DVD player lifespan

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by AaronCushing, May 12, 2004.

  1. AaronCushing

    AaronCushing Agent

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    Can anyone please comment on the expected lifespan of a DVD player? I was told to "be lucky to live through the warranty period" on the cheap grocery-store variety of player, to get probably 18 months to 2 years on the $150 class of machine, and probably 5 years on the $800-$1000 units.

    My current (and dead!) player is a GE thing from WalMart 2 Christmases ago. So I'm on the hunt for a new one. I like the looks of the deal at ecost on the Kenwood 5700, but I'm having trouble selling it to my wife. Her question is, is there a machine that will last 10-15 years, or should we expect to spend $200 ever 2 years, or $800 every 5 years? Or $60 every year (I don't think so).

    Our current setup is just a DVD player & a VCR hooked to a 27" tv in the living room. But there's a nice virgin 20x11x8 room in the basement just screaming out to me. And I've already got the WAF for a PJ, speakers, and a receiver. So I do want to future-proof myself a little, but at the same time, if a machine's not even going to last until the basement is done, then why put out the big bucks now anyway?!?

    Sorry for the rambling. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You get what you pay for. My 1st generation Panny A300U is almost 8 yrs old and still working - $500 at the time. My Sony 560 is now 4yrs old, and it works with a few hang ups on the rare occasion - only $200. I wouldn't look for a player based on how long it will last, because any brand could last one day or 10 years, you never know. I'd simply go look at players and try to pick something that had the features I was looking for and decent build quality. That will end up costing you a little more though. In the $100-$300 range, IMO, build quality is not spectacular. Above that, it gets pretty decent.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    This is a pet topic of mine.

    Except for those top-of-the-line machines from the usual OEMs, which are pretty ruggedly built, most machines are pretty darn fragile and finicky and run too hot, and they always benefit from conservative use (my bedroom unit, a two-year-old Toshiba 2800 purchased online for $130, still is performing beautifully -- but, then, I take exquisitely good care of the thing).

    So, yes, people who run their lower-end DVD players all the time, feeding them dirty and scratched discs while doing movie marathons that last all day, can expect short lifespans from their machines. Yet, say if you pick up a $120 Sony 725 and run it conservatively while making sure the machine stays clean and dust-free, the thing could be useful for an indefinite number of years.

    But those $30-$50 cheapo units from Wal-Mart, no matter how well cared-for, tend to last two or three months before expiring. They are not an "investment."
     
  4. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    Don't get too far ahead of yourself. A $1000 DVD player may last 15 years, but new formats will come out (probably 2 or 3 in that time) and you are going to end up upgrading to a new player that supports all the latest formats.

    Get a decent $200-300 player and it should last you for awhile, and by then there will probably be something new you will want.

    That does not mean that you shouldn't buy a $1000 DVD player (heck, I did). Besides better build quality, you also get more features (like SACD and DVD-A), and better picture and sound.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    ditto that. i've given it to my sister, but it's working perfectly....it doesn't even hang up.

    also, you have to think about how much use the thing is gonna get. i played mine quite a bit (several nights a week maybe...), but i suspect some people run theirs a lot more.
     
  6. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    I'd say 2-3 years is typical for a $200-300 DVD player, though there are exceptions. A short life is expected for the no-name el-cheapo brands, at least step up to a cheap known-name brand like Panasonic or JVC for under $100 players, those might last at least 2 years. The technology changes so fast I've been upgrading to new models in just under 2 years anyway for the past 6 years so I wouldn't invest in an extended warranty beyond 2 years anyway.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Mine didn't see a ton of use, during the week not so much, bu weekends it got a workout usually. I gave mine to my daughter for use in her room, and it sees even less use now. It doesn't really hang up, it sort of has an issue with sending audio via digital - solved by turning it off completely and back on. In analog to the TV, it works perfectly.

    I only need my 2200 to last until I can see what Denon's next gen players will be for sure [​IMG]
     
  8. peter m. wilson

    peter m. wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I have an SDI modded Panny rp82 that I use with the HOLO3D computer PCI card vid scaler. It also does dvd-a and upsamples redbook cds to 88.2 which my updated Denon 5800 recognises, but since I had a problem with a dirt on the reader and changed the spindle motor $72.00cdn for everything, I decided to use it strictly for video and picked up separate dvd-a and sacd players.

    I Still have the Tosh sd5109 that I got in Oct 2000 with my Tosh 65H80 and it still works great with my second system and also plays my hdcd's. It was $900cdn when I got it and has dvd-a type outs, (but is not a dvd-a player)

    I've A/B'd the LG scaling dvd player with my RP82 at 1080i and it's a tossup so if it dies again I might go for a scaling player now that their only $300cdn and by the time I need it, probably cheaper.

    Peter m.
     
  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    My 530 is 5-1/2 years old and the only change I've noticed is that the layer change seems to take a bit longer than it used to. I've taken excellent care of the thing over the years and it's performed well. I think I paid almost $400 in '98.
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Similarly, I have a Sony 550 from that same year, packed away in its original carton (even with the original rice-paper covering), living in distinguished retirement -- and ready to pitch in just in case one of my other two players malfunctions.

    The 550 looks brand new (and the styling holds up nicely; if it were prog scan-capable, it would make a decent machine on today's market).
     
  11. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi Second Unit

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    I have a Sony DVP-S360 that I paid around $170 for over 3 years ago. It was there lowest model I believe and it is still doing fine. The scary part it though that it has one of the worst ratings I have ever seen on Audio review, I think the average is like 2.3 out of 600 reviews. Most said that they only got 6 months to a year out of it! But mine is over 3 years old. Maybe I just got a good one? And I don’t use it all that much. Anyway I don’t really care if it does break, I plan on getting a new one soon and if the Sony still works I will donate it to my parents or something.
     
  12. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    You know what they say: believe none of what you hear and half of what you read. And that was before the Internet. [​IMG]
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I bought my parents a 330 back when they came out, and it is still working fine also, though it is not used on an extreme basis.
     
  14. AaronCushing

    AaronCushing Agent

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    Now, I was also told that the laser in a DVD player burns much hotter than one in a CD player, and therefore it would burn out" sooner. According to this "oh-so-knowledgeable" sales guy, playing CDs on a DVD player will greatly reduce the lifespan (well, for movies anyway). He says that since there's only so many hours of play to be expected, to not "waste" them on CDs. Any validity there? Seems to make sense, but...I dunno. Would a lens cleaning disk help much?
     
  15. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    I wouldn't put any stock in a salesman's tale - he probably wants you to buy a separate CD player from him, thats the reason behind his theory, there is no basis for it - the lasers last the same either way. Usually mechanical problems occur and fail before the laser diode does!
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Actually, I would say it's best to play CDs in dedicated CD players, while preserving your DVD player for strictly home-theater use -- i.e., movies and TV on DVD, etc. And it's because the things are so fragile and short-lived if overused. DVD players do run hot -- hotter than CD-only players. Why waste their lifespans on redbook CDs?
     
  17. peter m. wilson

    peter m. wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I've never owned a cd player but I'm always supprised at how hot a dvd is when I take it out of my player.

    As I sort of said before (this aint rocket science) the more you use something except for your dick, the more mileage you rackup therefore chances of breakdown. If you have a dvd player that you would be hard pressed to live without and it's not built like a tank, use it for video only and you probably will lenghten its' life.

    Thats what I'm doin anyway.

    Peter m.
     
  18. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    DVDs play at a higher RPM than CDs so of course playing a DVD will get warmer, but have you played a CD in a DVD player and compared the temperature with a DVD playing?
     

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