Season 8's "Black Crush" Blu-ray Problem

Posted: Dec. 15, 2015 / Last Updated: Sep. 15, 2016
If you bought The X-Files Complete Series on Blu-ray or the individual Season 8 Blu-ray, you'll want to check your discs to see if they're defective. There's a full set of complete screenshot comparisons and tons of details below, but we'll start with the latest update about how to check your discs if you have a Blu-ray drive on your computer, then we'll address the most Frequently Asked Questions, and then the replacement program information.


Numerous fans have now reported that good stock is now available at retail. This stock can be identified by the top label of the Blu-ray saying "RMSTR" for remaster. Photo by tyrok - thanks!

How to REALLY tell if your disc is fixed or not

My guess is that the absolute best way to tell if your set has fixed discs or not is to look at the file sizes and created/modified date stamps.

Let's look at the episodes Within and Without on Disc 1 - they have different runtimes so they are the easiest to distinguish. Important note: Without is the ONE episode in all of Season 8 that is not affected by the problem.

Original Disc 1:
BDMV / STREAM / 02436.mts - 11,404,314,624 bytes - 0:44:42 - Aug 24/15 / Oct 1/15 - Within
BDMV / STREAM / 02437.mts - 11,109,494,784 bytes - 0:44:07 - Aug 24/15 / Sep 18/15 - Without

Fixed Replacement Disc 1:
BDMV / STREAM / 02436.mts - 11,406,372,864 bytes - 0:44:42 - Dec 23/15 - Within
BDMV / STREAM / 02437.mts - 11,109,494,784 bytes - 0:44:07 - Dec 23/15 - Without

You'll notice that Within has a different file size, as it has been fixed on the replacement disc. Without has the same file size, since it didn't require fixing. But both files have a different date stamp, reflecting the date of the new masters (just two weeks after the set's December 8th release date, shortly after fans discovered the problem and reported it to Fox).


I bought Season 8 from Best Buy, or Amazon, or directly from Fox. Is it affected?
Yes, your Season 8 might be affected, since there have been affected discs from all retailers, including Fox Connect.

I live in the US, or Canada, or the UK, or Australia, or Germany, or another country. Is my Season 8 affected?
Yes, your Season 8 might be affected, since there have been affected discs reported around the world.

I bought Season 8 individually, or I bought the complete box set. Is it affected?
Yes, your Season 8 might be affected, since there have been affected discs reported from customers who bought the box set as well as customers who bought Season 8 individually.

If I have the problem, are ALL episodes of Season 8 affected?
Yes, all episodes of Season 8 are affected - except for the episode "Without" - see the screenshots below.

Fox claims they don't know about the problem.
For some unfathomable reason, as of September 2016, Fox is STILL using the template email they've been using since Day 1 in December 2015 when fans first discovered the problem. That template email says the following: "We are currently testing several season 8 discs from different batches but have so far been unable to recreate the problem you described." Obviously, since they've sent out replacement discs to fans, and replacement discs are now at retail, this email is not only just plain wrong but also confusing for the customer. But just play along, and you should be able to get your replacement discs.

Fox is hassling me when I write to them for a replacement.
At first, Fox simply signed everyone up, and didn't require customers to send in their defective discs. It's possible that some people took advantage of this, so now Fox seems to be asking everyone to send in their discs, and is being more stringent in trying to be sure that people really do have discs from a defective batch. We're still pretty doubtful that there are unaffected batches of discs, but you should carefully compare your discs to the screenshots below to determine if you have the problem. IF your Season 8 discs have video that is too dark as shown by the examples below, the best response to Fox is that your Blu-rays are too dark when compared to iTunes or Netflix, since the iTunes and Netflix versions are how the episodes should look.

Do the replacement discs fix the problem?
Yes, the replacement discs do fix the problem. See the screenshots below for comparison.

Is Fox recalling the bad sets?
Fox did not recall the bad sets.

How can I tell the difference between a bad set and a good set?
Fox has not given us any information about how to identify the bad sets. The absolute best way is to check the date stamp of the files on the Blu-ray disc, as discussed at the top of this article.

Season 8 Replacement Program Information

Fox has replicated a new batch of Season 8 discs to fix the problem. As of January 26th, 2016, replacements are being shipped to US customers who signed up for them. Non-US countries, as well as US customers who didn't sign up right away, can expect their replacements in March. No matter what country you live in or where you purchased the Blu-rays, you can sign up for replacements by emailing if your copy of Season 8 is affected.

UPDATE: Customers who reside in the United Kingdom or Ireland are now being asked to email instead, as Fox is now handling this region separately.

Template Email

Here is a template that you can use to request Season 8 replacement discs from Fox. This template includes the information that Fox asks for, so that you can save some back and forth. It's recommended that you NOT attach photos to your email. Some fans have reported their email didn't go through when they did this.

I read online about The X-Files Season 8 Blu-ray being way too dark.

After comparing all 6 discs of my Season 8 Blu-rays to screenshots found online, I've confirmed that all my discs are affected by this problem.

I would like to sign up for replacement discs for Season 8, and here is my full information:

- Full Name:
- Full Shipping Address:
- Phone:
- Box Set Barcode (if you bought the box):
- Season 8 Barcode (if you bought individually):
- Store Bought From:
- Date of Purchase:
- Blu-ray Player Make & Model:

Explanation of the Season 8 "Black Crush" Problem

The X-Files Season 8 on Blu-ray has some type of rendering/encoding/authoring problem that manifests black crush symptoms, and may or may not be adjustable, depending on your TV and Blu-ray hardware. None of the other seasons have this problem, and Season 8 should play properly by default, just like the other seasons, without having to make adjustments to your hardware.

Every episode in Season 8 is affected EXCEPT for Episode 2 on Disc 1, "Without".

Season 8 "Black Crush" Problem Comparison Screenshots

Each screenshot shows a comparison between the original defective Blu-rays and the fixed, replacement Blu-rays.

Each screenshot has been created in full resolution directly from the video stream with no adjustment. Click each image to see it in full resolution.

Season 8, Disc 1, Episode 1 - "Within"

Season 8, Disc 1, Episode 2 - "Without"

This is the one Season 8 episode that's not affected by the problem.

Season 8, Disc 1, Episode 3 - "Patience"

Season 8, Disc 1, Episode 4 - "Roadrunners"

Season 8, Disc 2, Episode 5 - "Invocation"

Season 8, Disc 2, Episode 6 - "Redrum"

Season 8, Disc 2, Episode 7 - "Via Negativa"

Season 8, Disc 2, Episode 8 - "Surekill"

Season 8, Disc 3, Episode 9 - "Salvage"

Season 8, Disc 3, Episode 10 - "Badlaa"

Season 8, Disc 3, Episode 11 - "The Gift"

Season 8, Disc 3, Episode 12 - "Medusa"

Season 8, Disc 4, Episode 13 - "Per Manum"

Season 8, Disc 4, Episode 14 - "This Is Not Happening"

Season 8, Disc 4, Episode 15 - "DeadAlive"

Season 8, Disc 5, Episode 16 - "Three Words"

Season 8, Disc 5, Episode 17 - "Empedocles"

Season 8, Disc 5, Episode 18 - "Vienen"

Season 8, Disc 6, Episode 19 - "Alone"

Season 8, Disc 6, Episode 20 - "Essence"

Season 8, Disc 6, Episode 21 - "Existence"