May 17, 2022

Microsoft Vs Consumers: A Blu Ray Story

Help us Microsoft-Kenobi., You’re our only hope

For your reading pleasure I laboured arduously in the saltmines of Microsoft tech support for this spicy-take. While I didn’t buy the Xbox Series X specifically for it’s Blu Ray features, its capability is a genuine selling point. I must admit, this experience made me rather saucy.

This post is a bit of a rant in all honesty. BUT a highly justified rant, if I may. See, On January 11th I purchased a 4k UHD copy of Dune 2021. Here in-lies my problem:

It Did Not Work

While I understand there will always be the first generation tech dissenters, I paid for a product that advertises 4k UHD capability and it does not perform said function. That is a gross violation of consumer trust and must be called out on all fronts.

Specifically I would get errors 0x91d70001 and 0x91d70000 when trying to watch the 4K UHD version, the 1080P Blu Ray worked fine. I first was being assisted by a “Microsoft Xbox Gamer” who then rerouted me to a “Microsoft Xbox advocate from Microsoft Xbox company” after being unable to resolve the problem. This individual proceeded to follow up with me and we had a cordial back and forth where they affirmed that they would look into this issue and get back to me in a couple days. As they proceeded to do. It was all downhill from there, however.

Microsoft barely acknowledges the ongoing issue, refusing to offer any meaningful fix or resolution. They offer insultingly basic & blind troubleshooting options on the Xbox support page here, then when all else fails put the burden on the consumer for “warranty repair” (that’s past date) – and also not a hardware issue. Tech support sent me this as a reply, offering no fix just an email containing these 2 (Some Xbox Series X Owners Are Having Major Problems With 4K Blu-Rays – Xbox News (purexbox.com) and The Series X’s 4K Blu-ray player is in dire need of an update. : XboxSeriesX (reddit.com)) links that I’d already seen previous to reaching out. This indicates to me that Microsoft is at least aware of the issue. So why, then, they would choose not to address the problem is far beyond me. Further reinforcing this is the support staffs statement:

“As you might check on the links I have previously sent, the Blu-ray app on the console might not be working properly. Also we have found that the disc format is nor compatible to be played on xbox series x as you might have read on the links that were sent to you”

Xbox Support

Your Words, Not Mine Microsoft

Their Website Specs

You see, this isn’t the first disc drive issue I’ve had with the X-box Series X, when I purchased Tales of Arise, the console refused to recognize the disc altogether and I had to send it in for repair/replacement on warranty from Microsoft for a previously known issue mentioned on the same page. So either the console or the optical drive are brand new, and the disc is too. I thought it particularly funny when I was asked if I could test the disc on another Series X console, because I absolutely have a spare brand new console in 2022 kicking around. What am I, a scalper?

After doing some minor poking around online and determining that the issue was not hardware side after testing it with other discs. This includes regular DVD, 1080p BluRay, and games it was concluded that the issue is specific to the Blu Ray app software.

Others have reported similar issues with Tenet 4K in a locked thread without any fix.

Purexbox detailed the issue the best we’ve seen so far with regards to the previously mentioned reddit post that notes specifically what the issue most likely is the disc formatting, between BD-66 to BD-100.

Blurayvid.com does an exceptional job outlining the differences in Blu Ray discs, helping us understand the contrast between BD-66 and BD-100 discs and their layerings. Something Xbox apparently has issues with. This can be confirmed by verifying the functionality of multiple BD-66 discs. When asked about this, support had this to say:

“The apps or games are on our platform are no directly managed by us, we can offer you to do some troubleshooting.

Also, remember that the format is pretty new and the console was launched around more than a year ago.

Or you can either exchange the disc or contact Blu-Ray who are the developers of the app on our platform.”

Xbox Support

I found it deeply ironic that the previous generation Xbox One was poised to be Microsoft’s “Multimedia” console rather than a specifically dedicated gaming device, yet it’s latest iteration cannot even play certain Blu Ray discs.

So in conclusion, the problem appears to be the Blu Ray app itself and lack of any software updates to function in conjunction with the optical drive properly. Compounded by the fact that some users have been able to get them working intermittently implies that the drives are at least capable. This leads me to believe the issue is software side likely relented to the app used. But I’m no software engineer, which is why it would be fantastic if qualified individuals could look into and resolve this issue for many players who’re going unheard.

As frustrating as this whole experience has been, I don’t write this article for myself. I write it for those who feel wronged, like myself, and feel there is no recourse for them. That Microsoft has sold a faulty product with no mentionable intention of fixing the issue. That feel their consumer rights have been violated and the only course of action is legal, however, the cost and potential benefit of that course of action outweighs any potential gain. Especially when the practical alternative is to merely buy a 4k UHD player. But that’s besides the point, the point is that out of principle we should receive a product we paid for working as advertised. I may not be able to get this fixed for myself or anyone else, but I can speak up at least.


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