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This is a common problem with DVDs. You must not leave them idle for such long periods. Second, you must always leave a disc inside the player. It protects the optical lance from dust. There may be some dust deposit on the lance or the loading rubber belt may have gone lose or the spindle motor which rotates the disc might have gone slow. But to solve this problem you will need a qualified technician. Good luck.
With most dvd/vcr combo units there is separate wiring. When I use my emerson combo unit I have it wired that I have to be on different inputs on my tv to view a dvd and a vhs. On some units the vcr portion is wired via a regular cable line, while the dvd portion is wired with the yellow, red, and white component cable. Try inserting a dvd and scrolling through your tv inputs until you find the picture or check your wiring to ensure nothing has come loose. If that has no result you could try wiring it differently if possible to eliminate that as a possibility.
is the dvd a store bought disc or a burnt dvd? If the disc is a store bought disc I unfortunately can't help you. But if the dvd you are trying to play is burned from dvd burner you are most likely using the wrong type of burnable dvd.
There are two types of dvd's you can burn, DVD-R and DVD+R. You need to make sure which one you dvd player can play, some play one or the other, some play both. I have also heard of some older ones that can't play any type of burned disc.
Hope that helps