A warning about purchasing European Blu-Rays

16 Feb

I received the following message from member ‘Prefabfan’ concerting the purchase of European Blu-ray disc’s to be played on American players:

I bought the Europian Blu Ray release of the Yes album ‘Close To The Edge’, we have here Gracenote a DRM program built into blu ray players. Mine was the death ray, disc was not recognized as it came from Europe, wherever that is. Beware European discs if you live over here across the pawned


17 Responses to “A warning about purchasing European Blu-Rays”

  1. gleeksmirt7 February 18, 2015 at 00:41 #

    I live in the U.S. and bought all 3 Yes multichannel releases through Amazon.uk.co. I have a Panasonic Blu-ray player (BDT500) and they play great with no issues.

  2. prefabfan February 17, 2015 at 17:30 #

    Nor can I find where the Yes disc was mfgd, and my Ztears For Fears plays like a house on fire except my surround mix of EWTRTW is better.

  3. rockysquirrel February 17, 2015 at 17:29 #

    Gracenote is just a database for album and DVD information. If the disc is PAL, that would be a problem in America. The blu-ray copy of this album I got from Amazon US is region-free. I purchased a Yamaha BD-A1020 to play DVD-Audio, but — as it turns-out — the player is region-free and plays both PAL and NTSC Blu-ray and DVDs as well. There are many region-free Blu-ray players being manufactured now.

  4. prefabfan February 17, 2015 at 17:29 #

    Hello all. I put into my costco Sony Blu Ray the multichannel disc. It triggers the Gracenote message, 20 seconds goes by, and then the player shows a new Gracenote message. Never passed the Gracenote search. Last night, I decided to see if putting in the first disc would cause a difference. The first, the stereo disc, loaded perfectly after passing Gracenote. I remembered in the old days there use to be anticopying routines where you had to put one disc in first, etc. i put in disc one, it passed Gracenoye, then second disc which played perfectly, and by perfectly I mean startlingly smooth, menus pop up perfect, and by selecting 2013 mixes got me a multichannel mix that was one the best and most aggressive ever. Thank uou all for your help and advice.

  5. Em² February 17, 2015 at 13:37 #

    Region coding I get as the same applies to US region Blu Rays unplayable on European Blu Ray players which are much harder to make multi region than the DVD side. If this is something else entirely then I’m intrigued. I’m currently clueless as to whether Blu Ray audio only discs are region free or region locked (anybody know?). Any kind of region licensing is an almighty PITA.

  6. bigheadrascal February 17, 2015 at 12:30 #

    My copy of Close to the Edge plays flawlessly on my trusty Philips, as do The Yes Album and Tears For Fears Songs From the Big Chair. I live in the US and all were ordered from Amazon US. I cannot find anywhere on Close to the Edge where the disc was manufactured. Perhaps it’s your player and not the disc?

  7. sacdtodvda February 17, 2015 at 09:37 #

    I don’t think there are “European” and “non-European” versions of this disc. I have bought all 3 Yes releases from the UK and they are all NTSC and all regions.

    So what actually happened? Did it fail to play, or did it just not download the track details and album cover? Could it be that this music release simply isn’t in the Gracenote data base? A quick look at Amazon reviews fro Sony players show that many mainstream movies are not on the database yet, so it wouldn’t surprise me that a music only Blu-ray release from a smaller label is not on there.

  8. floydophile February 17, 2015 at 08:21 #

    Where the hack is Europe? Is it our part or theirs? 😉

  9. Owen Smith February 17, 2015 at 00:11 #

    Are you sure it wasn’t simply because it was Zone B only Blu Ray? Half of all Blu Rays are all zones ie. A, B and C but the other half are zone specific. This is the equivalent of DVD region coding.

    GraceNote is a music title/artist metadata database as far as I knew, I have used CD players that lookup data in it. I have never heard of it being used for DRM, I’ll see what I can dig up. Thanks for the warning.

    • Owen Smith February 17, 2015 at 00:24 #

      Sony appears to have bought GraceNote (the company) some time prior to 2009. Was this a Sony or releates studios disc, or indeed a Sony Blu Ray player?

      (Sony Music pulled this kind of crap with root kits on music CDs once to stop PC uses copying them. It worked – until Microsoft added it to their monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool update. Who thought we’d be cheering Microsoft? But anyway, Sony Music have a history with pulling this kind of crap.)

      • Owen Smith February 17, 2015 at 13:46 #

        Except they’re Zones for blu ray, Regions are for DVD.

    • sacdtodvda February 17, 2015 at 09:20 #

      Close To The Edge should be an all regions disc.

  10. bayards February 16, 2015 at 23:40 #

    Browse for software… Sly but be soft! I use an HTPC with blu-ray player. Software defeats region coding and protections. Not much help with standalone but….

    • Steven Sullivan February 17, 2015 at 18:28 #

      Gracenote’s not a DRM enforcement tool, it’s a disc metadata lookup tool like CDDB, and I’m unaware of any evidence that it has become DRM-related. Also I have not heard that there are ‘Euro’ and “US’ versions of these discs. FWIW, I got mine from Steve Wilson’s site and have had no problems playing them on a US BDP. I also have a non-US zone BDP, I can try them on that…

      • prefabfan February 17, 2015 at 21:37 #

        Any word on the neck? You need not worry, only the good ……

        • oxforddickie February 17, 2015 at 21:44 #

          Ah, then i should live till i’m 100 LOL.

          Heard nothing and don’t expect too for a while, the NHS is somewhat slow, i waited two months for the Operation, will let you whether it’s thumbs up or down once i hear.

          Thanks for asking…

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