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Samsung Sued Over "Defective" Blu-ray Player 222

Posted by kdawson
from the rush-to-market dept.
Anneka notes that, although both Netflix and Best Buy threw logs on HD DVD's funeral pyre today, things are not all going Blu-ray's way. A Connecticut man is suing Samsung, the maker that brought the first Blu-ray players to market, over its "defective" BD-P1200 player. The lawsuit seeks class-action status. The problem is that the Samsung BD-P1200 is a "Profile 1.0" player that can't play some Blu-ray discs and Samsung has no intention (or ability) to upgrade these players via firmware. Quoting Ars: "The meager requirements of the 1.0 profile mean that Blu-ray players which fail to implement the optional features won't be able to take advantage of picture-in-picture, which requires secondary decoders. 1.0 players are also unable to store local content, lacking the 256MB of storage mandated by the 1.1 profile. Profile 1.1 discs should still play on 1.0 players, however, but the extra features will not work."
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Samsung Sued Over "Defective" Blu-ray Player

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  • by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoi.gmail@com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:33PM (#22385964)
    There's a reason we call it the bleeding edge - because it cuts you. And you bleed. It's much like new software - I won't touch a new OS or game until it's had at least one patch or service pack.
    • by BosstonesOwn (794949) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:29PM (#22386622)
      While I agree with you , I do feel for the folks who bought these players when they were $600 + , there is no reason that features should have been missing from the players when they came to market. HD-DVD doesn't have this problem , wonder why ?

      These companies need to stop doing this. People need to stop accepting the planned obsolescence excuses and realize they are milking us. These players should not have "versions" or "profiles" make it a single deployment standard and stop trying to add features the competition already has. They should have added those in the beginning.

      Im just getting tired of seeing folks who bought in early getting porked by companies like Sony and Microsoft. I understand software revisions. And I don't mind it, but why are vital things like a second decoder not in the spec to make it at least upgradeable. Or even just disabled until a special disc is put in to flash the firmware to activate it ? I am tired of us folks paying to be alpha and beta testers for the corporations.
      • by PJ1216 (1063738) *
        it wasn't planned obsolescence. it was still basically draft. they rushed the release to try and cut down the lead HD-DVD had for getting out early. plus sony needed to get the ps3 out as well. thats why they're quickly releasing new profiles and what not.
      • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:44AM (#22388240)
        Here I for one totally disagree.

        For a start: my laptop has a 10Mbit Ethernet port. Now 100 Mb is standard, and 1 Gb available. Is there any reason why I should expect my laptop to get a free upgrade? I don't think so.
        Do I have reason to expect it is compatible with 1Gb networks? Maybe. Albeit at a lower speed. Same for these BluRay players: they were up to standard when sold, and are now the newer disks still play - without the new features of course. Why should the old player get a free upgrade? No reason for that.
        People should buy products (hardware, software, whatever) based on the CURRENT feature set. Not based on promised upgrades, that is a nice extra but not relevant.

        Wouter.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by BosstonesOwn (794949)
          There in lay the issue , the network works backwards. A 10 mbit lan card works on 100 and gigabit , it's in negotiation. These players are failing to play newer movies.

          It's more like saying that your nic is rejecting cat6 because it is newer then cat5e. It's just not right.
          • by monsted (6709) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @04:39AM (#22389498)
            Nope, these players fail to play *new features* on new discs. The original movie format should work just fine, but things like Picture-in-Picture and the persistent storage thing doesn't. This only means that some extras are unavailable. Thus, his player does what he paid for, but doesn't do what someone with a newer player paid for.

            In the end, we'll probably see Sony screw it up in another way to make his older player break completely, but that's a different story. BD+ will probably be on the receiving end of a lot of curses...
            • seeing as i've never seen a blueray disk or a blueray player i really don't know if this is true, but usb ports on computers are labelled quite clearly in the advertising if they are 1.1 or 2.0 or whatever. is this the case with usb players and disks? does the disk have written on it "i am a version 1.1 disk" and does it say on the box for the player "this is a version 1.0 player"?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by cb95amc (99589)
          I would put that comparison more in line with VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray.....Those standards evolved over many years, not a matter of months.

          Its not like the manufacturers didn't know this was coming.....That was one of the problems with Blu-Ray, it was rushed to market to compete with HD-DVD (and for the PS3) and they hadn't finalized the standards...

          Don't forget we still have BD Live compatible players to come (Profile 2.0), which will mandate an Ethernet connection and more local storage (1GB) for downloadabl
      • HD-DVD doesn't have this problem , wonder why ?

        There are a lot of HD-DVD players that limit you to 1080i.

        • That is a limitation of the hardware , not the platform. HD-DVD can also place 1080p content on a disc. It's not like blu-ray where discs are just not playing no matter what the content is.
      • And I don't mind it, but why are vital things like a second decoder not in the spec to make it at least upgradeable. Or even just disabled until a special disc is put in to flash the firmware to activate it ?

        The article mentions that there isn't enough RAM for a paticular decoder to operate. There isn't a single software upgrade that can get past the lack of the physical memory. The boards in most of the players isn't laid out where memory can be just plugged in. A small run to produce new boards and the
        • That is an ethical response and I think it's a good idea. Maybe that will be the end result of this lawsuit.
      • by novakyu (636495)

        While I agree with you , I do feel for the folks who bought these players when they were $600 + , there is no reason that features should have been missing from the players when they came to market.

        Just to add a little more noise to the thread, I do not agree with you at all and I do not feel for these people at all.

        Anyone dumb enough to buy into a format war (ensuring constant changes for both sides and devaluing of the losing side) deserves whatever they get. If they really needed to throw away that money, the least they could have done is donate it to a charity or, if they really had to gamble it on something, buy some penny stock.

      • by prefect42 (141309)
        Vital things like a second decoder? There was me thinking I liked the idea of Blu-Ray for the better picture...
    • by wikinerd (809585)
      There's a reason there are standards: to ensure consumers can choose from a consistent set of purchasing options all adhering to some minimal functionality (the standard). Manufacturers who release products that imply adherence to some standard while in fact they fail to meet its requirements have no place in a healthy economy. If a company still wants to release such pseudo-products, they should label them clearly as not adhering to a standard with a big visible label on the front of the box.
    • Thats the whole reason though we have standard formats for hardware, you know that its going to work, for sure. A CD that is Compact Disk certified will play in any CD player, from the oldest ones to the newest ones, with Blu-Ray though this just adds uncertainty that those that have the Blu-Ray label on them won't play in some Blu-Ray drives and this story will only make people stick with DVD.
  • Defective CD Players (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:35PM (#22385998) Homepage Journal
    If this guy wins, gets a court to punish a player manufacturer because it's not forward compatible with media all carrying the same media logo, then I want to see Sony get slammed for selling "CD" players that won't play CDs that I copied from the ones I bought as backup. And then I want to see Sony get slammed for selling "CDs" that won't play in some CD players because the Sony CDs have DRM that's not part of the "CD" spec.
    • by MWoody (222806) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:02PM (#22386302)
      1) Recordable compact discs have their own logo and are considered a different, but analogous, media format. A player that will play compact discs, with no mention of recordable or rewritable versions in the packaging, doesn't have to play anything.

      2) A DRM-crippled "CD" will not bear the Compact Disc logo, as it doesn't conform to the standard. It is a separate format that just happens to sometimes sort-of work in CD players.

      Meanwhile, the movies mentioned in the article all come with a "blu-ray disc" logo on them, despite there being two distinctly different formats involved. That's misleading advertising, and I hope he wins his case. You can't create a so-called standard and then say "whoops, need to change a few things here, sucks to be you if you were an early adopter!" I understand that the bleeding edge sometimes cuts, but that's usually a result of bugs in the players or the manufacturing process, not because some idiot changed the specs of the format!
      • by droopycom (470921)
        The format was extended not completely changed.
        Discs with the logo will still play. There is backward compatibility.

        Are they also going to sue all the manufacturer of older HDMI devices ? Because you know, you might not be able to enjoy some of the newest feature that HDMI 1.3 brings if one of your device is only HDMI 1.2

        This is just a plain stupid lawsuit....
      • HDMI (Score:3, Interesting)

        Meanwhile, the movies mentioned in the article all come with a "blu-ray disc" logo on them, despite there being two distinctly different formats involved. That's misleading advertising, and I hope he wins his case. You can't create a so-called standard and then say "whoops, need to change a few things here, sucks to be you if you were an early adopter!" I understand that the bleeding edge sometimes cuts, but that's usually a result of bugs in the players or the manufacturing process, not because some idiot

      • by novakyu (636495)

        Meanwhile, the movies mentioned in the article all come with a "blu-ray disc" logo on them, despite there being two distinctly different formats involved. That's misleading advertising, and I hope he wins his case.
        Except, of course, he's suing the wrong company. He should be suing Sony for their false advertising (i.e. promotion of the same Blu-ray logo for Profile 1.0 and 2.0), not Samsung for producing a hardware player that is not forward-compatible.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        The reason my copied DRM discs won't play isn't because they're CD-R. And, in fact, my CD player does have a "CD-R" logo on it, even though it won't play the copied "CD". Because that DRM "CD" isn't really a "CD": it violates the spec.

        So I don't know why you're claiming that these different formats have different logos, when that's just false. The failure of DRM CDs to meet the CD format spec, and therefore fail in CD players, is well known on Slashdot.
    • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:12PM (#22386426) Homepage Journal
      "And then I want to see Sony get slammed for selling "CDs" that won't play in some CD players because the Sony CDs have DRM that's not part of the "CD" spec."

      Do you see any of these logos [google.com] on the front or back paper inserts, on the OUTSIDE of the case (not inside, as in after opening the case,) SPECIFICALLY the one that says Compact Disc Digital Audio?

      If you don't see the CDDA, then it's safe to assume that the CD does not follow the CDDA format, and therefore has DRM. CDDA does not have provisions for DRM, and any disc carrying DRM, or is 'enhanced' (extra data track after audio tracks included) may not display that logo on the case. The actual part that holds the disc in the case will just have the plain Compact Disc logo most often.

      If you have any discs that display the CDDA logo and they have DRM or any 'enhancements' for our computer, the maker of that disc is in violation of the rules that Phillips set forth in specifying the format. You should immediately notify them of the breach of contract between the music company that made the discs and Phillips. And you should probably go ahead and lawyer up, because once you stir up the snake nest they're gonna come crawling and biting at your ankles.
      • If you have any discs that display the CDDA logo and they have DRM or any 'enhancements' for our computer, the maker of that disc is in violation of the rules that Phillips set forth in specifying the format. You should immediately notify them of the breach of contract between the music company that made the discs and Phillips. And you should probably go ahead and lawyer up, because once you stir up the snake nest they're gonna come crawling and biting at your ankles.

        You may not have to, since Philips, t
        • That's true. Of course, we're lucky that Philips owns the CDDA logo trademark rather than Sony. Seeing as how CDs were jointly developed by both companies, it could have easily gone the other way.
    • They (and others) already were! Philips stated that it was willing to sue anyone using the CD-logo for trademark infringement, if they did not conform to the Red Book standard (mandatory if you want to use the logo,). There also was a class action lawsuit brought by consumers to various companies using the logo without adhering to the specs.
  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:35PM (#22386000)
    No way a judge will allow this lawsuit, much less grant it class-action status. Imagine the precedent this would set. I could sue Motorola because my older cell phone doesn't have all the features that their latest ones have. I could sue Toyota because a newer year/model of my car has more features. Etc. etc.
    • by Draknor (745036) on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:43PM (#22386102) Homepage
      Just to clarify, according to TFA some movies won't play:

      At issue are some significant title-compatibility problems with the player. In his complaint, plaintiff Bob McGovern says that a number of movies he purchased after buying his BD-P1200 wouldn't play on the device.
      ...
      As one of our readers pointed out via e-mail, the P1200 has a checkered reputation when it comes to hardware reliability.


      So it may not be as simple of an issue as "profile 1.0 can't use spiffy new 1.1 features". It may be more an issue of "Samsung rushed buggy new product to market and now won't support it."
      • by Sethb (9355) <bokelman@gmail.com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @10:27PM (#22387190) Homepage
        I have one of these players, and we're not upset about Profile 1.1 vs 1.0, we're upset that it's a total crapshoot whether or not a given movie will play on your player. I got mine in September, this isn't a device that's three years old, either, but it has been plagued with bugs. I rented Weeds from Netflix, and the disc would play fine ONCE, but not a second time (confirmed with others on AVSForum). Rise of the Silver Surfer didn't work for a month or two after release. Deja Vu would constantly hang during playback. Pirates of the Carribean 3 didn't work until last week, nor did Little Miss Sunshine. 3:10 to Yuma still doesn't work, and last week I sat down to watch Across the Universe to find that you're left at the menu screen, but with no cursor to start the movie, and you can't even skip to a chapter or work-around the issue.

        Samsung needs to figure out what the hell is wrong with their firmware and correct it so that it'll actually play movies, and they need to be more transparent about what's going on. They rarely acknowledge issues, and never document what fixes are in new firmware revisions as they're released. Perhaps they could give some test units to the shops that are authoring Blu-Ray discs, or, you know, get an advance copy of the disc so that firmware can be ready on the day the movie hits the streets. Follow this thread [avsforum.com] at AVSForum for more info.
        • I'm still surprised to see people not buy the cheaper $399 ps3 over these players. It has far better hardware then these standalone players (hard drive, etc.). Everyone for the love of god don't make this mistake. I've been telling people to get the ps3 for the last 6 months if they want a blu-ray player, until standalone 2.0 players that come out at half the cost of a ps3 (doubtful it will happen anytime soon) there is no reason to get a standalone.
      • by sl3xd (111641) * on Monday February 11, 2008 @11:37PM (#22387754) Journal
        So it may not be as simple of an issue as "profile 1.0 can't use spiffy new 1.1 features". It may be more an issue of "Samsung rushed buggy new product to market and now won't support it."

        More accurately, Samsung put a player out onto the market that met the demands of the (currently unfinished) Blu-ray disc standard.

        Blu-ray was rushed to market before it was ready - HD DVD's release ensured the BDA couldn't wait until the standard was completed.

        The Blu-ray trade assosciation admitted as much at CES 2008, and then noted that only Sony's PS3 had any hope of being upgradeable to Profile 2.0, due in October. (I'm sure Sony was more than happy to hear that... and I'm betting it really annoys the other manufacturers in the BDA).

        In contrast, HD DVD was a polished, complete standard at the time of release, and the first HD DVD players can handle every feature of every disc made - including features that Blu-ray does not currently have.

        I'm officially format-neutral - I have both (Samsung's BD/HD DVD player).

        I think it's funny to hear various fanbois pitting it as a Microsoft vs. Sony thing - it's more Toshiba/NEC vs. Sony/Panasonic/Philips, which is more or less what almost happened with "regular" DVD, except this time, Sony & co. decided to push its product, instead of suffering the "disgrace" of following someone else's lead. Rivalries among Japanese companies are a lot like college sports - sometimes I have difficulty telling the difference between rivalry and a full-on holy war. And HD DVD vs Blu-ray is very similar - the battle was faught in the DVD forum for years, with Sony, Panasonic, and Philips doing everything possible to prevent HD DVD from happening.

        Many of the ignorant thing that the menu system used by HD DVD is Microsoft's - which is completely false. HD DVD uses "Advanced Content" - an open standard defined by Disney & Warner Brothers. The most popular implementation is Microsoft's HDi. In other words, HDi is to Advanced Content as Internet Explorer is to HTML. HDi is one implementation, and is from Microsoft; Advanced Content is the standard, and is from Disney and Warner. HDi is the most popular, much like how IE is the dominant web browser for HTML.

        In the end, HD DVD's release forced the BDA's hand - the BDA had to either give up entirely (no format war and only HD DVD) or release a product based on an incomplete standard. Not wanting to give up royalties, the BDA released a half-baked product.

        The part that's not forgivable is that the BD player makers had a very good idea what the final standard would be - things like internet connectivity, two decoders for picture-in-picture, built-in storage - you know, stuff that its HD DVD competitor does.

        All things told, I like that HD DVD is a "finished" standard - HD DVD owners are unlikely to get "burned" - even if the format fails, the discs will still play, after all. Blu-ray can't say that - early adopters are getting burned, and will continue to be burned until Profile 2.0 players are common, if not longer.

        As far as being "burned" by "losing" the format war - I remind readers that iTunes sold more movies than either HD DVD or Blu-ray in 2007. It's quite likely that both HD DVD and Blu-ray will "lose" in the end - though the discs will still play, and both discs are already rippable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gstoddart (321705)

        So it may not be as simple of an issue as "profile 1.0 can't use spiffy new 1.1 features". It may be more an issue of "Samsung rushed buggy new product to market and now won't support it."

        No,I'm more inclined to agree that the 1.0 spec was incomplete and a lot got added in 1.1 because they (the creators of the spec) wanted to get the devices to market.

        My now 8+ year old Toshiba DVD player is completely incapable of reading burned DVDs or playing MP3s -- something to do with laser wavelength I think. Heck,

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by aXis100 (690904)
          Off topic -

          I've probably got the same Toshiba DVD player as you, and have found a fix for burned disks. Basically you need to change the "BitSetting" feild in your DVD burner so that the disks get marked as "DVD-ROM" instead of "DVD-R" or "DVD-R/W". This has fixed nearly all of my issues.

          There's several different bitsetting programs around depending upon the drive manufactuerer - try google.
    • by mikael (484)
      That depends. Could the firmware be upgraded so that the player could work with the latest data format? If so, then the guy should be able to get the upgrade. If the player doesn't have a second decoder, could caching with a lower framebuffer size combined with a pixel zoom be used to emulate this functionality?

      A lot of the times, the limitations of hardware are down to the way the firmware compiler is implemented. You can work around a lot of these compiler limitations by rearranging your code (loop unroll
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It can't possibly win.

      After reading the court papers [courthousenews.com], paragraph 5 states that the nature of the case is that Samsung was aware the player was defective, however if you look at the conditions provided by SONY, the system met ALL profile 1.0 standards and is not defective. Due to this wording alone the claim is damaged.

      Paragraph 7 says that selling thie Blu-Ray player cause injury(not physical) to the plaintiff. What injury, the world knowing how much of an ass-hat he is? Obviously this is completely trum

    • by DrXym (126579)
      The issue is Samsung released a busted Blu Ray player that doesn't even play current Blu Ray discs properly. This has nothing to do with the standard, as much as it has to do with Samsung's own shoddy QA testing and development.

      Anyway, Samsung didn't just screw up with Blu Ray, their BD / HD DVD player also has problems with disks in both formats.

      Meanwhile virtually every other manufacturer of Blu Ray kit appears to be doing fine. So I think we can blame Samsung for the screw-up, rather than the standar

  • by Kazrath (822492) on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:39PM (#22386046)
    How is this a fault of a manufacturer? Especially one that is not the creator of the Blue-Ray disk. Samsung made a hardware platform with a current drive and the technology improved and the old system cannot be upgraded. Why not sue every HDD manufacturer then? My old IDE drive won't work with my new motherboard. I cannot get firmware updates and the connectors are all wrong!

    These frivolous lawsuits need to stop. They really need to start tossing these people out on there asses or pressing some criminal negligence charges against them.

    • by Jugalator (259273)
      I agree, if Samsung followed the back then Blu-ray specs when making their drive, what more can they do... *shrug*

      Does it play Profile 1.0 discs? Yes? Fine. It is a Profile 1.0 player.

      As for Profile 1.1, they key here would be: was it a requirement of the Profile 1.0 spec to support a Blu-ray profile upgrade path? If not, I don't see what this man can expect. And if not, if he's pissed about that, he should rather direct his complaints at the full Blu-ray Disc Association instead, who collectively took that
    • How is this a fault of a manufacturer? Especially one that is not the creator of the Blue-Ray disk.

      Good grief. Samsung has sat on the Blu-Ray board of directors since 2002, when it was called the Blu-Ray Founders. How exactly are they only a manufacturer?

      Just a subtle reminder, Blu-Ray is not a Sony format

  • Apparently Samsung went to the Microsoft school of enraging their early adopters.

    BTW if you are one of the early buyers of my game, I will not shit on your face.  In fact, I will do my best to be friendly, supportive, and civil!
  • by Wizarth (785742) on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:42PM (#22386092) Homepage
    I understand the point of people saying "It's Profile 1.0, not Profile 1.1, it does what it says on the box". But most customers won't look at that. They just see the BluRay logo, see the adverts for BluRay (which no doubt show off the features included in Profile 1.1) then want to know why their BluRay player can't do what the advertisement told them.

    At the least, it's misleading advertising. The Profile 1.0 player being defective is a bit of a stretch, but it's not unfounded.
  • Devil's Advocate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tuor (9414) <tuor.beleg@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:46PM (#22386136)
    One important thing to remember is Joe Consumer doesn't know or care about 1.0, 1.1, etc.

    Unless they're changing the name, ol' Joe is going to get upset when it doesn't work like it says on the box. Joe is used to auto recalls and static products, and I think BluRay forgot that in their little war to win the format.
  • My favorite part about this "profile" stuff is that the PS3 is the ONLY hardware capable of meeting the profile 2.0 requirements (with a software update). Sony must love that, "Awe gee whiz, looks like our PS3 is the only REAL Blue-Ray player." I wonder if we'll ever see Blue-Ray profile 2.0 players get as cheap as DVD players? Not if Sony can help it.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @08:49PM (#22386178) Homepage

    Frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing these companies getting a slap on the wrist for a changing definition of what Blu-Ray is by changing the profile but not making the differences obvious (it's a little tiny box on the back of a case).

    That said, sounds like the guy has a case to me. Read this part:

    At issue are some significant title-compatibility problems with the player. In his complaint, plaintiff Bob McGovern says that a number of movies he purchased after buying his BD-P1200 wouldn't play on the device. He also accuses Samsung of failing to offer firmware updates to remedy the problem, saying that the consumer electronics giant "does not intend to provide future firmware updates or otherwise repair" the problematic player.

    As one of our readers pointed out via e-mail, the P1200 has a checkered reputation when it comes to hardware reliability. A massive thread in the AV Science forum is filled with numerous complaints about the player. "I have had the BDP 1200 for 7 weeks. Not a finished product," reads one post. "Should not have been brought to the market until it was fully beta tested. Would not play Blu-ray Weeds. Was told needed updated software."

    It was defective. It sounds like the bought a DVD player (let's pretend) that wouldn't play a good percentage of DVDs. Not "doesn't play every neat feature". Not "doesn't support 12.16 theatrical sound". Just plain "won't play". They could fix it with a software update, but they don't seem to want to.

    That part is bait-and-switch. He bought a player that should play any good Blu-Ray movie (possibly san-extras). It won't play many of them. Either all those movies are defective, or the player is. If it is the player, he was ripped off. At the very least, they should have replaced his player with something that would play movies.

    • Samsung Blu-Ray players are crap, probably the worst of the lot. What I see are complaints of problems that are greater than the rest of them combined. And Samsung was the slowest of the lot to make a patch. Their BRP should not be sold in my opinion.
    • Bait and switch is when one product is advertised, and when you go to buy the product, the seller of said product refuses to sell you the product advertised and and instead tries to sell you a product that cost more, or has a higher profit margin.
    • I see where you're coming from, but oh, around 1996 or 1997 or so we (some of us) were having this very same conversation about DVD players.

      Anyone remember the early days of DVD? Certain manufacturer's players wouldn't handle certain style manufactured dual-layer discs (among other things). I remember the fiasco with nearly all high-end Sony players and the movie "The Matrix" causing a lock-up at the menu.... and guess what? Some of those players didn't have the ability to update their firmware either. I
  • by Princess Aurora (1134535) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:17PM (#22386470)
    This lawsuit is not over that Profile 1.1 content will not play on this Profile 1.0 player. The Samsung in question has much worse compatibility problems--some discs don't play at all. Before the first Profile 1.1 discs came out, the Samsung refused to play BD+ discs such as Fantastic Four 2 and The Day After Tomorrow. It took Samsung something like a month to issue a firmware update to fix this issue (other manufacturers who had issues had updates out in a week or so). Furthermore, even after that update, new discs continue not to play. The problem mostly is limited to Java-enabled discs, which are in the Profile 1.0 specification.

    We're not even talking about Profile 1.1 discs either. Some standard releases refuse to play, and Samsung's support has been sluggish. Problems with the PS3 and Panasonic players have been addressed within a week or two of problems occurring. There are a number of discs that have been out for months that still don't play, even with the latest firmware:
    Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (12/3/07)
    Blade Runner (12/18/07)
    Pixar Shorts (11/6/07)

    That's over a month and a half with no fix! The profile 1.1 discs (3:10 to Yuma and Sunshine) don't play the movie successfully. They sputter and freeze. This problem isn't observed on other Profile 1.0 players from Panasonic, Sony, and Pioneer. The Samsung player really is defective.
    • by jank1887 (815982)
      and seriously, since when should I have to worry about firmware updates when buying a piece of A/V equipment? Utterly Redonculous.
    • by barzok (26681)

      Before the first Profile 1.1 discs came out, the Samsung refused to play BD+ discs such as Fantastic Four 2
      You say that like it's a bad thing.

      The player was protecting people from that steaming pile of crap.
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:17PM (#22386476) Homepage Journal
    Ensuring good lawsuitarity since VHS vs BetaMax.
  • by Colourspace (563895) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:26PM (#22386584)
    Or are we nearing the day when Sony finally 'wins' a format war?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't think it matters. Unless a new format comes out that is just as cheap and powerful we all lose due to DRM.
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      the war'd not won till they beat the incumbent DVD
  • by catmistake (814204)
    I've never seen a BluRay title... but I imagine the menuing system is like DVDs' on crack. When I put a movie in my player, I want to watch a movie, not wait 2 minutes through menu animation and 8 min through previews... I'd pay more for no-nonsense "movie-only" titles. You know how when you go to get milk at the supermarket you have to walk past miles of stuff you don't want? Marketing is a profound waste of the consumer's time, and all that extra stuff on movie discs is just like the maze at your local gr
    • by xtracto (837672)
      I've never seen a BluRay title... but I imagine the menuing system is like DVDs' on crack. When I put a movie in my player, I want to watch a movie, not wait 2 minutes through menu animation and 8 min through previews... I'd pay more for no-nonsense "movie-only" titles

      That reminded me of a picture I saw somewhere on Internet that was a parody of an anti-pirating ad. It said something like "Do not buy original disks, if you do it you will have to wait until they tell you you are a pirate, wait more for the s
  • http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080211-samsung-sued-over-defective-first-gen-blu-ray-players.html [arstechnica.com]

    If you Google for BD-P1200 Lawsuit, you'll see the profile 1.0 vs 1.1 is not the issue. I'm guessing Samsung released this thing, and now the software patches are eating them alive keeping up with the changing spec (and probably a bad design to begin with). Based on the scant information, I'm guessing Samsung realized at some point they couldn't patch their player to fix all the incompatibilities. Perh
  • I loved the defectivebyaccident [slashdot.org] tag.
    Funny, but I think you give them (the Blu-Ray camp) too much credit. It was not accidental.
  • Slashdot was sued for "duplicating" Ars Technica posting titles.
  • My neighbor had both players and I put my bets on HDDVD (only because I picked up a normally advertised $300 player for $150 -- floor model). For Christmas, him and his wife actually bought the wife and I a Samsung BD-P1400. I read the entire owner's manual front to back (does anyone do that anymore). Comes out they have a big huge fat disclaimer in there on how the format can change and they won't guarantee it will play future revisions.

    The only thing I don't like, even though the Samsung upscales norma
    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Comes out they have a big huge fat disclaimer in there on how the format can change and they won't guarantee it will play future revisions.

      If they don't have the disclaimer in large letters on the outside of the box, it isn't legal. They hide it in fine print that you can't read until after you've paid for it. That doesn't work.
  • Early adopters always get screwed, but it seems to me that the High-Def thing has been particularly bad. The first Audio CD players didn't refuse to play later CDs. Here we have HD-ready TVs that aren't HD ready, Blue Ray players that don't play Blue Ray discs, and HD-DVD players that now are only good as boat anchors.

    Not that I'm promoting violence against the consumer electronics industry, but I'd return the Samsung player to Samsung, by finding one of their buildings in the nearest corporate park, and ch
    • by RuBLed (995686)

      ...and HD-DVD players that now are only good as boat anchors.
      What, you mean this cutting-edge HD technological wonder is only as good as boat anchors? What's the point of dragging these cutting-edge technologies under your boat... Oh wait.. Ohhhh my...
    • by Polkyb (732262) *
      Blue Ray players that don't play Blue Ray discs, and HD-DVD players that now are only good as boat anchors. At least the HD-DVD players will play HD-DVD disks. That's what you get for having a ratified standard before you start production. While Blu-Ray still doesn't have a standard, this will continue to happen.
  • Blu-Ray Lawyer: "Your honor, I move that this case be dismissed by reason of insanity."

    Judge: "Please explain."

    Blu-Ray Lawyer: "The plaintiff purchased the product in question when it was untested, unproven, excessively priced, and played a format that was at risk of going the way of the Dodo. Clearly he is insane."

    Judge: "That is insane. Case dismissed!"

    Plaintiff: "I'm Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!"
  • mention the HDMI - DRM fluster fsk were you have to have a router with a internet connection to play media you have legally purchased if you dont have the right version of the DRM firmware on your player.
  • It's articles (and lawsuits) like this, plus the war still raging between HD and Blu that are stopping consumers like myself from investing in EITHER technology.

    My DVD (one of the first-generation Sony) and TV are both about 10 years old, and despite usually being on the "cutting edge" of technology I've held off buying replacements for quite some time.

    I'm very hesitant to buy either HD or Blu, or even a new TV, with all the new standards and versions that seem to be coming out left and right. And I won't

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