What's wrong with my DVD player?

With most movies that I watch, the movie becomes, I don’t know the right word, choppy I guess. It happens near the end of the movie. Both the picture and the sound. It happens with rented discs, which led me believe that it was because the discs were dirty. But it happens with brand new DVD’s as well. It happened last night while watching Lord of the Rings disc one. The second disc kept pausing for a moment throughout the film. And just now it happened to Back to the Future. It was going along fine until about 3/4 of the way through, got choppy, and then it got “stuck.” The screen went black. I don’t usually see dust, and when I do I clean it in a DVD cleaner. I don’t see any fingerprints. I used a DVD player cleaning disc last night and it had no noticeable effect. Every time I had this problem, I would watch the movie in my PS2 with no problems.

The machine occasionally, but not always, sounds like something is speeding up.

It’s a Zenith IQDVD2300 that I bought off the shelf.

Any thoughts?

Sounds like a faulty machine. Return it for an exchange.

My guess? Overheating. Return it, as Mahaloth said.

I’ve had it for a couple of years. I don’t think Circuit City will take it back now. Or will they? I don’t know why I have put up with it for so long. Oh well.

Thanks anyway :slight_smile:

I had a brand new one do this at every scene change. I was running it thru a box with 3 plug in choices. Then I plugged th DVD directly to the TV and everything else thru the box. That solved it. The age of the TV and available cable inputs may make a difference. Mine is a regular TV, not digital.

If you’re going to replace the player anyway, you can try opening the bottom panel or something and propping it up off of the surface it is sitting on. This will allow better airflow and may correct an overheating issue.

Dual layer disks pause between layers too, says this on the back of the box sometimes.

Thanks for all your input.

I sometimes hear noises from my DVD player, like something is spinning faster, so I don’t think it’s the connections.

I’ve been wanting to replace it for a while, but couldn’t justify to myself buying a new one when the problem was dirt (which is what I thought was the problem at the time.) Finding out that it is damaged might just be the excuse I need. I’d rather not have anything exposed.

I’m aware of dual layers, and I know what that particular pause looks like, and it isn’t that.

And to hijack my own thread: does anyone know any websites that discuss fixing players? I would like to see if I could fix it myself, just to see if I can do it.

Yeah, sounds like overheating. DVD player I got for my sister a few years back did the same thing. She had it in an entertainment center that didn’t allow very good air flow. After she moved it, problem solved.

Mine is in an entertainment center, too. Any ideas how I could get airflow in it? Everything is nice and neat the way it is.

I took the front door off the center to give more air…

Also, you might clean the player with a dvd lens cleaner. A wet one, not the dry one, if possible.

The end of the DVD movie is on the inside of the DVD nearest the hole. Instead of overheating it could be that wear and tear on the drive mechanism is causing read/tracking error on the inside of the disk ( maximum extension for the read head ). Read errors would showup as skipping and stuttering.

Yeah, but that’s for double layered discs only. Single layered discs are read in the middle and go out, and (most) double layered discs are read by starting in the middle, going out, then going back in again. If head extension were a problem, it’d also occur at the beginning of the movie.

In the interests of accuracy:

Dual-layer DVDs are read in one of two modes: PTP (Parallel Track Path, for DVD-ROM) or OTP (Opposite Track Path, for DVD-Video).

Parallel Track Path (DVD-ROM):


Opposite Track Path (DVD-Video):


PTP and OTP read layer 1 identically: from the innermost diameter to the outermost. At the layer transition point, PTP returns to the innermost diameter and reads layer 2 to the outermost diameter again; OTP reads from the outermost diameter to the innermost diameter in order to avoid interruption of the program.

(A visible delay at the OTP layer transition point is caused by time spent refocusing the laser – on a player with suitably fast servomechanisms and a suitably large read buffer the transition would be invisible.)

See if you can find and install a small 120v exhaust fan in the cabinet. If you can figure out the electical part of it you could even install a 12v fan with a low voltage switch on the cabinet somewhere (recommended). You would want it to exhaust the air not blow in fresh air. You want to create a negative pressure in the cabinet and get the hot air out.

Are you sure that no DVD-video discs are PTP? Bridge on the River Kwai has a several second pause between layers, and the layers are actually seperate “titles”, so that the time counter resets between the layers.

Mikahw: Sounds like an extremely poorly authored disc to me. The reason DVD-Video uses OTP is that the player maintains a constant linear velocity: the farther toward the outer edge you are, the slower the disc spins in order to maintain the same data transfer rate. At the outermost diameter the sector velocities of the two layers are matched, allowing you to switch as fast as you can refocus without worrying about angular momentum or inertia.

Now, with respect to encoding strategy, layer transition is handled more or less automatically by the authoring suite and the playback hardware. A savvy producer might take pains to make sure the transition occurs on a convenient structural boundary (a chapter point perhaps), but there is no logical gap in the data structure itself.

I cannot think of a circumstance where it would be advantageous to split a single program into multiple VTSes – multiple PGCs certainly, but unless you intend to put the second half of the movie on the flip side of the disc (or another disc entirely) there’s no obvious reason to split the VTS.

Odd, indeed.

pulehoopo: I’d definitely buy a new player if your Zenith is more than two years old. You’d be amazed at the features you can get even on budget-priced models these days.

I have had this with several discs and VCDs - both legitimate and pirated - on my DVD/VHS combo. I won it free in a competition, so I can’t be arsed to take it back. In future I’ll watch things on my laptop (the same discs worked OK on my laptop).

Incidentally most of the problems happen near the start (first 15 minutes of A.I. vanished) but some happen towards the middle and end.

This DVD player is worth about US$400 and it’s a total waste of space. I think I will try to give it away to someone. Even the VHS part is useless, because it’s NTSC and this country is PAL.

Here’s a long overdue update: Taking the player out worked. I haven’t had any problems. Thanks for your input everyone.