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You can probably use the front panel buttons (STOP PLAY OPEN/CLOSE etc) manually, the only thing you cannot do without the remote is access certain DVD menus, including subtitles/language/special features etc. You can always obtain and use a universal remote for basic menu functions later on if necessary.
To play a DVD movie without the remote, simply load your preferred disc, wait for the player to finish reading its contents, then to skip copyright warnings and/or the 'play movie' menu screen, press STOP, then PLAY, or simply press PLAY button where 'play movie' (or whatever function) is highlighted in the menu. These buttons should be on the front of the main unit. Doing this should encourage the player to detect the appropriate title (the movie) and play it (basic playback operation may not be possible with some DVD releases due to the numerous interactive menus and title pages, such as film trailers).
If basic manual operation is not completely possible with some DVD titles, consider a universal remote for your player if you have either lost your original, or the player was purchased/received without one. Such remotes are relatively inexpensive to purchase, and are available just about everywhere.
You could try purchasing a universal remote. Many of them can access even the most specific functions, although it might be labeled differently on the remote (so if you don't see it on the remote, just play around and it might really be there. I've had my input control for a TV actually turn out to be the TV/VCR button on my universal remote). Make sure it's a universal remote with DVD controls, otherwise it might not have that function at all.
Other than that, there's nothing else I can think of, since most DVD players don't have any menu button(s) on the unit itself.
The model number would be helpful as well. Below are a few universal process's for JBL dvd players. Not 100% guaranteed.. Give them a try, if they don't work then post the model number for further info.
PROCESS 1 1. Turn on player without disc and wait for "no disc"
2. Press OSD on remote control
3. Press 314159
4. Press 0 for region 0 (or 2 for region 2, etc.)
5. Turn off player with 'off'
PROCESS 2 1) Open DVD tray
2) Press and hold "6" button on remote control.
3) Press "Menu/PBC" button. The current region code will be displayed on screen.
4) Keep pressing the "Menu/PBC" button until the preferred region code is selected (0,1,2,3,4,5,6).
5) Press and hold the "Angle" button for more than 2 seconds to save the region code. "Writing Region ID" will appear on screen.
PROCESS 3 Volume off
Press volume+ for 3 sec on remote
Then press Language on remote fast
Then choose 0 for region free
Good luck , let me know if one of them work. Thank you for trying Fixya!
Try a RCA universal remote with an input button. Try the codes for Orion , Sansui and RCA. Access the menu by holding down both volume buttons on the front of the set. There is no access to the jacks on the front of the set without a remote. If all else fails get a RF Modulator. This will allow you to watch your dvd by using the antenna jack on the back of the set.