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Universal DVD-18s: Caveat Emptor

Old 02-16-06, 12:06 PM
  #26  
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i86time,

Sounds like a good idea to me. I would welcome that kind of feedback in this thread. I'm in the process of conducting Disc Quality scans with Nero CDSpeed on all my Universal DVD-18 discs. I'll find a way to publish the results of those in this thread when I am done.
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Old 02-16-06, 01:47 PM
  #27  
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Maybe just star the defective sets that people report (sort of a buyer beware). I have both Battlestar Galactica sets and have had no problems. The Casino set, on the other hand, was a total POS. I went through 4 of them before I gave up.
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Old 02-16-06, 02:07 PM
  #28  
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leacha,

I like your suggestion. Also, your experience with the three titles you mentioned mirrors mine, so perhaps there is some sort of pattern here.

I bolded titles that either I have had problems with, someone else has reported having problems with here in this thread, and what I could remember from previous DVD-18 error threads here and at the Home Theater Forum.

Again, everyone, if I missed a title that should be bolded (i.e. has had reports of problems) let me know, and I will update the list.
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Old 02-16-06, 03:21 PM
  #29  
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Dracula Legacy Collection

Son of Dracula -
skips from the beginning of the last chapter to the end credits, or freezes altogether.
House of Dracula -
skips one full minute after the directors credit
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Old 02-16-06, 04:07 PM
  #30  
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MGM's 2003 Fargo SE was a DVD-18, and myself and two other people I know had to exchange copies due to freezing.
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Old 02-16-06, 05:21 PM
  #31  
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Cinderella Man is DVD-14, not 18- side 2 is only single-layer. I got one with a "Made In Taiwan" sticker on the outside but the disc said "Made In Mexico", I've played it all the way through with no problems though. Both discs of Season 1 of Emergency are DVD-18s and my copy was made in Mexico, but they play fine.

The main culprit is this factory in Mexico- I think it is Deluxe but I've heard another name attached to it also. I've had problems with single-sided discs made there too, so I avoid anything made there whenever possible until they do some retooling. Obviously this place is being used because the labor is cheaper there, but there's no excuse to make full-priced discs there!

I prefer 2-sided discs since that's what the format was designed for; multi-disc sets are annoying and the packaging on some of them is getting ridiculous. Whoever invented those cases with the overlapping discs should be stabbed to death with one of them. I give props to Universal for using DVD-18s, but they've got to stop using the factory in Mexico until they clean up their act, as they're getting tons of bad press and unfortunatly misleading people to think that all DVD-18s are bad. Universal is nuts for putting no printing whatsoever on side B of these discs, instead labeling side A with "Side B on other side"; I emailed them saying I like the 2-sided discs but they really need to put printing on side B. They emailed me back saying they'd look into it.
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Old 02-16-06, 05:46 PM
  #32  
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Paul Arnette, I had trouble with several of my Best of Abbott & Costello volumes. Unfortunately I don't remember which sides/volumes had the problems without digging through my saved disc quality scan files. I'll try to do it one of these days. This thread is reminding a bit of the laserdisc laser rot days where people would post which titles tend to go bad. I guess the difference here is that these DVDs are Bad On Arrival which is preferable to having discs degrade over time. (Something which is yet unknown whether it will be a significant problem with DVDs.) I'm also out of time because I just spent a while sending you an email about the disc quality scans. Hopefully you'll receive it.

While other studios have had problematic DVD-18s, the few scans I've seen of Warner DVD-18s usually look a lot better than the Universal ones. I don't know why. For instance, Dukes of Hazzard seasons 1-3 are DVD-18s. I remember reading a note on a DVD review site saying Warner had switched to DVD-9s after receiving lots of playback complaints (too bad Universal won't do the same).
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Old 02-16-06, 05:50 PM
  #33  
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Universal won't do the same
Cause multi-disc sets are stupid!
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Old 02-16-06, 06:52 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Alan Smithee
Cause multi-disc sets are stupid!
That's your opinion, but not mine. Besides that doesn't explain why Warner went from DVD-18 back to DVD-9 but Universal won't. All I know is I'd rather have twice as many DVD-9 discs that work than DVD-18s that often don't.
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Old 02-16-06, 07:18 PM
  #35  
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Great thread! The only problem that I have had so far is with Abbott and Costello Vol 3. On the second side of disc 1, there is a problem right at the layer change. This causes the first 7 minutes or so of In the Foreign Legion to be unplayable, but the rest of the movie is fine.
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Old 02-16-06, 07:40 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by RoboDad
Great thread! The only problem that I have had so far is with Abbott and Costello Vol 3. On the second side of disc 1, there is a problem right at the layer change. This causes the first 7 minutes or so of In the Foreign Legion to be unplayable, but the rest of the movie is fine.
Not being able to play any part of any of your movies is a pretty serious problem. I didn't find out about Universal DVD-18s and the problems my discs had until after my return period expired, so I was out of luck and had to go through a lot of trouble to deal with it.
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Old 02-16-06, 08:04 PM
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Are you sure Quantum Leap Season 1 is DVD-18? They are single sided and only contain three episodes on a disc (around 42 minutes each for an episode).
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Old 02-16-06, 08:57 PM
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cerial442,

No, I am not sure, as I do not own that DVD set. It sure doesn't sound like they are.
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Old 02-16-06, 09:06 PM
  #39  
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Actually, I have my own is it a DVD-18 question. Although, I think the answer to this is sometimes.

I had heard that Universal's Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries DVD came in two versions, 1 disc and 2 disc. From that, should we assume that if you have a 1 disc version, it is DVD-18, and if you have a 2 disc version, they are DVD-9?

Thanks.
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Old 02-16-06, 10:29 PM
  #40  
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The conspiracy-minded part of me thinks that Universal likes DVD-18 discs because they're afraid people will split up sets where two different versions of a movie are on two seperate discs within a set. (Like the new Dune release.)

I've also had shit luck with DVD-18 and DVD-14 discs (both use multiple sides with multiple layers). So far I've had bad luck with "The Outer Limits S2" and a couple of the Farscape Starburst editions.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:13 PM
  #41  
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American Gothic should be bolded. I had so much trouble with that set that in the end I had to return it. It was just plain unwatchable.
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Old 02-16-06, 11:55 PM
  #42  
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Magnum, P.I. Season 1 is the only DVD-18 set I have had problems with.

My other Universal DVD-18s have been fine. These include:
Magnum, P.I. Season 2
Murder She Wrote Season 1
Northern Exposure Season 1
Northern Exposure Season 2
Northern Exposure Season 3


I have zero problems with DVD-18, DVD-14 or DVD-10 sets I own from other studios.

The West Wing (Warner Bros.)
The Bob Newhart Show (Fox)
Dynasty (Fox)
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Old 02-17-06, 08:16 AM
  #43  
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Josh-da-man and mifuneral,

I will bold Outer Limits Season 2 and American Gothic.

the big train,

Are The West Wing, The Bob Newhart Show, and Dynasty still using DVD-18s, if not, when did they stop. I will update these as well.
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Old 02-17-06, 09:03 AM
  #44  
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Frankenstein Legacy Collection could be bolded, I had a problem with my disk toward the end of Son of Frankenstein. Luckily I got it replaced by Universal.
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Old 02-17-06, 09:39 AM
  #45  
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Another note, I don't beliebe West Wing S4 and S5 were ever released as DVD-18's. S4 is then the packaging style changed for a 4-disc foldout to a 6-disc "booktrays".
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Old 02-17-06, 10:00 AM
  #46  
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Just dropping a line that I have had TERRIBLE problems with Quantum Leap: S3, it is unwatchable.
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Old 02-17-06, 11:31 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by souvenir
The Rockford Files season 1 is double sided and I believe DVD-18. I haven't had any problems with mine, luckily.
That is good to hear as I just purchased it.
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Old 02-17-06, 11:37 AM
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From what I've gathered from various threads complaining about different titles, you can't guarantee that the problems will occurr in the same place on every disc.

All you can say is that you're more likely to hit problems in one part than in others.

For example, in Hammer Collection, most people reporting problems in either Curse of the Werewolf or Evil of Frankenstein, but not everyone.

It isn't possible to say that "the discs will always freeze at 10 minutes 38 seconds into the third movie on disc one side B".

And not every disc will exhibit problems. This I think has done more to mislead people (including Universal) into thinking that they have a player related problem.
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Old 02-17-06, 12:53 PM
  #49  
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Is V: The Complete Series DVD-18? Was anyone else out there enough of a sadist to buy it and watch it again? The reason I ask though, is one of the discs in that set I had was bad, and I had to get a replacement.
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Old 02-17-06, 01:02 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Altimus Prime
Just kind of reminds me of the person who posted a "review" of the Magnum PI S4 set - which also isn't out yet - which rubs me as a bit dishonest because the set has not been released, the reviewer admitted he didn't have it, and the "review" was more of the physical disc than the actual release.
If you're talking about the review at amazon, that was mine. Universal did say that season 4 would be released on DVD-18s.

In my review, I said that I would have given it 5 stars if it wasn't for the defects.

I gave very positive reviews to the first 3 seasons before I bought those.

It's very common for people to write reviews before the product is released, if they are already familiar with the content.
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