Iron Man Blu-Ray Release Connects To Internet When You Insert It

If you buy the newly released “Iron Man” Blu-ray disc and pop it into your computer, and it starts trying to download some mystery content from the Internet for the next 30-45 minutes, here’s what’s happening and how to turn it off. Thanks, Paramount, for your shoddy “interactive” quiz nonsense.

Sean writes:

Iron Man was released [this week] on DVD and Blu-Ray and there is much ire in the Blu-Ray community regarding the BD-Live aspects of the disc. When the disc is first booted the disc loads some information from the internet and begins an auto download. This load is taking anywhere from 2 minutes to over 45 minutes.

Last night I struggled for over an hour and half trying to get the disc to play, but all I could get was an “Iron Man” heart on my screen that did nothing but flash. I finally consulted the internet and found some advice on a few forums stating that I needed to change the BD-Live function of my player from Auto to Confirm; then to reload the disc and not allow the BD-Live functionality.

There is no warning on the disc that this initial load could take 30+ minutes to load. And what does this time intensive application do? It loads an interactive quiz that viewers may take during the movie. This should be something that is offered after watching the movie for the first time from the menu, not during initial start up.

I wonder how many consumers are taking the discs back to the retailer thinking the disc is broken or defective, only to get home and see the same thing again.

A post on Consumerist could go a long way towards educating the public on another “wonderful” marketing idea.

Done! Change the BD-Live setting on your player from Auto to Confirm so you’re not forced to deal with future auto-connect Blu-ray “features.”


Edit Your Comment

  1. Khuluna says:

    It’s like a meme! “You will do this quiz and you will LIKE IT!”

  2. Osi says:

    You can sue them for this due to malware. And if you pay by the meg for you bandwidth, you can recoup those costs too.

    • Darklighter says:

      @Jinx: This is hardly malware. The BD-Live content is clearly advertised. But it is poor user interface design. During download, the disc should tell you what’s happening and give you an option to cancel. But really, this probably would have been a complete non-issue if Paramount had the server capacity to handle the kind of traffic that comes with a major title launch.

    • agnamus says:

      @Jinx: Are you intentionally trying to pass bad advice or are you just high?

      • coolkiwilivin says:

        @agnamus: Ugh and this is why our country is going down the tubes. Sue sue sue! Sue them all! If a former Vice Presidential candidate can get rich off of needless lawsuits why shouldn’t everyone!

  3. akacrash says:

    “It’s like a meme! “You will do this quiz and you will LIKE IT!”

    You want your internet meme, here ya go:

    Don’t quiz me bro!


  4. ferris209 says:

    I hope you are all happy that Sony won!!!

  5. alice_bunnie says:

    Our PS3 asked something about connecting and downloading content. I said, “No”. What the hell, I want to watch the freaking movie.

    • nikkimarie says:

      @undefined: Ha. Our PS3 just showed his flashing “heart” on the screen and no amount of button jamming did anything. We left it and an hour later, the DVD menu came up and the movie played fine after that.

      If you look it up online it says that Iron Man Blu-Ray discs put into Sony Blu-Ray players have “issues”…

  6. y2julio says:

    Seems like some of the consumerist folks here don’t know how the internet interactivity on Blu-Ray/HD-DVDs work and think it’s something that the “man” put there to put you “down”.

    • Keen314 says:

      @undefined: When the Arc Reactor Heart popped up when I put in my copy, I figured it was an obtuse loading screen. After a full minute passed, I thought it may be an obtuse error message. Eject, reinsert, and it works. It may not be something put there by ‘the man’ as you say, but it was implemented in a pretty retarded fashion. Also, there’s no documentation of it in the box. I have to return my copy of Iron Man anyway, it’s one of the defective first batch that was recalled and shouldn’t have ended up on the shelves to begin with. I miss the simplicity of VHS.

  7. bitgod says:

    I never had any problems like this with HD-DVDs, ho ho. Good job Sony.

    • mariospants says:

      @bitgod: and I’ve never had the same problem with a bluray disk, either. So far, this is the first I’ve heard of this (and it didn’t even do it when I played it this weekend on my PS3).

  8. mxjohnson says:

    I don’t have to worry about that — I use a mac, and Apple doesn’t even offer a Blu-Ray player.

  9. ezacharyk says:

    And here I am stuck watching my “crappy” standard definition DVD version of Iron Man that doesn’t try to download crap before letting me watch the movie.

    Sure wish I had upgraded.


  10. ToKeN2k6 says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is, obviously people aren’t using a PS3 (the best recommended Blu Ray player) to watch Iron Man. I am an hour into it and I had it download the stuff at the beginning, and it only took 2 minutes…and I agree with Darklighter, Blu Ray Live is apparent on any BD with the feature, especially this one. Not many BD’s have this feature yet, but i’m all for it b/c it is innovation. Lets see your upscaled DVD access the internets…

  11. quail says:

    Reminds me of that short period of time that DVDs came out and they forced you to sit through the previews before you could get to the menu screen to watch the movie. Always hated that. You’d hit the ‘menu’ button and the player would say that operation isn’t permitted.

    Wonder if anyone with Blue-Ray on their PC has noticed any rootkits or trojans or crapware appearing after one of these downloads.

    And no, this isn’t innovation. In the late 90’s several of my son’s DVDs had interactive games (lame ones, yes)and the ability to open special websites if you were on a computer. I don’t see the innovation in letting you play a game that’s got to download off of the internet.

    • Skipweasel says:

      @quail: Which is why I often rip irksome DVDs and put the copy in the same box and play the copy – with the irritating PUOs (Prohibited User Operations) removed. Particularly kids’ films which have long warnings about copyright theft and the like. A five year old really has no interest in a shouty message about piracy, they just want to watch the film about pirates.

    • cerbie says:

      @quail: will VLC play BD on PCs, yet? That’s been my solution for unskippable previews.

      • mike says:

        @cerbie: I don’t think so. And I’m pretty sure that VLC’s DVD function isn’t legal.

        I haven’t looked at it closely enough. Anyone can inform us of this?

  12. HyMinded says:

    Sounded like bad disks to me. Check out this link on [] –I’m guessing they didn’t get all the bad ones.

    I had a similar problem and found myself staring at ARC reactor logo for 10 minutes. Nothing. It just froze. I restarted and I popped in Disk 2 and it worked. I took it back to the store and exchanged it. This time it loaded right away and didn’t hassle me or otherwise prevent the Blu-ray DVD from working. To access the Bl-ray Live content, you have to drill down into the menu to turn it on. Exchange it.

  13. bwcbwc says:

    They could also be using the interactive quiz feature to hide installation of some copy protection, too. I don’t let any disks autoplay on my PC any more.

  14. nfs says:

    I wish HD-DVD was still alive.

    Obviously Sony does not know what people want from their Blu-rays.

  15. SacraBos says:

    I say that the best crapware is crapware that downloads ONCE. That’s the way my Dad did it. That’s the way Hollywood does it.

  16. I think it’s very unfair that if you fail the quiz it won’t let you play the movie.

    Well, okay, I made that up.

  17. shiftless says:

    That is horrible. I’m more than convinced that HD-DVD looks better than Blu-Ray. Oh why did HD-DVD have to die.

  18. resonanteye says:

    I’ll bring it up again because I’m obsessed, bandwidth caps. If my provider has a cap and this takes me over it…

    Another reason the big boys should be trying to prevent caps from being put in place by internet providers.

    • nfs says:

      @undefined: hopefully, there won’t be draconian caps, otherwise IT companies like Google or Microsoft (or Apple) will suffer. We wouldn’t want that, would we?!

  19. CRCError1970 says:

    I fail to see how this is the fault of the Blu-ray author. It’s just a case of people that don’t RTFM before they setup their devices.

    My PS3 asked if I would like to download the extra content. It didn’t “just do it”. Not to mention like a previous poster, my PS3 took all of 2 minutes to download it. It’s not the disc manufacturers fault if your player isn’t hooked up to the internet or you have a slow connection.

  20. Skipweasel says:

    They probably tested it in their office with the zillion-speed connection and can’t see the problem with long download times because “It doesn’t happen here”.

  21. harlock_JDS says:

    this can be avoided by HAVING A PROGRESS BAR AND EXPLAINING WHAT IS BEING DONE. Almost everyone assumed the system had locked up when it was downloading.

    Also make sure your servers can deal with a lot of people trying to watch the movie for the first time all at the same time. Most people who had this problem seemed to be trying to watch it in the evening on Tuesday which tells me the server was just overloaded.

    • unchi says:

      @harlock_JDS: Yeah. I had assumed my system had locked up or I had a defective Iron Man. I decided I’d turn off BD-Live as a last ditch option to see if it would load. And “gasp” it did! This was of course after checking my other disc too. The BD-Live crap is terrible. Its what I would expect from Paramount or Universal release – bugs – because they were HD-DVD exclusive.

  22. InsertBullets says:

    It doesn’t take that long, Their BD(BS)-Live Servers were just overloaded on the first day. I did it on Wednesday and it took less than 2 minutes and it asked me if I wanted to download it to my Playstation 3.

  23. incognit000 says:

    Nice to know that a disc with such massive storage capacity can’t make room for a tiny, text-only quiz, which is so bloatedly programmed that it takes almost an hour to download.

    This is why people pirate movies, Paramount.

    • harlock_JDS says:


      it doesn’t take an hour to download if the servers aren’t bonked, that was the issue on Tuesday (along with some possible internet issues on the customer end)

      i’d guess the trivia is downloaded not because of a lack of storage space but because they want to add questions in the future.

  24. xredgambit says:

    And if you read the BD live, they will collect info on you. What kind of player you are using, your IP, Day, Time, and more, “non identifying info.”
    If I didn’t think this movie was awesome I wouldn’t bother. But alas, it is awesome and I want to watch it.

  25. HalOfBorg says:

    “Let’s put MORE crap that most people don’t like on our disk. And even better, let’s set it to download without any warning – people LOVE that!”

    “And they get to PAY for it too!”


    (evil laughter)

  26. Jesse says:

    I bet it’s some sort of DRM package.

  27. AMetamorphosis says:

    Wow … inviation @ its worst …

    Eat up my bandwidth ( unrequested )
    Lock up my computer
    Focus on crapware instead of the fact that I bought the movie to WATCH the movie …

    Someone tell me again why I want to run right out and piss away 400 dollars on a Blu-ray player ?

    And as a previous poster said, Standard DVD’s have already had these lame ” features ” since the 90’s.

  28. Luna City says:

    I rented “Baby Mama” on Blu-ray and it too wanted to connect to the Internet. After I finished watching I combed the extras menu for “Download the Funny.” No luck.

  29. HyMinded says:

    Uh, did any of the replies here actually buy and try it? All the HD-DVD fanboys still left, you clearly don’t know your history. Or Paramount’s. A former champion of HD DVD, Alan Bell (Paramount’s CTO) clearly had designs for HD DVD, which he tried to transfer to Blu-ray.

    He noted that HD DVD specifications mandated that all HD DVD players had to come with a built-in Internet connection. Why? It allowed producers of movie HD DVDs to supply consumers with trailers, cuts and games. He also noted that interactivity best mirrors the lifestyle of today’s growing YouTube, MySpace and Facebook fan base.

  30. HyMinded says:
  31. mike says:

    Is there a reason why more and more companies are putting in “call home” functions into their software?

    I see no consumer benefit from this except to receive the latest patches and even then the console should only review the content on its side, not server-side.

    Sort of a-la windows update. I guess I’m assuming that when Windows says “No information is being sent to Microsoft” it actually means that.

    Also these programs/BluRay DVDs are assuming you have network access. What happens if there is no network or if there is a firewall?

  32. Has anybody attempted to disconnect/turn off their modem before watching the movie? If no internet is detected, is the movie unplayable?
    I also wonder why people are not being alerted via their firewall when new and unknown connections are being made.

  33. BytheSea says:

    I hate those movies that try to install that stupid InterActive player. You have to shut it down quick, then open the disk in Windows Explorer, go to the Video folder, and open the first huge file that’s like a million kb.

  34. navstar says:

    On my PS3, when I first inserted Iron Man, it asked if I wanted to connect to BD-Live and download content. Not sure why others are doing it automatically.

  35. b612markt says:

    Nasty. What a worthless feature. I’m glad I download all my content. Haven’t bought a DVD player in years and in fact my home theater is hard-drive based. No plastic discs for me.