Q. I like to stream Netflix, but I also love Blu-ray movies and shows. The picture is far superior to anything on streaming. But I have to say that sometimes I get problems with the discs. They won’t play or they won’t play until I put it in a few times. Any tips on how to fix this? — Bobbi, Nashville.
I agree with you that there’s no better picture than a Blu-ray picture, whether that’s a 4K disc or high-def. But all discs, including Blu-ray and standard DVDs, can encounter various issues that make them difficult to play. Let me offer some possible solutions for your problem, and any other problem our readers may be having with their discs.
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.
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.
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.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann