Blog - Blu-Ray and the 80029940 error

Just when I thought perhaps Blu-Ray might be at least more reliable than HD-DVD, I encounter the dreaded 80029940 error.

We had rented Black Snake Moan from NetFlix. At first, the disc wouldn't play at all. Everytime I tried to launch it, the PS3 would hum for about 30 seconds and then crash back to the dashboard with the error message: "This video cannot be played. (80029940)"

Around the third try, it actually launched. And played fine for about 20-30 minutes. Then it started freezing. Resetting the PS3 didn't help. Cleaning the disc didn't either - and there was absolutely no visible sign of damage. The disc looked pristine.

I checked online, and several people reported that this problem is common with Blu-Ray disc rentals from mail order services like NetFlix and Blockbuster. Apparently, the discs are susceptible to hairline cracks after being processed by the post office sorting machines.

I hope that is all it is, and that the replacement disc will play fine. After this and the Happy Feet incident on HD-DVD (it freezes at the 28 minute mark on some players, but not others), I'm not particularly thrilled with this generation of movie formats. I remember when I upgraded from laserdisc to DVD, it was relatively painless. There weren't any firmware updates and, with rare exception, every movie just played.

This time around, I feel played.


UPDATE: I sent the Blu-Ray disc back to NetFlix as damaged, and the replacement played much better. There was a slight hiccup about three quarters of the way into the movie, but otherwise played great. I chalk it up to the suspicion that Blu-Ray discs are much more susceptible to damage than regular DVDs (and possibly HD-DVDs). If you do encounter the 80029940 error, replace it at the store you bought it or return it to the rental service for a new copy.

Overall, I'm still leaning heavily toward Blu-Ray since so far my experience has been that they're more reliable if well cared for, while some pristine HD-DVDs just won't play reliably on some players until Toshiba gets around to fixing the firmware (if ever).



Same exact error here. I have PS3 and Netflix. So far most of the Blu-Ray movies I've rented have been playing for a little while, maybe 10 minutes, and then I get that annoying error message. This sucks, I don't know what to do...


i have had my ps3 for a year and a half and only recently has it started throwing up this error code. it will play movies and freeze just like you reported, but if i skip scenes i can jump aound till i hit the 10 - 15 min of viewing then it freezes.

i called sony and they said it was defective and needed to be shipped in for repair for $150. i am guessing that it may have something to do with the blu ray laser. my first step will be disasembly and cleaning just to verify it isnt a heat buildup issue. there are lasers on ebay for 70 bucks.

wierd thing is that sometimes it plays the bvd and other times it wont but now it seems like all of them are starting to throw faults.

ill report back after i get it apart


I'm frustrated with my PS3 console with this error. It's been already the second time I've gotten this error code with the Netflix streaming disc. I recently applied the latest update for the console and after the update my console no longer plays the streaming disc. I'm not sure what the root of this error is but it is certainly very frustrating. Please help us if you have a solution to this problem other than telling us to order the disc again and again.

I appreciate your help and attention to this matter and will await your prompt response.

thank you


I just got this error on my PS3 playing Avatar (BR) rental from Netflix. The condition of the disc is important for playback. I removed the disc, and cleaned the surface (there was some print/smudges and minor marks) from the hub out (never wipe in circular pattern, but from center outward).
After cleaning the disc, the title mounted, no more error and playing now (30+ minutes).
My guess is, if the disc is dirty (I mean, how many renters take care of the disc?) it will throw an error. Bluray laser requires greater tolerance when reading over standard DVD laser pickup.
Thanks for those that posted the error and let me find this.


I keep getting this error and I purchased my Blu rays, I have a Ps3 and finally gotten a 3D TV, but when I tried to watch the movies I kept getting a error! I had the movies for a while now and I can not return them. The crazy thing is I take care of my blurays, never leave them out of the case, but I still haven't seen the movie in 3D!

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This page contains a single entry by Gamewatcher published on October 20, 2007 9:33 AM.

Xbox Live Marketplace - Lumines Live! price drop, lots more was the previous entry in this blog.

Wii Virtual Console - Ninjas, Axes and Lunar Pool is the next entry in this blog.

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Recent Comments

  • danja75: I keep getting this error and I purchased my Blu read more
  • Eddie Ski: I just got this error on my PS3 playing Avatar read more
  • Edumalu: I'm frustrated with my PS3 console with this error. read more
  • bluraydown: i have had my ps3 for a year and a read more
  • Gamewatcher: To clarify, the Goblet of Fire issue wasn't the playback read more
  • Gamewatcher: When it happened to me, it only happened on 1-2 read more
  • Monika: Same exact error here. I have PS3 and Netflix. So read more