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I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

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I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

Old 05-09-09, 11:54 PM
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I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

Looks like my original DVD player has died.

Bought the Toshiba 3109 from 800.com back in 1998 or so, and have used it as my main player most of the last 11 years.

Despite knocking on wood every time I talked about it, I think it has given up the ghost. It will power up, and the load mechanism for both trays works, but it won't properly load any disc. Gives me a "disc not present" or similar error.

I have several other players now, but was wondering if there are any tricks to try to fix players. Take it apart and see if some connection came loose? Blow compressed air all thru it?

I know I'm being too sentimental, but I'd hate to toss it needlessly.

Incidentally, it froze during the beginning of Kiki's Delivery Service, so even though I haven't watched it yet, that film is now my most hated.
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Old 05-10-09, 09:01 AM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

Considering you can find players in the $29 range I doubt it's worth doing anything with it. If it can't find the disc it sounds like something in the laser reading system. The 2109 was one of my first players so I know they were good machines for the era, but that era has passed my friend.

I'm still trying to talk my uncle into giving up his beta machine for the handful of beta tapes that never got released on DVD. Sometimes you just gotta realize you can't hold on forever.
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Old 05-10-09, 09:10 AM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

Nope, send it bye-bye!
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Old 05-10-09, 10:29 AM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

You got 11 years out of it, you are not "tossing it needlessly".

You could try some compressed air and/or a cleaning disc but I would be glad it lasted that long and upgrade
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Old 05-10-09, 04:37 PM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

You could try searching the Internet to find out how to get into the service menu and do an alignment of the laser pickup, but that's about it. I did that on a friend's Sony DVD player and it fixed the problems he was having.
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Old 05-15-09, 10:44 AM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

Originally Posted by Brian Shannon View Post
You got 11 years out of it, you are not "tossing it needlessly".

You could try some compressed air and/or a cleaning disc but I would be glad it lasted that long and upgrade
My BIL bought a "dead" PS2 off eBay a few years ago, unloaded a can of air in it, and uses it to this day. But, I recently had a Sony player quit on me recently, and no amount of canned air helped (though I think there was also oatmeal in the player.)


And *please* give Kiki's another shot. It's a beautiful film, the ending puts my heart in my throat every time I watch it.

Last edited by milo bloom; 05-15-09 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 05-15-09, 10:57 AM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

Thanks everyone!

Haven't had time yet, but will try the suggestions above before recycling it. Hope to find the system menu/alignment option, as it sounds like that may be the problem.

I already have 12 other players (if you count PCs and game systems), so I won't need to buy another DVD player, ever.

And yes, I was joking about Kiki's and will definitely finish watching it soon.
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Old 05-15-09, 02:53 PM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
My BIL bought a "dead" PS2 off eBay a few years ago, unloaded a can of air in it, and uses it to this day. But, I recently had a Sony player quit on me recently, and no amount of canned air helped (though I think there was also oatmeal in the player.)
The canned air and cleaning disc are attempts to fix a "dirty lens" problem. I've also read about using a cotton swab as the next step up for lens cleaning. Other than that, and the alignment thing, no DIY options remain, AFAIK.
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Old 05-18-09, 03:40 PM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

I'm sentimental about my old DVD players and VCR's as well. It's tough tossing out a player that, I imagine in 1998, you probably paid $500 for.

Being built in 1998 I'm sure it doesn't play DVD-R or DVD+R so it's probably better to just buy a new one for $29.

A tech will charge $60 just to open it up and tell it's going to cost you another $120 to replace the laser.

It's amazing how much waste this creates but being as cheap as they are to replace it's difficult to justify fixing anything anymore.
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Old 05-18-09, 04:16 PM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

Googled a bunch and found that the 3109 wasn't hackable without a mod chip, and there is no system menu for laser alignment.

I think I paid $400 with ten free DVDs or some other crazy sale back in the Reel/800.com days, but yeah, I am stupidly sentimental about it. Days of rest, and then compressed air didn't change anything, it still won't read any type of DVD or CD.

Cables removed, batteries from remote saved, and to my trunk it goes for a trip to the recycling center. God rest my Toshiba 3109.

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Old 05-23-09, 06:54 PM
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Re: I imagine trying to fix an old DVD player isn't worth the effort/cost?

I don't know what kind of display you're using, but a new player will also give you things like progressive scan and upscaling. Heck, my first player from 1999, when downconverting anamorphic discs to 4:3, would just throw away every 4th line of the image instead of processing it to make the transition smooth. It didn't output DTS, and the seamless branching was anything but seamless. Video decoders have also improved since then, so you should get a better quality image no matter how it's connected (although you probably have seen this from your other players/PCs).
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