Is my DVD player POSSESSED?

My theta DaViD is starting to act strange. It refused to read a DVD the other night. It made 3 clicking sounds then spit the disc out.(So much for that movie) It worked ok on the next two or three movies,then last night it spit out another movie after the picture started freezing and skipping.(About half way through) I have checked these discs in another player and they work fine. The problem occurs in the same place every time. I have wiped the disc and have ruled out any problem with the software. Any easy fix short of sending the piece back to THETA? (Currently 6 week turn around time) Thanks in advance
I referred your question to "Ask Dr. Science" on PBS radio (who also writes for "Funny Times"). He replied:

"Yes, actually, your DVD player IS possessed. Digital audio and video products were developed as the result of a pact between the Devil and the major electronics manufacturers.

Although it is not widely known, DVD's do not actually have millions of tiny little pits on their surface which are read by lasers, nor do they use DAC's to convert the picture and sound into analog form. These technological explanations were devised to mislead gullible humans who refuse to believe that the Devil is real and often affects our daily lives (think what he did during the last Presidential election...).

DVD's, infact, are an invention of the Devil, and they rely on a fiendishly clever method of burning a 2-layer message into the plastic medium. (How else is the Devil going to do this but burn it in? This same method was invented by Satan to produce the 2-layer SACD disks at $30 apiece, which have caused high-end audio paranoia everywhere, but that's another story.)

The DVD contains both a movie from Hollywood (known by many to be a place of iniquity), AND a subliminal message by the Devil encouraging consumers to buy cell phones, MP3 units, and Personal Digital Assistants (for those whose lives are WAY too complicated, and require supernatural assistance to remember everyday information).

Occassionally, the Devil's subliminal DVD message is so distasteful that it causes the DVD player to malfunction. In an effort to purify itself, the player spits out the corrupted disk, the same way you would spit out something that tasted bad. The DVD player, having only a small, weak motor, is only able to reject the disk, since it lacks the human ability for projectile vomiting. Only the best DVD players are able to detect the majority of these vile, contaminated DVD disks, so it is understandable that a fine unit like the Theta rejects many of the disks you try to play.

There are only two solutions to your problem: return the DVD player to the Theta factory, and wait for 6 weeks while the player undergoes an exorcism ceremony, or sell the Theta and buy a really cheap $149 Sony DVD player, which lacks the discrimination to tell good from bad."

I hope you realize how fortunate you were to get audio advice on such short notice from Dr. Science. He wishes you the best of luck in trying to solve your problem.
Glen, what's up. I ran into the same problem with my Sony dvp-s9000es player, it plays part way through the DVD until a certain spot and then it shuts down and spits the disc out, HUH???? I tried it in both my parents and my brothers player and it works fine, I have no clue what is happening. But I have not seen the end of the movie contact in 6 months or so, kinda weird.
Thanks SD and be sure to thank Dr. Science for me. Now it makes sense. It played HANIBAL no problem. (No subliminal message necessary). But then when I tried to watch HORSE WHISPERER that's when the devil showed his horns. I fear with the local witch doctor out of town. (Black magic seminar) That I may have no choice but to schedule a seance at the "Church of Theta" Wish me luck and please pray for my poor poor DaViD.

I don't suppose a little holy water would help at this point?
I've experienced a similar problem that may (read MAY) be solved by simply powering the player down, and then unplugging it for a few minutes and plugging it back in. My player exhibited this problem about a week after it was out of warranty (about 9 months ago). It started out by refusing to read the occasional dis (although it never locked or froze in the middle of discs-this problem may be related to something else) and over the course of a couple of weeks got to the point of not reading anything. My owner's manual actually suggest unplugging the player in the trouble shooting section (but who reads manuals!), as this essentially reboots or resets the player. I still run into the odd situation where the player freezes when I load a disc, maybe once every month or two, and unplugging it and plugging it back in solves the problem. I would also suggest cleaning every rental DVD with some kind of a commercial cleaner, as most of these discs don't look too good to me. I clean every one I rent, plus treat them with Auric Illuminator, and in 2 years of heavy use (both CD and DVD), I've only had 2 movies that froze in the middle of playback.
I use my Theta Carmen as a CD transport as well as DVD player, and I also have found some weirdness. It skips more often than other players, and just last night spit out Watermark (which no other player has refused to play). I think the Theta stuff must be very VERY sensitive to minor flaws. When I asked the Theta tech, he suggested making sure the disc is properly centered. I believe the devil theory, although I conjecture that the government is involved. You see, there is this...uh-oh, they're coming for me...
HDM, I tried unplugging the unit. I have found that to work on pre-amps before but no luck on the DaViD. I will see about picking up some of that cleaner you recommend. Dbwl sounds like a typical tech answer. Have you thought about sending the piece in? Maybe it just doesn't like ENYA? I thought about compressed air or possibly a DVD player cleaning disc. But those scare the hell out of me more than the devil himself. I was able to hop over the bad track #13(Coincidence,I think not) And finish watching the rest of the movie. If this problem gets any worse it's back to the factory OH BOY!!!
I had this problem with a Panasonic DVD player. When I had it serviced the technician said there was a problem with the laser, and this was not the first time he had seen it. No problem after the laser was replaced.
Glen, I have thought about sending it back. I haven't tried things like cleaning the CD's though. Many are old, and have minor scratches. For some reason, the Theta skipped much more when it was new than after it had been burned in. Until it spit out that one CD last night, I had figured the occasional skip was not enough of an annoyance. Now, I suppose I'm wondering again. I think I'll discuss it with my dealer (the unit is only a month or two old). If the dealer suggests any of these are typical problems for Theta, or ones that can easily be fixed, I'll probably send it in, 6 weeks or not. I'll let you know what he says.
Someone e-mailed me this, it's good info so I thought I would add it to this thread. Thanks Dave.

Hello, you are not alone. Although I do not own the unit you have,I have
experienced this on a number of DVD players I have owned including the DVD5000
Denon and Pioneer Elite DV09. The Sony 7000,7700,9000es that I have had are the
only ones I did not experience it on. NAD has issued statements on the condition
and it has to do with the readability of the discs themselves as they are
produced and by which studio and can also depend on the player itself. I sent my
DVD5000 back to Denon and they put in a new laser mechanism. The NAD statement
indicated their commitment to try to improve/update their players as needed to
prevent such performance glitches. The other night I rented a dvd that pixelated
and finally froze up, I gently wiped it off and it played through the same part
then staggered through a few more scenes without audio and finally cleared up
and continued playing fine. This was the DV09. Apparently there are a few
factors. Good luck. Maybe contact Theta and see wh!
at their theory is. Dave