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DVD player broke

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by xepa001, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. xepa001

    xepa001 Guest

    I'm writing this as a post-mortem, but I secretely hope I'm wrong...

    I spent thousands on computer crap, and now I'm broke. I had to promise I
    quit it, and then a $50 APEX DVD player stuck to me at Wal*Mart. I took it
    home, faced the music and after many moons I was forgiven. The DVD
    collection began growing.

    At some point it stopped working. It got progressively worse: gets stuck at
    a scene, then it would recover, then it didn't on some DVDs, then it didn't
    on most DVDs, then it ceased loading the root menu.

    I tried to clean the lens. It didn't work with the "lens cleaner" CD, but
    then I heard it rarely does. I opened the box and went at it.

    It still didn't work, but testing it with the lid off, I noticed a nasty
    "grinding" sound in the vicinity of the spindle. I put a drop of gun oil and
    it got better, but I'm afraid I got to it too late: it's plastic on
    plastic... I think the increased play suggested by noisy operation causes
    loss of positioning accurracy, which leads to loss of tracking, especially
    on used DVDs which are already scratched and dirty.

    Theoretically I should change the worn parts, but they seem to not be easily
    separated from the rest. Plus how long will it last again? Not to mention
    difficulty to find parts, cost and the chance it won't fix things after all.
    So it would make more sense to just get another one, with better quality
    parts - so more expensive. But that has to wait I'm afraid.
     
  2. Ken G.

    Ken G. Guest

    Apex is one of the worst . None of them are ment to last long under
    steady use . Throw it away & get a new one .
    This time of year there will be low prices i just saw a Radio Shack
    commercial on tv advertising 29$ dvd players . buy 2 or 3 then just
    throw them away when they break :)
     
  3. Jerry G.

    Jerry G. Guest

    The average consumer DVD players, unless it is a high end expensive model,
    are not designed as serviceable. Your player is a very low cost unit, and
    there is no infostructure for spare parts and service. For most of these
    models, the dealers are instructed to directly give the customer a new
    machine during the warranty period.

    From your description, the laser assembly may to be replaced to make it work
    again. In many of the DVD player models, this comes as a complete assembly.
    Once changed, the tech has to have the necessary service information, and
    instrument set-ups to re-align the player. On a low cost machine this is
    out of the question.

    Considering a DVD player that is under $150 or so, there is no way after
    warranty to justify the cost of servicing it. An hour of labour plus the
    parts on a player that is a few years old, would be more than the value of
    the machine.

    During the warranty period, the manufactures send the user a new machine if
    it breaks down, unless it is a very expensive model that pays to service.
    This is with many of the appliances and home devices of today.

    I myself bought a new Panasonic 2.4 Gigarange phone. It stopped working on
    me about 2 months after I bought it. I brought it back. The dealer went to
    the back of the store and brought out another new one, and took mine. He
    told me that the old one is going back to be verified, and then to the
    crusher.

    --

    Greetings,

    Jerry Greenberg GLG Technologies GLG
    =========================================
    WebPage http://www.zoom-one.com
    Electronics http://www.zoom-one.com/electron.htm
    =========================================


    I'm writing this as a post-mortem, but I secretely hope I'm wrong...

    I spent thousands on computer crap, and now I'm broke. I had to promise I
    quit it, and then a $50 APEX DVD player stuck to me at Wal*Mart. I took it
    home, faced the music and after many moons I was forgiven. The DVD
    collection began growing.

    At some point it stopped working. It got progressively worse: gets stuck at
    a scene, then it would recover, then it didn't on some DVDs, then it didn't
    on most DVDs, then it ceased loading the root menu.

    I tried to clean the lens. It didn't work with the "lens cleaner" CD, but
    then I heard it rarely does. I opened the box and went at it.

    It still didn't work, but testing it with the lid off, I noticed a nasty
    "grinding" sound in the vicinity of the spindle. I put a drop of gun oil and
    it got better, but I'm afraid I got to it too late: it's plastic on
    plastic... I think the increased play suggested by noisy operation causes
    loss of positioning accurracy, which leads to loss of tracking, especially
    on used DVDs which are already scratched and dirty.

    Theoretically I should change the worn parts, but they seem to not be easily
    separated from the rest. Plus how long will it last again? Not to mention
    difficulty to find parts, cost and the chance it won't fix things after all.
    So it would make more sense to just get another one, with better quality
    parts - so more expensive. But that has to wait I'm afraid.
     
  4. Steve Reinis

    Steve Reinis Guest

    Considering an Apex DVD player is now $29.00 (!!), a repair is not even
    sensible. It's wasteful to not repair it, but that's what you get these
    days with Korean/Chinese ultra-cheap electronics.

    You can either buy a $99-200.00 Sony/Panasonic/Etc and hope to expect years
    out of it, or just get another Apex and use it till it dies. It's pretty
    much a crapshoot... I've got an Apex AD-1500 that is now two years old and
    still going fine with moderate use.

    -Steve
     
  5. Sunny

    Sunny Guest

    Try taking it back to WalMart.

    My wife bought a $50 Norcent DVD player there. We didn't use it much,
    maybe a dozen times, then turned it on one day and it was dead - no
    indicator lights, tray wouldn't open, nothing. Couldn't find the
    receipt, but as best we could remember it was just over 12 months old.

    We took it back - no receipt, but it was in the original packaging.
    Walmart gave us another $50 Norcent (updated model) and a receipt - no
    charge, no hassle.

    This time I kept the packaging and receipt. I expect I'll need it in
    about 12 months...
     
  6. I haven't paid full attention, but I'm sure I read something somewhere
    about how some DVD players use IDE DVD-ROM drives, and if I did read
    that, it was in reference to some of the cheaper machines. If that's true,
    that might be a decent repair option, since in many cases it will be
    the mechanical drive. Not an outright cheap solution, but it's an
    idea. Of course, if the story is true, then surely the cheap DVD-ROM
    drives one can buy wouldn't be that different from what the cheap DVD
    players are using.

    Michael
     
  7. Sunny

    Sunny Guest

    A friend recently put a Toshiba 16x DVD-ROM into his Apex 600A - not
    because the original drive was faulty, he just wanted a region-free player.

    Google can find the instructions.
     
  8. The same thing can (and usually, if Murphy has anything to do with it, will)
    happen with an exensive unit. I have a $300 Sony unit that lasted about 18
    months before it ceased being able to read DVDs of any variety. "NO DISC".
    Out of warranty, out of luck. The damn thing couldn't play most CD and
    DVDR/RW media anyway.

    So I bought a cheap $80 APEX which plays just about EVERY media and format I
    can throw at it: DVD-R/RW DVD+R/RW VCD SVCD JPG MP3, and even XVCD. Yes, it
    does not "feel" like it is built for lots of use and abuse but I've taken
    care of it and 2 years later, so far so good.

    Also make sure whatever you buy can be upgraded with a new firmware. Since
    the APEX worked out for me I bought another cheap DVD, this time an AKAI
    unit (actually a Daewoo). It would not play my DVD-R / RW or DVD+R / RW and
    SVCDs authored with Ulead. I contacted the company and they emailed me a new
    firmware revision to burn on CD and boot the DVD player with to update it.
    Now my AKAI plays just about every media and format I can cram into it.

    Worst DVD player I've ever seen: My aunt's expen$ive Toshiba SD-2300 which
    will ONLY play commercial DVDs and will not play any DVDR/RW or CD media,
    period. And -- guess what? No firmware upgrades! Why not just flush your
    money down the toilet? Toshiba normally makes good stuff, but they should be
    ashamed of that one.

    Summary:

    Cheap but sturdy DVD players that can be flashed: GOOD
    Expensive name-brand dead-end DVD players: BAD

    Douglas
     
  9. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Those lense cleaners are garbage, don't bother. Check the power supply, I
    fixed one that had a 1000uF 16v capacitor that failed and caused it to wig
    out occasionally, it was bulging. If you have a mechanical failure you may
    as well scrap it though.
     
  10. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    I've actually been very happy with my Apex, after replacing the capacitor
    it's been reliable, it was also very easy to hack the firmware to make it
    region free and turn off macrovision, it plays everything I've thrown at it
    so far.
     
  11. Ken G.

    Ken G. Guest

    I've actually been very happy with my Apex, after replacing the
    capacitor it's been reliable, it was also very easy to hack the firmware
    to make it region free and turn off macrovision, it plays everything
    I've thrown at it so far.


    I have heard of that and the fact a few of the early Apex had a generic
    drive in them with a common plug strip so a computer drive could fit
    right in .
    I think i have a couple early Apex players new in box in my bone yard .
     
  12. Cheap but sturdy DVD players that can be flashed: GOOD
    Sturdy appears to be rather relative.

    Most Apex DVD players I've seen are poorly built.

    The mainboards are okay and internal construction is simplistic, but the power
    supply sections are cheaply designed and built. The disc drives aren't any
    better. Many Apex players have used IDE DVD-ROM drives, but the drives that
    are used are usually pitiful. They can be swapped with better drives, but
    that's more effort than it might normally be worth unless you are intentionally
    going after a player than can truly read just about anything.

    Furthermore, if you bench test these cheap players to judge their playback
    quality, they can turn out some of the worst ratings you will ever see.

    The only advantage I can see for Apex is that some of their players can be
    modified easily for region-free and Macrovision-free playback. But not all
    Apex players are fortunate. While some models only require a few keystrokes on
    the remote or a firmware flash from a CD-R, others require a hard swap of the
    BIOS chip. Some don't even have mods available, particularly some of the newer
    mini-players.

    Foruntaely, ANY DVD player will outclass VHS. But a Panasonic will outclass an
    Apex in terms of the two most important aspects in a DVD player: Picture and
    sound quality. - Reinhart
     
  13. True. My strategy is to use it in the bedroom where DVDs rarely get watched.
    all

    That and the ability to flash (not to mention the support from the mrf to
    provide firmware updates) unless the thing reads all advertised media and
    formats correctly out of the box. My AKAI did not, but after a firmware
    update it does now.
    I'm would be all for that provided I can depend on the DVD player to last
    more than a couple years. But dropping upwards of $300 on a premium Sony
    model only to have it die after 18 months changed my thinking. But then
    again that's probably just a Sony thing as I've had untimely deaths of a
    Sony VCR, DVD, and 17-inch monitor.

    OTOH my Sony TV continues to work 7 years later.
     
  14. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    I recently fixed a Sanyo DVD player that wouldn't read DVDs and would
    bearly read CDs. It was owned by a smoker and all the pickups internal
    optics were coated with tar. I immersed the pickup in a glass of
    alcohol which I put in my ultrasonic cleaner to try to clean it. So far
    it seems to have worked although I wouldn't want to sell it to someone.
     
  15. Andre

    Andre Guest

    Interesting.
    Did you have to realign anything when you put the pickup back in?

    -A
     
  16. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    I just let it dry for a few hours and reinstalled it. It worked fine
    with no alignment. It even plays DVD+R's. I have a couple of Sony
    players I might try it with next. With the low cost of DVD players,
    there's nothing to lose by trying.
     
  17. But dropping upwards of $300 on a premium Sony
    And almost all of my Sony items still work perfectly, including my DVP-S360,
    which I bought brand new in December of 2000.

    I'm a Sony fan because almost all of the Sony products I've owned have not
    failed on me. Some have, like my SVO-160 VCR, but doing the capacitor fix in
    the power supply module brought it back to life, and it has the best VHS
    picture and VHS Hi-Fi sound out of any VHS VCR I've ever seen. - Reinhart
     
  18. And almost all of my Sony items still work perfectly, >including my
    DVP-S360,

    Knock on wood.

    Mark Z.
     
  19. Andre

    Andre Guest


    I'll have to buy or build myself an ultrasonic cleaner and try that one :)

    -A
     
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