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Why Your Blu-ray Discs Won’t Play

Q. I love watching Blu-ray movies. The picture is just awesome! But sometimes when I put in the disc, a message on screen says ‘no disc” or ‘disc error.’ Is there anything I can do to eliminate this? — Ellie, Boise, Idaho.

For starters, make sure the disc is compatible with your player. Some older models — particularly some units manufactured several years ago — can not play some new releases. Not many, but there are a few.

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If you think this is an issue, you might try downloading the player’s latest firmware to see if there’s an upgrade that can resolve any compatibility problem. Check with your player’s manual to learn how to download the firmware; by the way, you’ll need the player connected to the Internet to do the download.

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One other compatibility issue: Blu-ray players manufactured in the U.S. usually can not play discs made outside the U.S.

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But if compatibility doesn’t seem to be the problem, take the disc out of the player and wipe it off with a soft cloth. You would be surprised at how just a small amount of dust can cause your disc not to play.

If that doesn’t do the trick, look the disc over to make sure there are no cracks or indentations. You think dust can cause a problem, wait until you see what can happen if there’s a crack in the disc.

Still having problems? Wipe off the tray of the player with a soft cloth and try again.

If you’re still unable to play the disc, there’s always the method of last resort with any technology product — re-set your player. Unplug it and keep it unplugged for about 20 seconds and then plug it back in.

If the disc still won’t play after that — and your player will play most every other movie in your library — there could be a problem with the disc. I would suggest returning it and getting a new copy.

One last note: Some players have Parental Control features which can prevent you from playing a disc that exceeds the age limit set in the feature. So make sure your Parental Control option is off when you play a movie rated PG or higher.

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— Phillip Swann

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About TV Answer Man (1687 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

5 Comments on Why Your Blu-ray Discs Won’t Play

  1. My Blu-Ray Discs typically will not play because the previous user who rented the disc from the Library, Pharmacy, or Redbox scratched it to high heck.

  2. “Make sure the disc is compatible with the player”… easier said than done. My old Sylvania NB501SL9 takes almost two minutes to load some of the newer Blu-rays, and hasn’t had a firmware release since 2009. It still plays older Blu-ray titles with no delay. I haven’t upgraded to UltraHD, so I shouldn’t have to update my player.

  3. Resetting the player worked. Unplugged and waited half a minute. Worked like a charm. Thanks very much.

  4. I have some new blu rays that won’t load. There is a LONG wait for loading before it won’t play. If I take out the disc and load it again, it then works?? Is the box uploading firmware from the first try?

  5. Plays dvd but not blue ray

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