on August 25, 2009 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 21 comments by

It’s an interesting story, really.

My roommate’s TV has a DVD player attached. Very fancy.

And we watch movies on it all the time.

And lucky for me, my friend Betsy has a Netflix membership. So on rare occasions, I ask to borrow one of her movies.

In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever done it.

[Which merely enhances the “only you, Annie, this would only happen to you” factor.]

So Betsy let’s me borrow This American Life: Season 1. I’m blooming an addiction to This American Life, via podcast and video. Not that that fact has anything to do with anything, but it is still true.

So I watch the DVD, laugh, think, tear up, etc. And I’m ready to take it out and mail it back.

But the DVD won’t come out.

At all.

In fact, when I push “open”, it doesn’t even make any type of whirring sound. It is flagrantly ignoring my request.


After a few days of punching the TV, using other DVDs to attempt to lure the renegade out, and repeated pleas to the heavens, I gave up.

I called Magnovox help line and they really, were no help. It was like, “Uh, unplug it and try again. Nope? Ok, uh, push the eject button. Not yet? Um…. unplug again.”

I saw myself stuck in a vicious cycle of mediocre customer service.

I hung up and called a repair guy.

Just to bring the TV through the door is SIXTY DOLLARS IN US CURRENCY.

I think I laughed out loud.

I hung up and called Betsy.

3 minutes later, I’ve logged onto Betsy’s Netflix account and after a small $14 donation for their kind services, I’m now the proud owner of This American Life: Season 1.

If we return it within a year, Betsy gets my $14 back.

So you guys have got 360-ish days to help me get this blasted thing out of the DVD player.

Any tips?


  1. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 10:19 AM  |  reply

    Once upon a time I was watching A Walk To Remember in my VHS/TV combo. Next thing I know my favorite movie is stuck in my tv, and because the tv turns off when it gets to the end of the movie…. my tv is also permanently off… really hindering the process of getting the movie unstuck. I thought… well if it is stuck inside the tv. OF COURSE you take the tv apart to get the movie out and fix the TV.
    WARNING: taking apart a tv/vhs/dvd combo is way more complicated than it seems.I don’t recommend the “take apart & put back together method”

  2. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 11:38 AM  |  reply

    Look for a little hole just big enough for a paper clip. Then find a paper clip and jam it in there. this is the manual override for the tray, pretty much every DVD player has one.

    worst case just figure out a way to gently pry and pull the tray out. They work of a simple belt / pulley / gear system and can handle that kind of abuse….

    seriously try either of those and best of luck to you…

  3. Merideth Schoolcraft
    posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 12:18 PM  |  reply

    Persistance is the best advice I can give you. I had a DVD player that did the same thing(thankfully this one wasn’t atached to the tv, though). I couldn’t open it or play it or anything. I just kept trying to hit the button a bunch of times every day and eventually it came out. Then, I baught a new DVD player. Hope you get it out!

  4. Amy Downs Rakes
    posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 12:40 PM  |  reply

    Look on the back side of the tv unit and see if there is a screw you can unscrew. A lot of DVDs will have an escape hatch in the back that you can flip down and pull the DVD out that way.

  5. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 1:25 PM  |  reply

    That stinks. I hope you figure out how to get it out! But better $14 than $60, right?

  6. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 3:34 PM  |  reply

    I agree with Eric. There’s a manual override button, lever, switch, somewhere….

    If that doesn’t work, I definitely know another way that is absolutely foolproof. I can’t guarantee that your DVD player will work afterwards, tho. Because it requires unscrewing a bunch of stuff…

  7. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 3:55 PM  |  reply

    Well, now, that’s a double whammy – you had to pay for the DVD, PLUS you can’t watch anything else! Ugh. Wish I had some advice. But I don’t. Just a sympathetic sigh.

    *sympathetic sigh*

  8. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 8:14 PM  |  reply

    This is where you’d think my radio/film/television degree might come in handy.

    But, alas, it does not.

    Hope you get it out though! 🙂

  9. posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 8:18 PM  |  reply

    It may be worth the $60 so you can use it in the future to watch other movies!

  10. Ash
    posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 9:52 PM  |  reply

    A few summers back we had an all night marathon of a show that will not be mentioned at Marie-Claires house. About 5 am when we finished the disc and went to eject it, the DVD player decided it wasn’t going to open up for us. So, being the geniuses we are we just got out a screw driver and took the whole thing apart and got the DVD out, screwed it back together, no harm done. So, it’s risky but if you want that $14 you can try it.

  11. Ash
    posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 9:55 PM  |  reply

    I just now realized that it’s a part of the tv, so I don’t think my plan is a good idea. Ha

  12. Southern Gal
    posted on Aug 25, 2009 at 9:59 PM  |  reply

    That is exactly why I HATE those tv/vcr or dvd combo thingies. They do that every single time with me!!

    Glad you got a new series out of it. Now we’ll pray you’re able to get it OUT of the player.

  13. Sarah S
    posted on Aug 26, 2009 at 8:32 AM  |  reply

    Knife it. i’m serious. stick a knife in the slit & push the eject button at the same time. if the eject button still doesn’t make any noise, then i would just try and pry it open.


  14. posted on Aug 26, 2009 at 10:23 AM  |  reply

    I read this yesterday but sadly had no advice to give (still don’t, lest you think I’ve been googling dvd player repair!), but I have to know if any of the above suggestions worked.

  15. posted on Aug 26, 2009 at 4:18 PM  |  reply

    Unplug it, plug it, and try again? Push eject?

    Yeah, I’m no help.

  16. posted on Aug 26, 2009 at 10:22 PM  |  reply

    I was always skeptical about that DVD player. And now I know why.

  17. posted on Aug 27, 2009 at 12:18 AM  |  reply

    So. Here’s an update. No solution yet. Someone told us to turn the TV on it’s side. That seems ridiculous. But we’re doing it tomorrow.

  18. Leebird
    posted on Aug 27, 2009 at 5:01 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I’m lying here at 2 am next to a husband snoring like a congested camel wondering how mad he would be if I woke him up from his noisy slumber to get technical advice for this random bloggy pal named annie..umm….not gonna risk it! You’d inwardly, or maybe outwardly, groan if you knew how many DVD players this 3-ornery-boy family has gone through!

  19. posted on Aug 27, 2009 at 6:33 PM  |  reply

    this is obviously SUPER common!
    we borrowed someone’s dvd/vcr combo and the same thing happened. had to end up buying her a new dvd/vcr combo— bummer!! never did get that disc out of the player!

  20. posted on Aug 27, 2009 at 8:54 PM  |  reply

    Yep, no tips. But it makes me feel better to read all the other people it’s happened to. And I had a netflix movie stuck in there too. I got the movie out, but now I watch movies on my computer…

  21. Becca
    posted on Aug 31, 2009 at 1:53 PM  |  reply

    Umm, if i were you iwould ignore sarahs “knife it, then push buttons” idea, unless you feel like getting electrocuted in the near futue…
    now a REAL idea is to take a crowbar and…. No, nevermind… That wont work. Lol

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