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6 April, 2009 / Erik

Blu-Ray Update: The Starship Troopers Issue

UPDATE: This post has become pretty popular. It is is one of the few places out there to explain the problem with Starship Troopers clearly. I’ve tried to add some more clarity to the original post.

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A while back, I picked up “Starship Troopers.” I won’t debate its validity as a film today. Instead, I will talk about a technical issue that arises with the Blu-Ray edition:

When I first loaded in the disc, it began the usual Blu-Ray load. Newer BR discs use a Java implementation; this is why these discs can not use the old DVD resume feature. After the load screen, the disc simply stopped. No indication of a problem.

Looking up the issue online, I discovered early copies of the disc had an editing glitch and Sony began a replacement program. This, however, is a separate issue. Finally, I discovered a reference to my problem. The solution: buy a memory unit.

That’s right, my copy of “Starship Troopers” has a save file.

I have a Sony BDP-350, the 200 dollar unit. It has a USB port in the back for memory expansion. In the product manual, it says extra memory will be required for special java games and extended functions of a Blu-Ray disc. Luckily, any USB device can be used as long as it fits in the recessed USB slot. Nowhere does it mention the extra memory would ever be required to play a movie.

Up until now, the Blu-Ray discs I’ve bought came from Warner Home Video or Paramount. “Starship Troopers” is my first Sony title.

Short version: Sony’s software will not play on Sony’s hardware without an extra purchase.

As it happens, this particular Blu-Ray disc was authored in such a way that it needs to save data to memory before it can launch its own menu. Some players, like the PS3, already have memory on board and will load as normal. If the “Starship Troopers” disc fails to load, memory is the problem.

So I ordered a USB drive for less than ten dollars. One small enough to leave in the back of the Blu-Ray Player and never worry about my movies needing space for a save file ever again.

I do find it troubling that I needed to do this at all just to watch a movie. Also, that this problem only manifested on a Sony title.

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20 Comments

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  1. Panasonic DMP-BD60 / Jun 23 2009 8:33 am

    Great post. this is what I looking for, thanks

  2. Lauren / Jan 16 2010 10:19 pm

    I have a blue ray player and PS3 and neither will play this movie I bought 2 copies and neither work

  3. Randy / Jan 17 2010 10:07 pm

    Great Post I rented Starship troppers and it would not play just as you said but I had a half full 4gb flash drive I plugged in the back and it load fine and played great.

    Thank for the help…. Great Post

  4. Dennis / Feb 8 2010 6:51 pm

    I also bought Starship troopers and it wouldn’t play. I contacted Sony Home Entertainment and exchanged my disk. The new one came today and it wouldn’t play so I updated the BD player firmware to no avail. After reading this post, I inserted a flash drive and it is working fine now!

    Should not SHE know about their own products? Go figure!

  5. Jusden / Feb 14 2010 12:36 pm

    Wish I’d have seen this earlier, I wouldn’t have purchased the title in BR. Now I have to get spend more freakin’ money? UGH. Thank you to the OP here, a great help.

  6. Simon / Feb 23 2010 8:34 pm

    Gah! You’d THINK they might put a note to do this ON THE CASE. Or, before the menu tries to load and it can read the disk, throw up a text screen saying “You need a memory stick in your player!” Besides the standalone, I also had problems playing with PowerDVD, but not WinDVD, on the PC.

  7. Valerie / Feb 27 2010 4:00 pm

    This was such a help! Actually we took this movie back and the replacement didn’t work so then I googled it and got this site which so totally solved the problem. Left a 4g thumb drive into the back of our player and the movie played! Yay! Thanks sooo much for your help!

  8. jason / Jun 28 2010 3:26 am

    Wonderful Help. Thanks!!even after 1 year, great post!

  9. Allan / Jul 13 2010 5:57 pm

    For months this issue was bugging the crap outta me. I bought my first copy. nadda. Sent it back. Bought a second copy, figuring the issue would have been fixed by now – 5 months later. nadda.

    Google = this forum = success!

    THANKS for posting this.

  10. Allan / Jul 14 2010 6:49 pm

    One other Blu-ray with this same problem: Crank 2: High Voltage. ;-) I think I’ll go through all my BD’s that “never worked” before…

  11. Vic / Jul 19 2010 2:42 pm

    The USB in the back of my brand new Sony BDP-S360 player did the trick! Thanks! I’ve been thru 3 discs and 2 players trying to figure this out!

  12. rhs / Jul 25 2010 3:03 pm

    Thanks! I popped a thumb drive into the usb slot and the movie plays fine! Great post!!!

  13. Keith / Sep 30 2010 2:03 pm

    Thanks for the advise, the messed up part was I put an empty 2 gb flash drive in the back and it still wouldn’t play (it acknowledged the drive though), then I put a 1/2 gb drive in and the movie played, I guess I’ll keep it in there. Actually a might take it out so I know if any other Blu-Rays have this problem

    Thanks again

  14. C / Feb 17 2011 8:55 pm

    This works!!!! I have bought 3 discs trying to solve this prob!!!! Sucks!!!! I really wish i had read this sooner!!! the flashdrive works great!!!!! I cant believe that thats all it was!!!!! thanx sooo much!!!! $

  15. BeckoningChasm / Feb 18 2011 12:49 pm

    Thank you for this post. I have a Sony BDP-S470 and Starship Troopers behaved the same way. An old 1-Gig USB drive (inserted in the back, not the front) did the trick. Thanks!

  16. Krista / Oct 2 2011 4:11 pm

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting! A great help… we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. You’d think there would be a note on the case or something… weird.

  17. BeckoningChasm / Oct 15 2011 10:02 pm

    Just to add…I tried to play ST again (yeah, old habits die hard) and I got the same situation, even with the USB drive plugged in. Moved it to the front USB slot, no change. If I plugged it back into the rear slot, suddenly it worked again. So it seems you’ve got to “re-introduce” the USB drive every now and then to keep this movie working.

    I’ve never heard of this happening with any other disc…are there any other examples? I mean, sure, Starship Troopers is pretty dumb, but to single it out like this…THAT’s even dumber.

  18. brflgnk / Oct 21 2011 10:45 am

    I had the same problem with Starship Troopers. I looked several times online for a way to fix it but none that I found worked. This one did. I thank you profoundly for the post.

  19. Mike Deupree / Oct 31 2011 7:36 am

    I bought a Sony BDP-BX38 last week. Same story as all the rest of you guys. When I came across the “fix” on the Internet, I was delighted. Plugged a thumb drive into the USB slot on the front …. it still didn’t work.

    Then I shut everything down, moved the drive to the USB slot on the back, and it works fine.

    This is freaking crazy. But at least I’m not, anymore. THANKS!!!

    –Doop

  20. Andrew / Jun 14 2012 7:11 pm

    Perfect solution– thanks!! This is the only disc I have this issue with. I have a 2010 Panasonic with a front USB port.

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