Thousands of end users reported problems with Samsung Blu-ray players as of Monday. The problems started without warning on Friday and the failure appears to have affected all players at the same time, implying that it was a universal problem.
Reported issues vary widely by player model. Boot loops are the most common problem, as shown in the following video. The player seems to be stuck, constantly alternating between “Load” and “No disk”.
Other reported issues include devices that turn off a few seconds after turning on, players don’t respond to commands or button presses, and drives make strange noises like they’re constantly trying to read a Blu-ray disc.
It has been speculated that the root cause of the problem is a firmware update or a hacking attack, but both are highly unlikely. The issue has affected outdated players who have not received firmware updates in years, and has affected so many players of different makes and models simultaneously, there is no real chance that the issue is a single trick.
Samsung is reportedly investigating the problem, but has not yet released an update or data on its findings. It is unclear how the company will resolve the issue, as some of these devices appear to be caught in boot loops with no ability to perform an upgrade in the first place. Some users report that their hardware will no longer power on for more than a few seconds. Hopefully, there is a way to bypass the problem and boot the device into some sort of factory reset mode.
For those of you wondering when Blu-ray players suddenly started requiring an internet connection, the answer is no. But it is entirely possible that the program will check the validity of its own SSL certs and refuse to initialize the player if the security certificates are not authenticated correctly. It is a pure assumption on my part, but the end-user results speak for themselves. These machines die so fast, it’s clear that something early in the initialization process is killing them, and there are only a handful of things that could be. It is not as if a Blu-ray player was trying to initialize Windows or macOS before playing a disc.
We will update this story when and if Samsung responds. The fact that there are dozens of Blu-ray player models will elicit a response from the company, hopefully sooner rather than later. Feel free to sound if you have a Samsung Blu-ray player that It is not Affected: Tech forums are crowded with people reporting issues and it’s unclear which player models are not having issues.