I write this in the hope that someone who works on the servicing of dvd players, preferably in the UK, will respond bringing to bear their technical first hand experience:
I love dvd players, especially when they have the means to play Single Frame Backwards one step at a time. This is very rare in 2020.
I first got a Panasonic dvd player in 2006. It is still working beautifully today. Concerned that it might start to fail anytime soon I scouted around for a modern Standard Definition machine. I settled for a Sony, which has Single Frame Backwards! Unfortunately they do not make dvd players like they used to. My dvd discs are very clean yet todays dvd players refuse to play them all the way through without 'Freezing' or 'Stalling'; unlike my Panasonic which can!
I am wanting to know if there are any Std Def machines which have a guaranteed success rate for not failing the picture play back? Surely, in this day and age the boffins could come up with some kind of innovation to prevent Freezing and Skipping(?) If such an animal exists , do please tell me the make and model number?
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Are your discs commercial or burned discs? In either case, it's unlikely to be the player as standalone players are far more tolerant of read errors than PC drives. If they're burned, they may have gone bad, typical signs are the freezing and stalling you're experiencing. In either case be sure they're clean and free of scratches. And try to rip them using DVDFab, then create a new disc from the iso.
Yeah, I'd just use a software player on a pc.
I have over a dozen DVD players and do not have problems with freezing or stalling on any of them. This is not to say that you are not having the problem, but it DOES suggest that perhaps your DVD collection is not in good shape if you are experiencing the problem on more than one player.
If you have a Lite-On DVD player in any of your computers, you can use Nero DVD Speed to check the burn quality of your disc. It will tell you if you have a lot of read errors.
If your discs have been exposed to heat or, even worse, have been stored in the open, where light can get at them, you might have degradation from storage.
Last edited by johnmeyer; 8th Nov 2020 at 10:08. Reason: minor typo
Thanks to all who have replied.
My Panasonic from 2006 still plays all of my carefully stored / clean dvd's! After 15 years it is still excellent.
My concern is the dvd players made today: You are lucky if they will play a disc without Freezing. I would have thought manufactures would have boasted some new technology which would guarantee perfect playback from even the most degraded dvd disc, in this day and age? If my Panasonic will last me another 10 years that should see me out, and I will be very happy.
Other than Blu-Ray and UHD, optical disc technology hasn't changed and since DVD only players are all but obsolete, they're on the lower end of build/cost. Your best option is to find another Panasonic and hope that works as well as your original. Or look for a high end player like an OPPO (all discontinued) and hope that it works well.
As for reading degraded discs, why should current technology support out of spec media? Yes, if your discs are degraded, they out of DVD spec. Which is why PC readers are worse at reading them correctly vs hiding errors.
I do a lot with DVD players, basically all older pre '10 models. Modern DVD players are basically disposable crap built for the lowest price point, sad but true, it's actually hard to find brand name players, at least in N. America. My favorite players are Sony, the DVP-700 which is one of the earlier up-converting players but still has the quality of the older players, well actually the build quality(weight is a good indicator) was better before the DVP-NS700 but it's still good and picture quality is better than the older early models.
My best models for playing "iffy" discs would be my Pioneers, DV-400 and DV-410 again pre '10, they have the best possibility of playing any given DVD.
Unfortunately, none of the players can be found new anymore and you have to be careful purchasing used as to not get one that was overused or abused. Five years ago I use to see many such players used and for good prices, ~$20 USD but I never really see them anymore, probably most have been tossed in the trash or recycled as no one really uses DVDs anymore.
Panasonic also made good players but as I have several Panasonic DVDRs and the remote codes are the same, I don't like to use Panasonic players.
All my players support both slo-mo and frame forward and reverse along with lots of other features lacking in anything modern you could find. Oh and BD players aren't any better than modern DVD players, they lack features and build quality is quite low, best I can do is suggest you look in the second-hand market for a like-new older model.
The DVD player market was killed by the ultra cheap generic Chinese models that flooded the market in the early 2000's.
A possible solution is the find a DVD recorder like a Lite-On that has a standard DVD-ROM as it's player. It should be more accurate in its playback combined with the extra error correction of a standalone player.
Thank you very much for your replies.
The reason I am so down about the Sony DVP 760H is purchased it new last year. Twelve months and three weeks later I find at least one -RW disc is Freezing up. Yes, the guarantee ran out three weeks ago, so to have it mended would cost me more than the £25 I paid for it in the first place!
Progress, as you say, does not bring better stability; I hear that 'center mounted' dvd carriages are superior to 'side mounted'. More stability. The Sony is side mounted.
The machines I had 15 years ago were strong and had every feature you could wish for. My favorite is the Single Frame Back wards because it is so practical, yet manufactures are not generous these days and 'take these features away' so you cannot have them.
I keep looking at the Buget priced models of today, such as Electcom £35. It wont frame Reverse but at least one report claims it will successfully play warm and scratched dvd's.
I think it would be wrong to say 'Dvd is on it's way out. The world has been saturated with Dvd's and people will want a machine to play them on. Not everything is for the watching online. If something good, that you like is there, it won't stay put for very long! There used to be a great free site for movies called Veehd.com. I was elated with it for seven years and then one day, 2 years ago, it ceased to be.
All we need are the 'Rolls Royce' machines like they used to be 15 years ago.
Scratched or worn dvds are difficult for any hardware to play, worn RWs even worse. If you have a lot of discs in poor condition, you're not likely to find a new or recent standalone player that can smoothly play all of them PLUS have a load of trick play features like reverse slo-mo. Best you can do is look for a good condition older model second hand, as jjeff suggested. But there are traps there as well: some of the best dvd players ever made were not equipped with HDMI connections, and/or have trouble with RW playback. My beloved Sony DVP-S7000 is a good example: fantastic playback, rock-solid build, still reliable after 23 years, bought it used for £50, but no HDMI and inability to play burned discs like RW make it less and less useful.
Finding the sweet spot of decent "build quality+features+error tolerance" in a used older player can be difficult, further complicated by variables like aging issues specific to different models. Panasonic made some really great dvd players that could correct even really badly worn discs, but they had an Achilles Heel in their drive mechanics that put many on the scrap heap. Tons of dvd recorders from Sony, Pioneer, Panasonic, etc had great playback and features, are cheap to buy second hand, but suffer from easily worn out drives that are irreplaceable and unrepairable today. Bit of needle-in-haystack involved, unless you're willing to live with the newer cheaper BD/DVD players and just replace them every year or so when they break.
For better and worse, we now live in an era where technology and consumer culture evolves with frightening rapidity. Products explode onto the scene, become worldwide standards in a flash, then a few years later are considered passe as most people move on to the next wave. It does no good to justify our own specific personal interest with thoughts like "B-b-b-u-t there are millions of dvds out there: millions of people will want to play them forever!" because the sad fact is no, they don't and won't. Physical media is dying much faster than expected: BluRay barely got off the ground before streaming began to kill it. If a video or music creation can't be pulled up immediately on a phone or tablet while on the go, it may as well not exist as far as the mass market is concerned. Heck, disc drives vanished from most new laptops a couple years ago and almost nobody complained: that tells you all you need to know about the future viability of DVD.
You have to look at it from the mfr point of view. Thirty years ago, profit margins on electronics were better because there weren't any web dealers for easy price shopping: you had to go to an actual store, often a local non-chain store, where bargaining was either an ordeal or impossible. China wasn't the global behemoth it is today, so generic knockoff products for half price didn't get dumped on the market quite as fast as now. So things were generally a bit more expensive, a bit more durable, and remained available in stores a bit longer. As in every aspect of life, affordable computers and the rise of internet accessibility changed all that. Products became more sophisticated and often cheaper: a double edged sword when it comes to reliability. And life became ever more centered on the PC/web paradigm: by 2010, if something wasn't web-enabled it was almost unsellable.
Shelf life dropped in half: model years became model semesters. What was once the commonly accepted standard for "good quality midprice" gear moved up to become "premium luxury" and actual "premium luxury" shot up to a price level only the wealthy could afford, to the point anything slightly above minimal quality is so esoteric and pricey nowadays its practically irrelevant. So yeah, while it is true "millions of people still want to play dvds", few of those millions are willing to pay the current £300+ pricetag for a well-built fully-featured standalone player comparable to a Pioneer DV-410. They are perfectly happy to replace a junk generic £29 player every year instead, and live without reverse frame by frame playback. Consider the popularity of streaming which offers no fancy playback features: you're lucky it even works at all. Well, thats what people have become accustomed to: they no longer expect features like reverse slo-mo in other video products like disc players, so those features disappear to help keep prices low enough to still sell.
Last edited by orsetto; 10th Nov 2020 at 08:12.
Thank you Orsetto. Your views are most welcome.