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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Disposable DVD Players

Is it just my bad luck or have DVD players gotten so mind-bogglingly crappy that you basically use them for a few months and them throw them away when they stop working?

Granted, we live in a dusty area.  But after the first few machines crapped out I began using a lens/laser cleaning kit religiously.

At a certain point the damned things just decide to stop reading discs and basically become expensive doorstops.

Up until now I have been buying mid-priced DVD players. 

Now I'm torn between buying a really high end machine in hopes that it will actually last longer than a carton of milk... or simply buying a bunch of the really cheap Taiwanese ones so I can just toss them in the trash and hook up a fresh one whenever the inevitable failure message appears on the screen.


Posted by David Bogner on October 25, 2009 | Permalink


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I've had a CyberHome dvd player for about 5 years now. It's made it through 3-4 moves and still works great. The remote's crapped out, but I use a universal remote anyway. My cousin says that the machine is made from good parts, and he bought it after doing an extensive search of more expensive dvd players. My parents had a similar experience. They had a fancy Sony player that broke, and they bought the CyberHome one as a cheap replacement, and it's made it far longer than the Sony did. And at least, if it ends up breaking, you won't have spent big bucks on it. The other thing is that mine is region-free, even though it wasn't advertised as such.

Here's a link to the machine: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3163040

Posted by: Caro | Oct 25, 2009 4:58:54 PM

The cyberhome one (the one that I think of) also operates on both 110 and 220V, and can output PAL and NTSC. Get one of your US relatives to get you one. It's also really small and should not be a big luggage item.

Posted by: Greg T | Oct 25, 2009 5:02:57 PM

Honestly, don't use the cleaning kit. Not that I could ever admit to owning a DVD player as it would affect my children's schooling... but I know this person, who I *know* has had a low-mid range DVD player for two years, and I *know* he has never used the cleaning kit, and has never had a problem.

Also I *know* that when this person did a short stint with rent-a-center in the US official policy was not to use them as they degraded the life of the machine.

You have to admit, its a great scam though. They have you buying a new machine every few months.

Posted by: mekubal | Oct 25, 2009 5:29:05 PM

I have a cheap toshiba that has lasted through several granddaughter visits. and 3yrs

Posted by: dave | Oct 25, 2009 5:56:49 PM

Even cheap ones should last more than a few months! It is somewhere where small furry members of your family might "influence" it? (Or even small, not-so-furry members?). I bought the cheapest DVD/VCR combo I could find shortly after we made aliyah 3 years ago, and it still works for both (including a city-to-city move). Granted, we usually watch DVDs on our computer, so it hasn't gotten a large amount of use on the grand scheme of things, but still...

Are you sure the problem isn't the DVDs getting scratched? It took the death of a couple of our kids DVDs (including an Angelina Ballerina!) before our four year old finally came to grips with the fact that she is not, in fact, dexterous enough yet to take the DVD out of the case and load it up.

Posted by: Jonathan | Oct 25, 2009 6:07:14 PM

You must have had a run of bad luck. I've had the same DVD player for 6 years and it is is still going strong. I bought it and used it in the desert city where I lived, and never had a problem. Animal hair can be tricky though. However fastidious you are at cleaning, those little hairs can get everywhere. I think this is particularly so when you have wooden/tiled floors, as they drift so easily. Wishing long life to the next one!

Posted by: Noa | Oct 25, 2009 8:58:17 PM

I've had a cheap one that I purchased in the Ben Yehuda district near the Jungle pet store - there's an electronics store at the end of that street. It has lasted over a year and I've got a 9-year-old who uses it almost daily. I don't have any animal fur floating around the house so that may have something to do with our success vs. your failed units. And only my son knows how to operate it so there's no issue of multiple users (like we used to have when sharing PCs - I finally won that battle "PC means PERSONAL computer, not family!") You might try keeping your next one covered with a thin linen towel (the kind put on bread dough when rising), cloth diaper or an allergy pillow case to keep the sand, dust and pet hair out of it.

Good luck!

Posted by: Tehillah | Oct 25, 2009 10:14:12 PM

iPod and a magnifying glass, or cable hookups to TV/Computer screen. ;o/

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Oct 26, 2009 6:58:26 AM

oh, just put all the DVD's on your computer all ready and turn them intdo digitized music...get an MP3 player and some speakers.

Posted by: LG | Oct 26, 2009 9:51:53 AM

At the beginning of the summer my Toshiba began acting up and not reading my Netflix DVD`s. As soon as I started considering buying a new one, the Toshiba started behaving,and haven`t had problems for a few months. I think the problem was under usage before I joined Netflix.

Posted by: ED | Oct 26, 2009 10:18:53 PM

you sure that Yonah isn't pouring stuff into the slot when you're not looking??!! Seriously, they last forever... unless how many hours a week is it being used? Over usage, perhaps?

Posted by: val | Oct 27, 2009 3:02:56 AM

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