Q. I’ve been thinking about giving my parents some Blu-ray discs for Christmas. But I’m worried about the discs not being able to play when they try to use them. Is there a quick fix I can show them if they have a problem with the discs? — Ted, Seattle. 

Ted, Blu-ray discs normally work perfectly out of the box. However, there are times when the disc will simply refuse to play. If your parents run into this problem, you can alert them to these tips:

!. 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.

2. 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.

3. Still having problems? Wipe off the tray of the player with a soft cloth and try again. This is particularly important with an older device and/or a player that gathers a considerable amount of dust because of where it’s located.

4. 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.

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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.

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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.

Ted, hope that helps. Happy viewing and happy holidays!

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— Phillip Swann

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