DVD player plays all of our owned DVDs fine, but when we rent, it plays them randomly--meaning, when you put it in it may play or it may not. If not, I get a message that the disc may be dirty, wrong region, etc. It is neither. After 5-7 tries it usually plays. However, if you pause the dvd for more than a minute, then it freezes, and you have to start again.
It may be that the lens on your player is dusty, and with nice clean well cared for disks, like the ones you own, it's ok, but for disks that have small scratches or bigger smudges on them, (look carefully on the rented ones) it may be just enough more that it confuses the player. you might look into getting one of the lens cleaner disks you can find in electronics stores.
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The chances of getting 2 bad rentals in a row are very slim, but not impossible. If your player plays all other DVDs fine, then my money's on the Redbox DVDs being bad, or even fake (people have been known to keep the actual movies, and return fakes to the machine).
Are you trying to playing recordable DVDs (DVD+R or DVD-R) ? if so, try playing original DVDs (the type you rent or buy) those are pressed DVDs - if it works, then your player does not support DVD-R or DVD+R - If you are using a computer burner that supports bitsetting you can change the booktype of a DVD+R to DVD-ROM to fool your player.
If however your player cannot play either DVD-R, DVD+R nor original DVDs and only plays CDs, then your dvd laser diode is finished - there is one for CD and one for DVD, this is rare but happens, there is nothing you can do, any repairs would be very expensive - you are better off getting a new DVD player they are very inexpensive now and any repairs will cost you multiple times a new DVD player.
Are you trying to play recordable DVDs like DVD-r or DVD+r ? If yes, then try playing ORIGINAL DVDs such as the ones you rent or buy, these are pressed DVDs - if it works, then your dvd player does not support DVD-R or +R - if it still does not work you may have a bad dvd laser diode - in this case you will need a new dvd player - any repairs would be very costly and cost you more than a new player which is very expensive now.
I rented Rush Hour 3 from blockbuster along with Woodcock and both did not play on my Sylvania DVD player. I did take them and put them on my computer and their was a page that came up INTERACTUAL
This DVD is enhanced with interactive features designed exclusively for use on a computer.
PLAY DVD with enhanced features (that prompted a download)
or PLAY DVD without enhanced features and you can play the DVD movie on your small home computer screen.
I believe that the DVD producers have added the ENHANCED FEATURES to be used on a computer and in so doing they do not work at least not on the Sylvania DVD players.