DVD problem on SD-H400

Discussion in 'DVD TiVo Units (Archive)' started by maxjustmax, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. maxjustmax

    maxjustmax New Member

    Jan 20, 2007


    I have a SD-H400 about 3 years old. The DVD player has gone bad. It plays through a movie about 1/3 and then starts locking up. Sometimes I can advance the scene, sometimes not. Is there anything I can do for this baby or is time to be replaced?

    If I have to send it in for service, can you recommend an inexpensive TIVO unit to serve in the interrim.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. lsorense

    lsorense New Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    I ran across the same problem until when you load a DVD, it just stays on LOADING...and will not load a DVD at all. I just called Toshiba but they are 'restructuring' the Tivo department and I am waiting on a call from them to see what they suggest. But I read elsewhere that they will want to charge $140 to 'fix' the problem.

    I have read in other threads that you can hook up an external DVD player to work with the SD-H400 so it makes me wonder if you could replace the internal DVD player with new one as well. You'd have to be a little techie to be able to do it though...
  3. ryardley

    ryardley R. Yardley

    Jan 30, 2007
    My DVD player and display died too on my SD-H400. I am looking for parts to fix it. The Tivo half works great still. To send it in is too much money. Have you found a fix for your units yet?
  4. Feb 2, 2007 #4 of 12
    Scott Atkinson

    Scott Atkinson New Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Watertown NY
    Interesting. I's rehabbing an sd-h400 and just installed a new hd, using InstantCake for the restore.

    The dvd player won't do anything, though the Tivo side is now fine. When I first got the unit, the dvd player worked very briefly. I'm trying to sort out hardware vs. software as an issue.

    Scott A.
  5. Feb 2, 2007 #5 of 12

    lafos Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2004
    Sioux Falls, SD


    You can try to pull the DVD player out of the Toshiba and give it a good cleaning with compressed air (not recommended while DVD drive is installed). I did that with my Toshiba SD-H400 and it did help. It won't fix a mechanically damaged drive, but if you have a few years of dust, then it's worth a shot.
  6. Awalt

    Awalt New Member

    Dec 1, 2006
    There is at least one post that the same DVD Burner Replacement Drives being used in the Humax units will work for Toshiba and Pioneer as well.
  7. STC

    STC New Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    This same thing is happening to me now. It seems only the "newer" DVDs wont run. Very weird.
  8. briandsloan

    briandsloan New Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Hi All,

    I have had so many problems with the " loading " screen that I got tired of it all and got creative. So this problem started a year ago. Around that time, I tried to open the DVD tray, stick in, gently, a vacuum cleaner hose with the long skinny attachment (I think it is called the crevice attachment). Once I did some vacuuming of the inside through the small opening of the DVD tray it started to work again. As time went on, the problems came back, but it did take quite some time before I had "loading" problems again (which I refer to as perpetual loading).

    After the perpetual loading problem went away initially, I was having problems with the DVD just pausing / stopping on a scene. Most of the time it just wouldn't go past the scene on its own. Occasionally, it would get over it on its own and continue playing the DVD.

    I always attributed it to a scratch on the disk, but it is the DVD player in the TIVO that is just fragile. The same DVD in another player doesn't have the same problem.

    To get past this problem, I learned to go back to the previous chapter in the DVD, which wasn't a problem, then hit the "search" button which is on the remote just above the numbers. I hit the search button, moved the cursor to the right twice, then typed in a time about five seconds after the time where the DVD paused.

    Occasionally 5 seconds wasn't enough, and I would have to go further ahead using the same method I just described above. What is odd is that after jumping about 5 seconds ahead of the problem area, I could then go back right to the problem area, or quite some time before the problem area, and it was no longer a problem.

    This method worked fairly well most of the time, but occasionally, if I didn't search far enough into the future of the problem area on the DVD, the DVD would pause on a scene, and wouldn't get off it no matter what I did. I couldn't even eject the DVD. That required hitting the power button on the TIVO, then powering it back on (no real need to wait), then switching to the DVD player, and quickly hitting OPEN before the DVD had a chance to load. This very often worked.

    At this point I have opened the Toshiba SD-H400 up. I don't have a lot of technical knowledge, and I don't even know how to solder, but I figured I couldn't break it more, it just wouldn’t load a DVD anymore. I took off the metal lid of the TIVO, took off the metal lid of the DVD player inside, and unscrewed the screws that held the DVD player in place, but not any of the screws associated with the DVD player’s inner workings.

    This gives me some access to move the DVD player portion of the TIVO around, although there are still some wires that look like white ribbons that holds it in place. I did have the player unplugged when I unscrewed everything, but plugged in when I did the vacuuming.

    So tonight I was having no luck with this thing. I just kept getting the “loading,” and no matter how much I vacuumed, no matter what attachment I used, no matter how much I blowed into this thing, or rotated the DVD player part, or stuck a tissue to wipe of this thing, it just wouldn’t work.

    So I adjusted the DVD player inside the TIVO so that it was kind of sideways. It was attached to those ribbon wires, so I couldn’t move it too much, but I was able to move it sideways without unplugging anything. On the underside I found what I will call a sled. There is this black box that is attached to two rails (one on each side). I figure this black box is the bottom of the laser eye. After trying to vacuum that with no luck, and even trying to clean that with a tissue with no luck, I tried the only other thing I could think of. Shove it. I took the sled and moved it all the way to the top of the two rails, down to the bottom, and back up to the top. Before that, it was kind of in the middle. I left it in the up position when I put the DVD player back into its spot in the TIVO. I then started it up, opened the DVD tray, put the DVD in, and what do you know. All of the sudden the thing is working fine. Not only that, but I watched two movies and both played perfectly with no pausing, no stopping, no getting stuck, nothing.

    So to recap:

    If your Toshiba TIVO SD-H400 is having perpetual “loading” problems (won’t stop loading), try the following:

    1) Open DVD tray and stick vacuum with long skinny attachment on the end and vacuum out the dust

    2) If you are having “pausing” or “stopping” problems where the DVD just gets stuck, go back to the previous chapter on the DVD, then use the search button to go five or ten seconds past the problem area. You can then rewind back to the problem area, which for some reason won’t be a problem area anymore

    3) If all else fails, open up the TIVO, and remove the screws that holds the DVD part of the TIVO in place. I remember having some problems doing this, because I needed to unplug one of those ribbon wires in order to properly get to one of the screws. Just unplug it and plug it back in, it won’t be a problem. BE SURE AND DO THIS WHEN THE TIVO IS UNPLUGGED. Oh, also, there is a metal housing around the DVD player part when you open up the TIVO. I just tossed it. It hasn’t seemed to hurt anything. Once open, do some more vacuuming, maybe with the duster attachment on the vacuum (the one with all the hairs on it)

    4) If your DVD player still isn’t working, turn the DVD player part sideways and slide the sled (which is under the DVD player) up and down, and leave the sled in the up position when you put the DVD player back in its spot in the TIVO. Also, there are nubs where the DVD player rests inside the TIVO, so you don’t have to worry about putting the DVD player back in the wrong spot. It kind of locks in.

    Of course, you do this at your own risk, but it has extended the life of my TIVO and DVD player. I believe my SD-H400 is going on about 4 years old now. I haven’t had any problems with the TIVO part yet.

    Good luck, and I hope this helps someone.
  9. briandsloan

    briandsloan New Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    I just wanted to give an update. I figured out that most of the problems with the DVD player are simply due to dust on the lense.

    When the Tivo is unplugged, take out all the screws that hold the lid on; open the Tivo up; and vacuum up all the dust if necessary. I use the bristly attachment on my vacuum hose.

    Once the dust is cleared out, remove the screws that hold the DVD player metal housing in place - one or two of the screws can be tricky, and you may want to remove one of the white ribbon cables to do it. You can always plug it back in afterwards, but be absolutely sure you plug it back in completely. You can only really plug it back in one way, and it can be a bit tricky, but really not hard at all. Just be sure it is completely in, and not tilting to one side - I read that in another post.

    There are some cables taped to the metal housing. Just remove the tape and let the cables hang where they are.

    You might have a hard time pulling up one of the sides of the metal housing, as it seems to be crammed in there behind another piece of metal. Just keep working at it.

    Once you get the metal housing out, put it to the side. I say just leave it out. I have had numerous Tivos working fine for years without that metal housing inside. The DVD player will be slightly louder, but that's no big deal.

    Now, with the Tivo turned on, and the lid to the Tivo still off, select the DVD player, and hit eject. from the inside, you can see the DVD lense (eye). You can try vacuuming it, but I have found it is much better to just take a Q-tip and lightly swirl it on the eye with the side of the Q-tip. You might want to vacuum around the area as well. Also, while the DVD tray is hanging out the front of the Tivo, go ahead a give that a vacuum as well with the bristly attachment.

    You can now put a DVD in the tray, and be amazed at how well your DVD player is now working. Every now and again, you may need to repeat the process and clean off the DVD lense if your player ever has any sort of problem loading the DVD, or says that you should "check disc."
  10. jennyloves

    jennyloves New Member

    Jul 16, 2010
    hello. thanks for you kind advise, i am just need such a thing, i will think about it.thanks.

    Tiffany Jewelry
  11. billian

    billian New Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    I've been having problems with my SD-H400 reading DVDs, so I went a head and tried this. I opened the unit and disassembled as described and cleaned the lens. While I had the unit apart, I tested several DVDs I had been having trouble with and they all works great now...

    But when I put the unit back together, I started having problems. The first was that while the DVD would accept a disk and start playing it, when I switched the DVD there would be no picture. So I took the unit apart again and tried to make sure all the connections were tight and such. After that, things got even worse. Now the unit either gives me an message about the DVD player experiencing problems, or switches to the DVD player (but screen is still blank), but it is impossible to return to the Tivo meno or Live TV.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I might done or how it might be fixed?
  12. thealtenbach

    thealtenbach New Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    Sorry, I figured that one out after I posted my reply. I found that I am set as default for the DVD-ROM booktype. I will check my other writers as well, just to make sure they are also set as this booktype.

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