Sony PS3 lock-up with DTS:HD Blu-ray Disc

Sony PS3 lock-up with DTS:HD Blu-ray Disc

Over the past several months, I have noticed a problem with my PlayStation 3 (PS3). It began when I got Shaun of the Dead on Blu-ray Disc as a gift: The movie would freeze just as the main feature began.

The only way to escape the screen was to power off the system. After panicing for a few minutes, I tried another BD I had recently watched. It worked fine. I tried several movies, and they all worked well. After a few tests, I diagnosed the problem: titles with DTS:HD audio would cause the system to freeze. Dolby TrueHD, and other audio formats worked still.

Check out the video below for evidence of the issue.

The strange thing is, even if I change all of the settings on the PS3 to only output basic DTS audio, I get the same effect. DTS:HD embeds a standard DTS codec inside the file for systems incompatible with the next generation format, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I have the original 60GB PS3, I’m using HDMI cables to a Pioneer VSX-918-K receiver, and into a Sony KDF-50E2000 HDTV.

About Steven Kippel

Steven Kippel has worked as a systems designer for a leading high-end audio/video custom integrator in Southern California since 2003. He is responsible for researching new technologies and integrating them into existing systems and new construction projects. He has designed several high-profile systems for discriminating clients on the cutting-edge of technology. When he is not hard at work, Steven is spending time with his wife, playing with his band or promoting concerts and bands in the Inland Empire. His favorite bands include The Cure, U2, Eisley, Living Sacrifice and DragonForce.

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8 Comments on “Sony PS3 lock-up with DTS:HD Blu-ray Disc”

  1. Hi just wondered if you have found any solution to this? My PS3 60gb freezes a lot with most Bluray films (but never games) I think you may be right about the sound encoding. Casino Royale runs fine and only has linear PCM. The worst is Star Trek (freezes after 5 to 10 minutes but almost never in the same place) and bizzarly after watching Avatar about 5 times with no problems it now freezes after about 20 minutes.

    Heat and internet connection are not the culprits as I have tested this.

    Another strange thing – after I installed update 3.41 I managed to get Star Trek to play through twice with no issues at all. I then tried Avatar – it froze after 10 minutes and immediately following that Star Trek started to freeze again like before.

    I’m lost! I might just spend £100 on a Bluray player and stick to games on the PS3…

    1. I think you may be experiencing what others have experienced with Avatar. Some have said after playing the Avatar BD, other BDs had trouble playing.

      I do think Sony keeps changing the firmware on the PS3, which helps some movies play, but is sometimes deleterious to other movies. I’ve heard a lot of people say their legacy PS3 systems stopped handling BD movies after an update late last year. That’s about when I noticed the issue myself.

      I haven’t found a solution yet. I’m hoping to find a movie with both Dolby and DTS:HD tracks so I can test my theory out. If a movie plays with Dolby but not with DTS, it should be a strong indication something is amiss.

  2. I have the exact same problem with the 60GB ‘fat’ model from 2007, I do too think that its the DTS HD (MA) decoding problem in the PS3 itself, wether you burn a blu-ray yourself or buy one, I had problems with both!

    Also I did some research and found out that originally this model PS3 did not support HD Master Audio from when it came out? If thats true then it would mean they upgraded it software wise and thats probably why it kinda works kinda not works…

    Also watch the mbps of the audio when watching a blu-ray, the ones that work usually stick around 4-7mbps, I noticed the Avatar one goes beyond that sometimes, maybe its too much too handle for the system. On the Avatar disc i also tried the regular Dolby Digital track, but it still would lock-up the system…

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