kwil2 19:31 04 Feb 2013

I bought the Samsung DVD SR150M Recorder for my parents about two years ago. It was a 'manager's special', absolutely brand-new and boxed, if an older product. This unit simply records onto DVD media,so no hard drive. The idea was for them to use it on the odd occasion to record a progamme or two and have Freeview (they also have a still excellent Sharp CRT TV which they refuse to change till it explodes!...I know, I know!!)

As it happens, they've barely used the recording function at all. Maybe only a handful of times. Recording and playback worked perfectly.

However, over the weekend (NOW they want to record something!!) the Samsung developed a fault - it won't read DVD discs of any sort. Guess who got the phone call... Now, the Samsung records in minus format only, but plays back in multiple formats. I tried loading both formats of my own discs and a couple of DVD films. No joy. You can hear the unit trying to read the disc, but the front display shows only 'LOAD'. If the unit was functioning properly, 'Load' would appear for a few seconds while the disc was being read, then playback would begin. The little disc icon shows on the TV screen till the Samsung ejects the disc saying: 'This disc cannot be played or recorded on'

My first thought was 'dust' on the laser...though don't dare tell my mum there's one speck of dust in her living room!! I couldn't use a DVD cleaning disc because of the above problem. I therefore opened the unit and had a look...spotless! Using just a cotton swab with nothing added, I gently wiped in and around the laser. No dirt on the swab. I inserted a DVD film disc and noticed the laser's red light coming on for a few seconds. So it obviously was 'firing' OK. The disc then stops spinning. After that, see above. I couldn't see anything else 'loose'that needed fixing. Then I tried gently cleaning the laser head area with a swab sprayed with some isopropyl alcohol(standard cleaning fluid for most things electrical etc) Again, no joy. So, am I right in thinking the laser is simply shot, despite lack of use, or is there any other method I could use to remedy this problem? After not using the Samsung to record, now my parents think that yes, maybe they would like to use it a little more after all. Talk about Murphy's Law!

Since the Freeview works perfectly, I know their response if I suggest just ditching the Samsung and offering to buy them a new recorder! Anyone any suggestions...apart from disowning my lovely mum and dad? Many thanks

  Bris 19:49 06 Feb 2013

Take a look at this

Its rather a long thread but has some suggestions that you could try especially in relation to the presets (potentiometers) tweaking of which has worked for some.

  kwil2 17:46 07 Feb 2013

Thanks for the reply Bris... Had a look at the link...At the time, the unit was Samsung's headline recorder. So would be rather surprised if they used a cheap laser. Even given that, should any laser fail after only a handful of uses?? Still, I'll open the thing up again at the weekend and see if adjusting the potentiometers does the trick.... Nothing to lose.....If successful, I'll post back...If not, well...

  kwil2 20:31 08 Feb 2013

Hi again, Bris... Opened up the unit again, but there were no 'potentiometer screws' visible as per the Denon DVD player comments via your link. However, I did notice a couple of very small 'bolt-shaped' points, with markings 'High' and 'Low'. I suspect these were the potentiometers but because of their size, it was impossible to 'grab' them in any way to effect turning as per instructions in the link. So, sadly, no joy, despite the outside chance this would work.

I'm really disappointed in Samsung. They normally make good products, but if a laser can fail so quickly with minimum use, then I'd be very wary of buying a new Samsung DVD-recorder or any other Samsung product again.

Maybe I'll be able to convince my folks just to keep the Samsung as a Freeview box and buy them a new recorder. That would at least give them 'dual-tuner' functionality since, as I said, their Sharp TV is a CRT-model with no digital tuner. If they accept that (and I have my doubts!) can anyone recommend a decent DVD-recorder that would meet their needs without breaking the bank? Many thanks

  Bris 10:41 10 Feb 2013

The models with a HDD are the ones to go for as this would avoid the necessity of swapping discs.

As your parents have a CRT TV it will only have SCART inputs so what you have to watch out for is a recorder that has SCART output, many only have HDMI although you could get a converter but they are expensive.

click here

If you are currently using the Samsung as a Freeview tuner and the TV only has one SCART input socket you will need a SCART switch box if you want to connect a second device, but things get complicated especially for old folk (like me).

There are recorders with two tuners, which would be ideal, but they cost £300 upwards and probably would only have HDMI output.

With regard to the potentiometers, its impossible for me to comment without having a look at the recorder, sorry.

Hope the above helps.

  Bris 14:33 13 Feb 2013

instructions for adjusting a laser

Came across the above. If you are feeling brave you may fancy giving it a try.

  thukute90 02:16 23 Feb 2013

I thinks they normally make good products, but if a laser can fail so quickly with minimum use, then I'd be very wary of buying a new Samsung DVD-recorder or any other Samsung product again

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