If your Samsung Blu-ray player recently fell into an endless loop as it fruitlessly tried to boot itself up, you’re in good company.
Scores of users have been lighting up Samsung’s support forums complaining that their Samsung Blu-ray players started acting strangely last week, with the players essentially stuck in an endless power-cycling loop.
Some users said the menu screens for their Samsung Blu-ray players would repeatedly appear and disappear, while others reported that they could hear the disc trays in their players clicking and whirring to no avail.
Here’s a typical description of a buggy Samsung Blu-ray player on Samsung’s community site:
My Samsung BD-57C just started doing the same thing about an hour ago. As soon as it receives power, it starts clicking and buzzing as if it’s trying to load a disc. Nothing is displayed on the TV. I changed batteries in the remote. The remote will open the drawer once I press [the eject button] on with the remote, but the player closes it in two seconds and starts making noise again. If I insert a disc, I’ll hear the player start reading the disc, but then it starts the clicking and buzzing. At no point will anything be displayed on the TV screen. I unplugged the player for ten minutes. While it’s unplugged, I depressed the power button for 30 seconds. As soon as I plug it in, it immediately starts making noise. Any ideas?
A Samsung rep posted the following reply on the same message thread (which, as of Monday morning, was more than 100 pages long):
We are aware of customers who have reported an issue with boot loops on some Blu-Ray players and we are looking into this further. We will post an update here on this thread when we have more information.
So, are all these Samsung Blu-ray players getting stuck in boot loops all at the same time? No one knows for sure yet, but one theory centers around the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates that the players use to ensure secure connections to the internet.
SSL certificates allow web servers and clients, including web browsers and internet-connected devices such as Blu-ray players, to validate their identities and encrypt the web traffic between them. SSL certificates also come with expiration dates, and while they’re easy to renew, they’re also easy to forget, given that they typically expire about 20 years after they’re first issued.
When a device manufacturer forgets to renew an SSL certificate, the results can lead to unpredictable behavior, broken functionality, or worse—and indeed, there are concerns that a wide number of smart devices may stop working next September, when a large batch of SSL certificates is set to expire.
Again, though, it’s not clear whether SSL certificates are the culprit when it comes to the case of the mysteriously boot-looped Samsung Blu-ray players. We’ve reached out to Samsung for more details.