Sony DVD Player + Sony Movies = Won’t Play

Tech Stories TV & Online Video

Recently when I was browsing some movies on Netflix, one of the movies I was rating had at warning that said “NOTICE: This DVD is not compatible with some DVD players. See details.” The details revealed that “Certain movies released by Sony Pictures (listed below) were encoded with a version of the ARccOS copy-protection software that made the DVDs incompatible with certain DVD players.” Sony has been employing a form of DVD mangling copy-protection call ARccOS on films released by Sony Pictures for some time now. It is one of the reasons many of their DVDs will not play on computers and apparently certain DVD players. Here is the list via Netflix of DVD players that can’t play Sony/ARccoS DVDs (emphasis added):

  • Cinevision RV4000
  • Go Video VR3930
  • Harman Kardon DVD 25
  • JVC DR-MV5
  • JVC DR-MV7
  • Koss KS4100
  • LG LDA-511
  • LG LRY-517
  • Memorex MVD2042
  • Mitsubishi DD-6030
  • Philips DVDR-3400/37
  • Pioneer DVR 810H
  • RCA DRC 6300 N
  • RCA DRC350
  • Samsung DVD-V3500
  • Sony DVP CX777ES
  • Sony DVP-CX995V
  • Sony DVP-NS9100ES
  • Sony PS2 Slim
  • Toshiba SD-3750
  • Toshiba SD-3800
  • Toshiba SD-H400

Does anyone else notice that there are four Sony brand DVD players on that list? These are customers who paid good money for Sony movies and a Sony DVD player. Does Sony really think that it is acceptable to produce DVDs that don’t even play in your own company’s players, nevermind players by top manufacturers such as JVC, Mitsubishi, Pioneer, RCA, Samsung, or Toshiba? The Netflix list seems far from comprehensive however, as the Wikipedia entry on ARccoS lists additional movies that use ARccOS and players that aren’t compatible with it.

I don’t know why Sony has this infatuation with controlling media formats (Betamax, Minidisc, Blu-Ray, or DVDs with ARccOS), but their perpetual insistence to exercise great control over their customers makes me incredibly worried to buy a Blu-ray player and is one of the reasons I am rooting for HD-DVD.

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