Thousands of end-users are reporting problems with Samsung Blu-ray players as of Monday. The problems began without warning on Friday and the glitch appears to have affected all of the players at the same time, strongly implying it was a universal problem.
The problems reported vary widely depending on the player models. Boot loops are the most common problem, as shown in the video below. The player appears to become stuck, endlessly cycling between “Load” and “No Disc.”
Other reported issues include devices shutting off a few seconds after powering on, players not responding to commands or button presses, and units making weird noises as if they are constantly attempting to read a Blu-ray disc.
The root cause of the problem has been speculated to be a firmware update or a hacking attack, but both of these are highly unlikely. The problem has hit out-of-date players that haven’t received firmware updates in years, and it’s hit so many players of different makes and models simultaneously, there’s no real chance the issue is a single hack.
Samsung is reportedly looking into the problem but hasn’t pushed an update or data on its findings yet. It is not clear how the company will resolve the issue, given that some of these devices appear to be trapped in boot loops with no ability to perform an update in the first place. Some users are reporting that their hardware will no longer power up for more than a handful of seconds. Hopefully, there’s a way to bypass the problem and boot the device in some kind of factory reset mode.
For those of you wondering when Blu-ray players suddenly began requiring an internet connection, the answer is, they don’t. But it’s entirely possible that the program checks its own SSL certifications for validity and refuses to initialize the player if the security certificates aren’t properly authenticated. That’s a pure guess on my part, but the end-user results speak for themselves. These machines die so quickly, it’s clear that something early in the initialization process is killing them, and there’s only a handful of things that could be. It’s not like a Blu-ray player is trying to initialize Windows or macOS before it plays a disc.
We’ll update this story when and if Samsung responds. Bricking dozens of Blu-ray player models is certain to provoke a response from the company — hopefully sooner, rather than later. Feel free to sound off if you own a Samsung Blu-ray player that isn’t affected — tech forums are swamped with people reporting problems and it’s not clear which models of player don’t have issues.
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