Modern DVD players are the reliable work horses of the living room but even they still have their little quirks and problems from time to time. Here’s a quick guide to solving common niggles…
This DVD keeps freezing or skipping
The data stored on DVDs is coded in a spiral that starts in the middle of the disc and moves out to the outer edge. Dust, dirt or scratches change the course of the DVD player’s laser and stop it from reading the disc properly. The simplest way of fixing this problem is to gently wipe the disc clean with a moist cloth. Ideally, get hold of a lint-free optical cloth like the kind used for cleaning glasses. To clean the DVD, rub lightly from the centre of the disc to the edge in straight lines. Holding it up to the light will reveal any dust or marks on the surface. If the cleaning doesn’t work or you find that more than one DVD is skipping, your DVD player’s lens may have got dirty or dusty. A DVD cleaning disc should be able to solve that. You simply place it in the player and set it going.
My DVD player won’t play the clips on my USB stick
While lots of DVD players like the Toshiba XDE600 and SD5010 come with a USB 2.0 port built-in and support for DivX video files, MP3 and WMA audio files and JPEG pictures, there are dozens of different file formats out there. If your DVD player is resolutely refusing to recognise the files on your USB stick, they’re likely to be in the wrong format. Don’t worry – there’s lots of simple, free programmes out there to convert your files. Once you’ve identified what format your files are in (if they’re from your camcorder that’ll most likely be AVI, MPEG2 or MPEG4) a simple Google search throws up plenty of free utilities to convert them to DivX.
My DVD player doesn’t work with my USB external hard drive
When your DVD player has a USB connection, it obviously makes sense to plug in your external hard drive to play videos from it on your TV without needing to hook up your PC. But you may find that your USB external hard drive refuses to come to life. That’s because the USB port on your DVD player isn’t supplying enough power to get the hard drive up and running. Plug your hard drive in using its mains adaptor and then hook it up by USB and it should work just fine.