After our announcement last week that some people have problems playing the first disc from the Alien Legacy, many of you sent us emails about their experience. Thanks a lot for sending these comments. They really helped shed more light on the issue.
It seems as if the problem is a result of a firmware glitch in Toshiba’s SD-3108 player and some glitch in the authoring of the disc. While either one works generally very good, in this case, they just refuse to play together. The same is true for the fifth disc of the “From The Earth To The Moon” set from HBO, as many of you remarked. A few of you experienced the same problem there and had their firmware upgraded back then. As a result, the “Alien” bug is not existent on those upgraded players. It seems as if he SD-3108 is handling mixed mode DVDs, which contain DVD-ROM content beside DVD Video content, slightly differently than other players in the market and hence the problems. It is an incompatibility that has seemingly been overlooked by the QA folks at Fox, causing the lock-up problems we mentioned. Since the problem does not occur on all mixed discs, it seems likely that the problem could have been avoided in the disc’s authoring stage. Keep in mind though that it is almost impossible to completely check all hardware configurations and generations that are in the market, and since DVDs contain nothing but computer software, these bugs are destined to happen inevitably at one point or another.
So, in order to get the disc to play you need to have your player’s firmware upgraded. To do so, please call Toshiba at 1-800-631-3811 and ask them about the procedure to get your firmware ROMS replaced. That should solve the problem.