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Feelin’ Blu Over Disc Issues

Thomas K. Arnold

By Thomas K. Arnold | Posted: February 10, 2009

Blu-ray Disc was soaring in popularity in the Arnold household, with the three boys telling me as recently as December that they no longer want to watch DVD.

But then the bad things started happening.

On a recent rainy weekend, we watched several movies with what seemed like abnormally long “load” times. “Our DVDs never did that,” Justin, at 13 the oldest, observed.

One, Mirrors, never did finish loading. “Can’t you get the DVD?” asked Conner, 10.

I looked through the pile of movies I had brought home from work and remembered giving the DVD of Mirrors to my assistant. Thinking quickly I pulled out another Blu-ray Disc, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s new double-disc release of Capote and In Cold Blood.

Neither disc would play with sound on my Panasonic BD-35. I searched the Web and found that many other people were having similar problems with Dolby TrueHD discs.

I grabbed Unsolved Mysteries, a two-year-old TV DVD release from First Look Home Entertainment, and stuck a disc into the Blu-ray player. It worked fine. Breathing a sigh of relief, I waited until the disc “took” with my kids — they wound up watching the entire four-disc set — and e-mailed the guy who had installed my home theater system a year ago. I explained my predicament and he e-mailed me back: “You need a firmware upgrade.”

I’ll make an appointment somewhere down the road. The economy being what it is, I don’t need any extra expense of a house call.

Last night I watched Changeling on Blu-ray. It mysteriously froze at 16:45.

I’m about to call Universal and ask for the standard DVD.

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User comments

Commented by Anonymous
Posted on 2009-02-10 21:48:12

You can do the firmware upgrade yourself. There's also an Ethernet port in the back, which can be used for firmware updates and downloading content for BD-Live-enabled discs. Just hook the player up and follow the instructions on the screen. You can also go to Panasonic's web site and burn the firmware upgrade to a disc and run it in the player. Your kids should be able to do it for free. Well, you CAN buy them pizza for their efforts! Good luck. Paul.

Commented by Anonymous
Posted on 2009-02-11 09:45:51

Thanks, this just proves that discs are evolving still and with every player sold its just a matter of time before the consumer realizes "firmware upgrades" are ridiculous. I will not buy blu until they have one finalized player/profile and "Get It Right!". I miss HD-DVD. :(


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