High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

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Little Caesar

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High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostThu Jun 11, 2015 9:52 pm

Several weeks ago I posted a thread about the experiences I had with Fox's DVD of "The Luck of the Irish." Since then, I have made the disturbing discovery of several other Fox and Warner Bros. DVDs that have seemingly rotted. I have been purchasing DVDs since December of 2000, and I have always taken care of the discs (never touching the data side, keeping them out of sunlight, etc.). It seems like the problematic discs were produced from 2006 to 2009 or so. I haven't found any DVDs from before or after those dates that exhibit these problems (even the original DVDs I bought in December of 2000 still look and play perfectly). With the exception of one Artisan DVD (The Flame of the Barbary Coast), all of the affected titles are either from Fox or Warner Bros (not all titles thankfully). DVDs from Columbia, Paramount, Criterion, Disney, Image, Universal, etc. look fine (the one caveat being the well-documented problems with Universal's DVD-18s). The discs in question seem to develop some very odd looking dark patterns/splotches on the data side. In some cases, it looks like the disc has been eaten up and all that is left is a nearly transparent disc. Is this a known phenomenon, or am I the object of some freakish environmental conditions that only affect certain DVDs? Have any of you experienced anything like this? All of these titles were played around the time of their original purchase, and most have been played at least once more since (and in some cases many more times). Here is a list of some of the problem discs in case some of you want to inspect your copies:

Warner Bros
All of the titles from the Clark Gable signature collection (San Francisco, Wife vs. Secretary, etc.)
All of the titles from the Paul Newman collection (The Young Philadelphians, The Left Handed Gun, etc.)
Three Little Words
Brother Orchid
Gentleman Jim
Treasure Island
Gold Raiders/Meet the Baron double feature

Fox
The Luck of the Irish/I'll Never Forget You double feature (two copies with the same exact playback defect)
Rose of Washington Square
The Gang's All Here
In Old Kentucky (from the Will Rogers Collection)
Doubting Thomas (from the Will Rogers Collection)
Mr. Moto in Danger Island
The Black Camel
The Lost World (the disc with the Irwin Allen feature is ok, but the disc with the 1925 film has rotted - DRAT!)
Never cry over spilt milk, because it may have been poisoned. - W.C. Fields
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Rick Lanham

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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 12:21 pm

Although my collection is in too much of a jumble* to do an easy search for all the titles that I have, I did just examine the two Will Rogers films, In Old Kentucky and Doubting Thomas.

I looked at the discs and they look physically fine. I then fast-forwarded through each film and that was OK also. I played some scenes with no trouble. I noticed at the end of these two films that it said that the discs were made by the Panasonic Disc Manufacturing Corporation, if that helps.

These two films are from the Will Rogers Collection 1.

Rick

*Some of my discs are in storage in another location.
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Jim Roots

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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 12:58 pm

Rick Lanham wrote::
*Some of my discs are in storage in another location.


In the vault? With your pristine copy of London After Midnight?

Jim
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 1:34 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
Rick Lanham wrote::
*Some of my discs are in storage in another location.


In the vault? With your pristine copy of London After Midnight?

Jim


They can take it from my cold, dead hands...

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Little Caesar

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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 5:21 pm

Rick Lanham wrote:Although my collection is in too much of a jumble* to do an easy search for all the titles that I have, I did just examine the two Will Rogers films, In Old Kentucky and Doubting Thomas.

I looked at the discs and they look physically fine. I then fast-forwarded through each film and that was OK also. I played some scenes with no trouble. I noticed at the end of these two films that it said that the discs were made by the Panasonic Disc Manufacturing Corporation, if that helps.

These two films are from the Will Rogers Collection 1.

Rick

*Some of my discs are in storage in another location.


Thanks for checking. Since the collection is very inexpensive on Amazon (a mere $12.49), I just went ahead and ordered a new copy. I also ordered volume 2 (even cheaper at $7.99). It does seem like that at least one poster at the Home Theater Forum has experienced similar issues with his Warner Bros. dvds (not Fox though): http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/318388-most-of-my-wb-20062008-dvds-have-gone-bad/
However, judging from the responses on that thread, this doesn't seem to be that widespread (for the sake of all, I'm hoping it isn't at least).
Never cry over spilt milk, because it may have been poisoned. - W.C. Fields
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 5:23 pm

I haven't had time to go through everything yet, but so far I have checked these via 4x FF and they play fine:

The Luck Of The Irish (both B&W and tinted versions)
Rose Of Washington Square
China Seas
Mogambo
Boom Town
Wife vs Secretary
San Francisco
The Left Handed Gun
The Young Philadelphians
The Lost World (1925 Kodascope version)
Brother Orchid

I watched Gentleman Jim just a couple of months ago, so I am pretty sure that one is ok, also. I visually inspected each disc and could not detect anything unusual.

It would be helpful to get more info about the playback problems you are experiencing and maybe a jpeg of one of the "rotted" discs. As an engineer by trade, it doesn't make sense to me that all these discs would have defects for you and not for me. I store the discs in tyvek sleeves in a DVD storage case, so if anything, they would be more vulnerable to the environment than they would be in their original cases.

It wouldn't surprise me that there would be a manufacturing defect with "The Luck Of The Irish", since that one is a flipper and flippers frequently exhibit problems, but my copy is fine.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 5:39 pm

What's a "flipper"?

(Any responses involving dolphins will be ignored. I really want to know what a "flipper" disk is. Never heard the term before.)

Jim
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 5:43 pm

Jim Roots wrote:What's a "flipper"?

(Any responses involving dolphins will be ignored. I really want to know what a "flipper" disk is. Never heard the term before.)

Jim


Titles on both sides of the disc. You play one side and flip it over to play the other.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 5:52 pm

Jim Roots wrote:What's a "flipper"?

(Any responses involving dolphins will be ignored. I really want to know what a "flipper" disk is. Never heard the term before.)

Jim


A "flipper" DVD is one that has a film on both sides of the disc. There is no pasted on label on either side. One example was an early one-disc release of Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It had the American version on one side, the UK version on the other. Other releases have had a letterbox version on one side, the full screen on the other.

Flippers are more frequently used nowadays (in my experience) in box sets.

Rick
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Little Caesar

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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 6:04 pm

azjazzman wrote:I haven't had time to go through everything yet, but so far I have checked these via 4x FF and they play fine:

The Luck Of The Irish (both B&W and tinted versions)
Rose Of Washington Square
China Seas
Mogambo
Boom Town
Wife vs Secretary
San Francisco
The Left Handed Gun
The Young Philadelphians
The Lost World (1925 Kodascope version)
Brother Orchid

I watched Gentleman Jim just a couple of months ago, so I am pretty sure that one is ok, also. I visually inspected each disc and could not detect anything unusual.

It would be helpful to get more info about the playback problems you are experiencing and maybe a jpeg of one of the "rotted" discs. As an engineer by trade, it doesn't make sense to me that all these discs would have defects for you and not for me. I store the discs in tyvek sleeves in a DVD storage case, so if anything, they would be more vulnerable to the environment than they would be in their original cases.

It wouldn't surprise me that there would be a manufacturing defect with "The Luck Of The Irish", since that one is a flipper and flippers frequently exhibit problems, but my copy is fine.


Thanks, and I agree with you that something screwy is going on here. I do live in a warm/humid area of the country, and I'm wondering if perhaps the Fox and Warner discs might be more vulnerable due to those factors for some reason. The room that the discs are stored in isn't known for getting hot though. As for playback, of the discs I've tested, they play to varying degrees of success. I was able to play about the first hour of Rose of Washington Square before I started experiencing playback problems (stuttering, pixelation, etc.). "Gentleman Jim" plays to the end of the film when serious pixelation strikes. The Black Camel feature plays, but the special features won't play at all. Also, it takes the player quite a while to start playing the movie upon putting the disc in the player (it's a Sony blu-ray player if that's of any significance). I'll get a few photos of the questionable discs sometime later today.
Never cry over spilt milk, because it may have been poisoned. - W.C. Fields
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jun 12, 2015 7:08 pm

Image
Doubting Thomas

Image
Rose of Washington Square

Image
Meet the Baron/Gold Raiders double feature (note: this is a single-sided disc)

Image
Mogambo - Note that the entire disc art can now be seen from the data side. Also note how transparent the outer rim of the disc has become.

Image
In Old Kentucky
Never cry over spilt milk, because it may have been poisoned. - W.C. Fields
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostSat Jun 13, 2015 2:15 pm

I've located my copies of:

The Lost World, silent on disc 2
Rose of Washington Square in the Alice Faye Collection, Vol 2
Gentleman Jim in the Errol Flynn Collection, Vol 2

I examined them similarly to the Will Rogers discs, above and can't find any problems.
I live in a humid climate, but the discs are normally in air-conditioned comfort.

I have some more of the titles you listed, but they'll be harder to find in my mess.

Rick
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostMon Jun 15, 2015 6:28 am

Rick Lanham wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:What's a "flipper"?

(Any responses involving dolphins will be ignored. I really want to know what a "flipper" disk is. Never heard the term before.)

Jim


A "flipper" DVD is one that has a film on both sides of the disc. There is no pasted on label on either side. One example was an early one-disc release of Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It had the American version on one side, the UK version on the other. Other releases have had a letterbox version on one side, the full screen on the other.

Flippers are more frequently used nowadays (in my experience) in box sets.

Rick


Ah, thanks. I should have guessed, but that damned porpoise immediately got into my head and I could no longer think straight. Or swim that way, either.

Jim
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostTue Jun 16, 2015 8:30 am

The only 2 discs I have from the original list are the Will Rogers discs, I just had a look at them, they both look fine and when I tried randomly playing a chapter or two they played fine.
Bill Coleman
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostSun Jun 21, 2015 2:20 am

Sorry for the slow response, it's been a crazy week. Thanks for the photos of the infected discs. There is something really strange going on here that doesn't look anything like the examples of DVD/CD rot that I have seen previously. It appears to me that for some reason the polycarbonate substrates have been compromised, exposing the spiral groove layer to the environment. The spotted disc would seem to have experienced mold growth on the exposed layer.

All just a guess on my part, as I say, I have never seen anything like this before.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostTue Jun 23, 2015 11:53 am

While looking for something else, naturally, I found my Clark Gable Signature Collection box set.

All six discs played the movies fine and I sampled bonus items on most, if not all, discs.

The only thing that is a little "off" is some discoloration in the plastic on the back of Wife versus Secretary. I thought at first that it might be something that could be wiped off, but I hope that it is simply from the original manufacturing. In any case, it plays fine at this time.

I had forgotten that Crawford danced with Astaire in Dancing Lady. She did a good job at it too!

Rick
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostTue Jun 30, 2015 3:34 pm

Today I found my copy of The Alice Faye Collection, Vol 1.

I just watched The Gang's All Here and am now watching one of the extras on that disc.
It looks fine.

All four discs in the box set look physically OK, although I've only played the one so far.

Edit: I've just checked my disc for Brother Orchid. It seems fine.

I don't think that I have any more of these questionable titles.

Rick
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostSun Jul 05, 2015 10:07 pm

I'll post this here as well as the usual "Deal" threads. The Lost World, listed above is on sale:

The Lost World (1960 & 1925) for 60% off, $7.99 at Amazon.

2 DVDs, Fox Home Entertainment

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-World-1960-1 ... world+1960" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Jul 24, 2015 9:10 pm

The only "rotted" dvds in my collection are the Fairbanks "Robin Hood" from Kino and a copy of Milestone's "The Bat Whispers".

I have many of the "rotted" titles mentioned in this thread and they seem to be ok. However, I think I may have more recent pressings - I've tended to wait until the price dropped in recent years on many of these titles before picking them up.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostTue Jul 12, 2016 12:50 pm

Jim Roots wrote:What's a "flipper"?

(Any responses involving dolphins will be ignored. I really want to know what a "flipper" disk is. Never heard the term before.)

Jim


The most obnoxious flippers come from before the studios perfected the dual layer technology in about the year 2000. THE PELICAN BRIEF in its original issue circa 1999 had the first half of the movie on one side, and the second half on the other side. Hence, flipper, since you had to flip it to see the entire movie. This was obviously unacceptable to adopters who didn't want to relive the worst downside of laserdiscs, and they pretty quickly went to dual layer (RSDL, reverse spiral dual layer, if you want to be technical). The layer change still sometimes causes a brief pause in the movie, but most players nowadays have a large enough buffer you don't even notice it any more.

Anyway, now "flipper" more frequently refers to a dual-sided disc that has a full frame version on one side and widescreen on the other, or the feature on one side and extras on the other, or two completely different films, one on each side.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostWed Jul 13, 2016 1:23 pm

The discs in my copy of Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland Collection have gone bad. Totally unreadable.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostSat Jul 16, 2016 11:17 am

And people used to say CDs and DVD would last forever due the digital format...

And we have 110 years old nitrate material that still did not start show decomposition effects.

Gold it's the only metal that really do not oxidate.
Keep thinking...

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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostFri Aug 19, 2016 7:17 pm

I have pretty closet of old-released DVDs ( not Blu-rays which I've placed 'em at the other cool section of room ) and haven't played it for bloody long time ! Will some of the rotted DVDs killed me ?? I hope not ! But the Blu-rays is an another story. Would any of you think that Blu-rays would meet the same fate as DVD's ? :(
I just want to and have to show and tell everybody absolutely NOTHING but only the truth.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostSat Aug 20, 2016 4:37 am

I have been going through some of my bus tapes recorded around 30 years ago.Many are fine,a few aren't.Difficult to know which is the best storage material.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostThu Jan 19, 2017 8:00 am

Delamination. The disc is made up of different substrate layers glued or formed together, and sometimes they separate. Sometimes it affects playback, sometimes it doesn't. I believe it to be a QC issue.

It also happened for me occasionally with high-end Verbatim AZO DVD+/-R discs. I would sometimes get 2-3 bad discs in a row, with blank spindles of 100 discs. Obviously QC issues. The only way to know for sure about these is to do a verification run on each disc after writing it. The defect on bad blanks was sometimes barely visible, but it was usually an irregular circular spot, about 1/8 inch across, and in the same place on the 2-3 bad discs in a row. The purveyors of MOD discs probably verify each disc, or at least I would hope so.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostTue Feb 07, 2017 11:07 pm

I have found all of the dvd discs in my Errol Flynn Signature Collection (set #2 with Gentleman Jim) are going bad with rot.

Also found that "Libeled Lady" and "Morning Glory" are getting milky surfaces.

Do the studios offer any exchange policy on this problem?

It seems 100 years from today, the only thing left will be 78 rpm records.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostTue Feb 21, 2017 10:15 am

Imagine my embarrassment when I played Shaw & Lee in the BEAU BRUMMELS off the JAZZ SINGER set for company last Friday night only to have freeze and sound issues (a few other shorts on the disk played OK.)
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 2:55 pm

Sometimes the freezing or skipping problems may be due instead (or equally) to aging players where the laser or something else has gradually moved out of alignment. I've had discs freeze and stop the player (on a relatively new 3-D player) that will play okay after rebooting, and if they don't they'll still play on a machine several years older that I don't use as often. Certain discs are more sensitive on certain players, so it's likely a combination of effects rather than simply a bad disc or a bad player. I suspect some of it also has to do with the anti-piracy encoding that has more leeway on some players than others. The wonders of modern digital technology.

I even had my newest player tell me that disc 2 of the new Blu-ray set of LOST IN SPACE could not be played until doing a software update on the player, yet it played perfectly on a player that was at least five years older!! After several tries, including rebooting and checking the player's menu settings (but not changing them) it finally played on the newer player.
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 6:12 pm

Little Caesar wrote:Image
Doubting Thomas



Image
Meet the Baron/Gold Raiders double feature (note: this is a single-sided disc)

Image
Mogambo - Note that the entire disc art can now be seen from the data side. Also note how transparent the outer rim of the disc has become.



I have many WB dvds that look like these - and one dvd in a season set (a dual-sided disc) that has completely rotted away to a transparent piece of plastic not unlike those that come at the top and bottom of a spiral of blank dvds - that one spooked the crap out of me!!
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Re: High Failure Rate of Warner Bros and Fox DVDs?

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 6:17 pm

Some of the bad ones in my collection -

Flintstones - almost every disc in the five seasons I have!!
Droopy
Popeye
Wonder Woman
Rebel Without a Cause
Streetcar Named Desire
Night of the Iguana
Dance Girl Dance
Boom Town

(I'm not at home right now so I can't make a complete list at the moment but I believe a good 30-45 percent of my WB titles looked suspicious or would not play!! As I mentioned in another thread, I also checked other companies but I didn't run into any other bad ones other than the Kino Griffith shorts which would play only the Kino intro logo and nothing else.)


I was about to buy the WB Lucy movie and Tracy & Hepburn sets but now - I don't think so!!
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