn't, then that more or less confirms that the disc itself, doesn't fit in with the specifications laid down by the DVD people in charge.

    If it does play, obviously, that probably points to a knackered or faulty disc. Have you also tried playing the disc, by pressing "1" on your DVD remote control, to kick-start it. Sometimes that can work, and you may only need to do it once, before your Arcam player "gets the message".

    Pooch
     
  22. plasmattack

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    To be fair to Arcam their customer support is very good and, AFAIK, they work hard to resolve their customers' issues. I am sure I'm not the first person to play Black Hawk Down on their player and thus I believe them when they say there should be no problem with that film.

    That is why I keep banging on about duff discs and, in particular, how "duffness" manifests itself. What muddies the water here is that my disc plays fine on a PS2!
     
  23. James45

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    however you may well be the first person to play the Norwegian version of BHD on an Arcam
     
  24. plasmattack

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    :D Ahhh, normal service is resumed.

    I'm surprised there have been no comments about the disc authoring and manufacturing processes. It would be (arguably) interesting to understand where hiccups can and do take place.
     
  25. James45

    James45
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    is your disc Norwegian... I think I am lossing the plot big time?
     
  26. plasmattack

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    No, it's the bog standard English R2 version.

    (Blimey, I assumed you were joking.)
     
  27. James45

    James45
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    someone mentioned Norway on the first page! Honest.:D
     
  28. plasmattack

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    The old Norwegian swerve-balls, eh?

    Actually, that was one of the most helpful posts on this thread!
     
  29. AOD

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    If you want to see a good example of disc authoring issues, take a look at the Tag McLaren website. Their forums have an area especially for reported issues with particular discs
     
  30. John Dawson

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    Guys,

    I don't intend to get involved in the detail of this case except to observe that there are huge issues in the industry concerning the playability of all discs in all players.

    The first thing to do is to swap the out the disc and see if another copy plays OK. Frankly a popular title can be authored in several different plants at once to get the quantities necessary at launch - each plant will have small differences in production techniques and spreads in performance. The signal is read by the player's pickup in the analogue domain and it is perfectly possible for samples to look OK but be out of spec on reflectivity or tilt and thus not play in all players. Happens all the time.

    If several people report a problem with one title on a player then it may be an authoring issue or a player issue. If it looks like the latter then we will investigate but since the cost of us doing this and fixing it may easily run into thousands of pounds we don't do it lightly and until other avenues have been exhausted.

    HTH.

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     

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