I have been collecting rare, Public Domain films on DVD-R for years now.
The discs in my collection come from all over the world, and from a variety of collectors and dealers.
Here is the occasional problem I am experiencing when trying to view these discs:
From time to time, some of these discs will skip, freeze, or pixelate during playback. I noticed this happening more frequently on a Samsung DVD player of around 5 years old, but it would rarely --if ever-- happen when playing them back in my trusty Panasonic DMR-EH80 DVD Player/Recorder.
Thinking that something about the Panny's innards made it more tolerant of slight variations in signal or encoding, I purchased a middle-of-the-line Panasonic player (I don't have the model number in front of me at the moment), in the hopes that it too would be more tolerant when playing back homemade discs of this sort.
I rarely had any such problems with that unit.
However, over time, that unit as well is exhibiting these same issues, only with certain DVD-Rs.
Meanwhile, I can take one of these discs that skips and freezes so often in that Panny player as to be almost unwatchable (these discs are cared for and visually spotless), pop it into the DMR-EH80, and they'll play back FLAWLESSLY.
I can't tell if the discs themselves are deteriorating, or if the player's becoming more finicky.
Either way, I don't want to put excessive hours on the disc drive in my DVD Recorder by just watching movies. I'd rather use it only for encoding and recording discs.
Can anyone out there shed any light on why the DMR-EH80 seems much more tolerant of DVD-Rs in general, and can you recommend a reliable standalone player (not recorder) that will likely offer the same level of smooth, reliable playback on home-burned, NTSC discs?
Thanks in advance for any help this community can offer!
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"An intellectual carrot? The mind boggles!"
Some of the most reliable players seem to come from Oppo. But they are expensive. http://www.oppodigital.com/
But with discs from questionable sources or disc quality, no set top player would likely play them all. I would probably rip them to the computer, make any repairs necessary, then copy them to a quality disc. Then place the originals in archival storage.
It could be the player. DVD players do NOT last forever, despite what people think. And for you to get 5 years of service out of any DVD player is pretty remarkable.
It could also be the discs. We don't know what brands of discs you have. 4-5 years ago, it was really easy to get great media. I've got some TDK and Fuji discs from the period that are top notch. I think the Fuji discs (if I remember correctly) were actually made by Taiyo Yuden. Verbatim was making great discs too. Now TDK just sells whatever cheap crap they can get in North America and only Verbatim, sometimes, makes high quality discs for sale in US stores. I've now started mail ordering all my media and I buy either Verbatim DataLifePlus (made in Taiwan) or Taiyo Yuden.
As to why your DMR-EH80 is better, it may be better built. Or used less.
Philips makes a variety of cheap players that can handle DVD-R discs fine.
Can you copy one or more of the discs that give problems and burn them onto Verbatim as a test?
Samsuck never could make a good DVD player, that's your problem. I've been using a JVC daily for 4 years now, it pretty much works flawlessly. All players need the laser and spindle cleaned once in awhile. I've found that cleaning the laser guide rails and applying new grease, just a little, also helps when players start pixelating and skipping.