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View Full Version : How often do you get brand new DVDs that pixillate or are otherwise damaged?



Tycho
10-27-2006, 02:42 AM
I am so sick of this: I buy something and I start enjoying it, and then the picture goes all pixillated and digitized, and skips around with intermittent sound!

It just happened to me with Lock Up and I ordered that from Amazon as it's not easy to find in stores any more.

But I've also hated it with box sets like Star Trek: Enterprise and Miami Vice - where I refuse to return a whole box set, just demand they break open a new set and give me an undamaged replacement disk.

But the effort really bugs me - especially when they can record the darn DVDs for pennies and usually charge around $14 for each movie. Grrrrr.

I'd expect some quality! You didn't have these problems in the good old days of VCR tapes.

JediTricks
10-27-2006, 03:53 PM
Once ever, and I could see the disc was defective, there was visable warping in between the layers.

Is it possible it's your DVD player freaking out at a layer change or chapter change? Maybe your lens is dusty or something.

Tycho
10-27-2006, 05:15 PM
Once ever, and I could see the disc was defective, there was visable warping in between the layers.

Is it possible it's your DVD player freaking out at a layer change or chapter change? Maybe your lens is dusty or something.

I suppose it's possible - the dust scenerio especially, however other DVDs play just fine with no troubles, and the place in the film where these interruptions occur is always the same.

I can't see layer changes on the DVDs - so I'm not sure what you're looking at. I can turn it in the light and sometimes will see scratches - or I think they are - lines in the film. The unfortunate thing is that these are brand new DVDs that I just open. While at the same time, I have DVDs that I actually scratched by accident, yet they play fine.

How do you all clean your DVD player lenses? I bought mine at the Good Guys and they are out of business now. It's a JVC so I'm sure that Frye's or Circuit City or BestBuy could service it, but as I described the scenerio to you, I'm not sure it would be worth the money.

Do any of you use those lens cleaning discs you can buy? Do they work? Or are they actually bad for your machine?

Recently a Miami Vice disc # 3 of 3 in a box set was botched. BestBuy swapped me discs from another box set and that #3 disc played perfectly fine. Therefore it appears that I solve the problem in that case with no extra money expended - just an inconvenient trip to the video store.

So those inconveniences peeve me enough that it prompted my original topic.

Rocketboy
10-27-2006, 11:24 PM
The only problem I have ever had was with the Black Hawk Down 3-disc edition.
One of the bonus features I really wanted to see wouldn't play at all so I returned to Target and exchanged it. The second one did the same thing and I returned it again thinking it may have been a bad batch of DVDs...only to have the third one do it also.
This time I tried the third one on a friend's DVD player and it worked just fine. My DVD player just sucked.

Tycho
10-27-2006, 11:35 PM
Hmmm. I spent a lot on what was at the time the highend JVC 7-disc DVD player. I wanted a machine I could leave the whole Star Wars saga in, or dump out most TV series box sets into (like all of any given year of Smallville for example).

The machine has been well-treated and might be super-sensitive though - reading absolutely everything and stumbling on manufacturing / DVD writing errors. I don't know.

JimJamBonds
10-28-2006, 10:22 AM
Its only happened to me one time as far as I can remember... it was with Band of Brothers and I was very ****ed.

Tycho
10-28-2006, 11:20 AM
Oh, considering that Band of Brothers used to cost $89, I'd be p*d-off too.

The set cost me $59 in their revised pricing, but I'd still be made as I'd want to watch the series uninterrupted (which fortunately I was able to).

I'm sure the store you puchased BoB from allowed you to exchage a disc?

I'd never trade them the whole box set in that event - as I would want to continue the story from where I was watching it - not be rechecking CDs I'd already watched for quality control issues.

Blue2th
10-28-2006, 12:52 PM
This has only happened to me when I have rented. Quite alot actually. It's irritating. I don't like to buy DVD's right away, because of a couple of reasons. I HATE PREVIEWS! I didn't buy them to be inundated by long gone movie previews. It really bugs me (vent) Also a lot of movies are released in a "director's cut" which usually is worth waiting for. That's why I rent first. So far, I haven't encountered a skip or pixilation in a new DVD yet. That would surely make me mad. Of couse, I haven't even opened some of the DVD's I've bought yet. That's the problem with "collecting" the movies you love, but have seen already.:ninja:

Tycho
10-28-2006, 04:22 PM
Yeah, you really need to watch them when you buy them, at least during the amount of time that the return priviledge has not expired.

JediTricks
10-28-2006, 10:53 PM
I suppose it's possible - the dust scenerio especially, however other DVDs play just fine with no troubles, and the place in the film where these interruptions occur is always the same.Some DVDs have less data on them so the tracks can be spaced further apart or at the more stable center of the disk.


I can't see layer changes on the DVDs - so I'm not sure what you're looking at. I can turn it in the light and sometimes will see scratches - or I think they are - lines in the film. The unfortunate thing is that these are brand new DVDs that I just open. While at the same time, I have DVDs that I actually scratched by accident, yet they play fine.Layer changes are in the movie, they're supposed to be seamless but sometimes they pause for a second, there are multiple layers on the DVD but you can't really see them with the naked eye. I dunno exactly what you mean by scratches, sometimes the grooves in the disk will catch the light oddly though. Some DVD surface scratches don't interfere with the light reflecting, some do.


How do you all clean your DVD player lenses? I bought mine at the Good Guys and they are out of business now. It's a JVC so I'm sure that Frye's or Circuit City or BestBuy could service it, but as I described the scenerio to you, I'm not sure it would be worth the money.

Do any of you use those lens cleaning discs you can buy? Do they work? Or are they actually bad for your machine?I just buy the DVD lens cleaning disks, they're basically just a CD with a brush at one point in the disk, you play it the way the instructions say. I dunno if it's bad for it or not, but it does seem to help.


Blue2th, my mom rents a lot from netflix, her cheap DVD player has trouble with some disks that don't appear to be damaged, I suggested she use her PS2 to play them and that worked. They get a fair amount of damaged disks though, but the return policy is ok.

Tycho
10-29-2006, 01:13 AM
Some DVDs have less data on them so the tracks can be spaced further apart or at the more stable center of the disk.

Could you explain a little more what exactly this means? (Thanks)


Layer changes are in the movie, they're supposed to be seamless but sometimes they pause for a second,

I've noticed in Attack of the Clones, when Slave-One enters the rings around Geonosis, it pauses for just a second, before Obi-Wan's ship comes out of hyperspace following it. And what I mean is that Slave-One freezes for a second, not moving. Sometimes you don't even notice this if you're not paying attention for it.


I dunno exactly what you mean by scratches, sometimes the grooves in the disk will catch the light oddly though.

Well of course there are concentric circles of information put into the disk, but I'm talking about perhaps a feather-thin gash, bisecting the curve of the disk - feather-thin though. You'd have to keep turning the DVD in the light to actually find an angle by which you can view it at. Perfectly new DVDs that are perfect, do not show any signs of wearing like this.


I just buy the DVD lens cleaning disks, they're basically just a CD with a brush at one point in the disk, you play it the way the instructions say. I dunno if it's bad for it or not, but it does seem to help.

I keep one of those in my truck for my mobile audio's CD player.

2-1B
10-29-2006, 10:02 AM
Tycho, my AOTC DVD has the same layer switch that you described by Geonosis.

JimJamBonds
10-29-2006, 10:05 PM
Oh, considering that Band of Brothers used to cost $89, I'd be p*d-off too.

I'm sure the store you puchased BoB from allowed you to exchage a disc?

Yup I returned it and got a whole new set.... and at the time of the FUBAR it was $89. :mad:

Tycho
10-29-2006, 10:20 PM
See I'd argue against getting a whole new set. You only want to replace the single DVD in the box set that is malfunctioning. Presumably you want to watch the whole series through to the Eagle's Nest (quite literally in this case). You don't want to watch Boot Camp over and over again, any time you might come up with a bad disk. (Unless the problem happened on your very first disk).

So as much as I hate it, I do my exchange only for the CD I knew is defective, and don't let them have the others I've watched OK. To this end, I DIDN'T even BRING WITH ME the good CDs and just asked to open a new set and swap out the one that was defective. Hopefully they won't see me again over the same set, else I'll be opening their entire stock.

But BestBuy and Fryes have given me no trouble with this, so I've been quite pleased.

JediTricks
10-30-2006, 03:17 PM
Could you explain a little more what exactly this means? (Thanks)CDs and DVDs are similar to old records, they are a disk covered with spiraling groove on the top (it looks like a lot of rings), but where a record has tiny bumps in the groove to recreate sound vibrations, CDs and DVDs have binary code in their grooves - binary code being 1s and 0s, the CD/DVD groove has pits to symbolize the code, the laser changes reflection off the pit and this is recorded as a 1, non-pits are the 0, put enough of them together and you have digital binary code. Also like records, CD/DVDs are often broken up into "tracks", specific sections of the groove separated from other sections to ensure they don't run the code too close together and confuse things, the more code required on the CD/DVD, the closer together the tracks become and the more likely the laser has trouble telling the difference between them. Unlike a record, CD/DVDs have a lot more grooves as they contain a lot more data, so they have to spin a lot faster than a record, these high speeds can lead to wobble at the outer edges, so CD/DVD tracks start from the inner portion near the spindle which is less prone to wobble.


Well of course there are concentric circles of information put into the disk, but I'm talking about perhaps a feather-thin gash, bisecting the curve of the disk - feather-thin though. You'd have to keep turning the DVD in the light to actually find an angle by which you can view it at. Perfectly new DVDs that are perfect, do not show any signs of wearing like this.You're talking about read-side scratches, those can occur from anything, even a piece of dust, scratching the clear-side surface of the disc - maybe you scratched it against the spindle-holder of the CD case, maybe there was a tiny particle that fell into the DVD player tray momentarily, it happens. CDs and DVDs are designed so minor imperfections on the read side like those are of no consequence to the laser reading the information, the info is packed closer to the reflective side and the laser fired at an angle, this makes small read-side scratches fairly inconsequential, and even larger read-side scratches can be repaired by filling or buffing them out.

Tycho
10-30-2006, 04:56 PM
Very interesting reading.

So what causes the square pixels to freeze and form distorted, pixelated images that can make Don Johnson look like Freddy Kreugar, while the sound studders, and eventually the whole image freezes?

And why would this happen on a brand-new, just out of the box DVD that has seen NO use?

JediTricks
10-31-2006, 05:23 PM
So what causes the square pixels to freeze and form distorted, pixelated images that can make Don Johnson look like Freddy Kreugar, while the sound studders, and eventually the whole image freezes?

And why would this happen on a brand-new, just out of the box DVD that has seen NO use?Some DVD players have hardware or software complications that don't work with some DVDs, some DVD players have lasers that aren't finely tuned enough or have been knocked out of whack, some players have lasers that have dirty lenses at either the laser or read sides and the dirt is interfering, some DVDs come dusty because of manufacturing (usually there is leftover paper dust and the discs are staticky). A momentary distortion can be just a quick single-bit error, a longer one could be a larger error that causes the DVD player to be unable to continue tracking, basically the information stream degrades and either it rectifies it or it is incapable.

UKWildcat
10-31-2006, 07:45 PM
This looks like the place to post this announcement:

The recently released Scrubs Season 4 Dvd set has a known error on the first disc, although not all copies are affected. If any of you all have this set, check out the first disc completely to verify that your disc is not damaged. If it is damaged you can call Disney tech support and they will send you an envelope so that you can return your defective one and they will mail you a fixed replacement. They say don't return it to the store because the whole batch of dvds that were shipped, could be bad.

My brother got Scrubs Season 4 from Overstock and his Disc #1 was in fact damaged. I still haven't received mine from Dvdplanet, but hopefully it doesn't have the error. :nerv:

Tycho
11-14-2006, 01:33 AM
My first copy of Lock Up was bad and so Amazon.com replaced it.

The second copy is bad, too. There's no visible signs of degradation on the disk.

Tomorrow I'm going to buy one of those laser-lens cleaners that JediTricks mentioned and give it a try. I'm also pet-sitting for my cousins so I'm going to test-play the DVD over at their place. We'll see what happens.

Sometimes, DVDs really tick me off.

Tycho
11-15-2006, 03:55 AM
Well, the DVD played fine over at my cousins, but I still filed for an exchange at Amazon so I have to go through the process once more.

In the meantime, I'm going to buy a lens cleaner and see if that helps with my machine. I'm disappointed as I own a very high end of the line DVD player. But maybe it just needs some more maintainance every once in a while.

If the lens cleaner doesn't do the job, then I'm going to have to take it in and pay for service. I don't believe I have a contract for this player, not to mention I bought it at The Good Guys who went out of business. So I hope Best Buy or Frey's takes paid-for service calls. They should.

Ah well. And the story continues.