DV-343 door opens and closes immediately, won't play anymore

I was watching a tv series on dvd (an original dvd, not a burned copy) the other day on my trusty Pioneer player (DV-343). I watched 2 episodes and at the end of the second, I pushed “menu” so i could choose to watch the 3rd episode. The screen froze when i did this. I pushed “open” and the door opened, but closed immediately. Normally when the door closes (although it has never closed by itself), the dvd will start playing. The dvd screen said “loading” and then “stop” and will not play anything anymore. I was able to get the DVD out in the split second the door is open before it closes again. I am not sure what “snapped” inside this machine to be working fine one minute and not the other. I talked to Pioneer and they were so not helpful. They said to hold down Stop to reset the micro-processor, but that didn’t work. anyone have this problem and have any suggestions for me? I am hoping the answer isn’t that it is broken and needs replaced b/c the thing has been very lightly used.
Thanks for any help or suggestions!

I have the EXACT same problem with my Pioneer DV-C503 standalone. I have had this unit for a few years and it HAS been a great player. Two days ago it started acting strange. It would not load a Menu I had to use chapter select to get a movie started on one of my discs. The next day I put a disc in and it would show Loading then flash Stop and then nothing. Now, if I leave the unit alone for a couple of hours it will magically work (On or Off makes no difference just let it sit there). However as soon as I change discs whether through the changer or ejecting or inserting another disc it goes back to this Loading/Stopping then Nothing routine.

Since it is a 5-Disc changer, replacing is something I would like to avoid. I have a tried all media types with the same results. From my NTSC retails > DVD-r & +r and even SVCDs with no luck. If anyone has some advice I sure would appreciate any help. Getting it repaired is something I am considering but just does not seem to be anyone that can or will.


i just got a free DV-C503 tonight, and it has almost the exact same problem (shows Loading, then flashes Stop, then nothing - but it doesn’t get better if it sits for a while). reading reviews online, it appears this player stops working 3 years after purchase… due to a laser lens malfunction or some such thing, and it’s a very common occurence. still haven’t found a solution. anyone know anything?

Wonder how much it would cost to service? In my case the 5-Disc changer is worth spending a “little” money to get back online. If anyone knows how/where and how much to get the laser fixed please post the info.


i took it apart at work today, and had someone who was more technically savvy than myself look at it. we found that it does work if you open the case and start the disc spinning with your finger after hitting Play (if it doesn’t keep spinning on its own when the button is first pressed). his opinion, based on the symptons we observed, was that the spindle motor is defective - that there’s a bad wiring so it’ll work part of the time, but that it’ll need to be jumpstarted the other part of the time.

no clue on what the repair cost is, but i’m sure it’s pricey. i’m just going to leave the cover on loosely, myself…

Thanks for the update hitbyambulance.

one final update - while testing the unit out, i pressed the Exchange button probably a few too many times while a CD was playing, and the tray is now stuck in its ‘open’ position. every time the unit is powered on, it cycles through all the disc positions, then displays ERROR on the screen and LED display, then automatically powers off. i tried multiple times to hold down the STOP button to reset the processor, but it doesn’t do anything. had to take the reader assembly apart to get the CD out.

reading about this problem online reveals that the gears probably need to be ‘reset’, but i have no idea on how to go about doing this. this player is not good for anything right now, and i’ll likely put it in the craigslist ‘free’ section to see if anyone needs any spare parts.

oh, and as a warning to never buy any Pioneer electronics in the future…

ok, not the final update. figured out why the tray wouldn’t retract - the blue lever (the one that’s visible when the tray is extended) had ‘jumped’ over the white plastic retaining part. it probably happened when the Exchange button was pressed, but it wouldn’t go back to its original position for whatever reason. i unscrewed the piece that the blue lever was attached to and ‘reset’ it. i then had to take off the disc carousel tray to re-align an opening in the tray with the disc reader/spindle mechanism, so it wouldn’t collide with it (as it did several times before - trial and error). i still have the original problem of the partially-burnt-out motor and having to jump-start the disc spinning 2 out of 3 times, but at least it’s now technically usable.

Gratz hitbyambulance, at least all is not lost. I ended up packing and storing my Pioneer, something about throwing out a 5 disc changer does not sit will with me.

There should be a small lever switch type device that gets activated when the tray door is open. Take the cover off and make sure it is mounted correctly, also look at it operating with the cover off, maybe it doesn’t bend back all the way. Anyway, fiddle with the switch and see if the problem gets better. If it does, then get some Deoxit contact cleaner spray from Radio Shack and try to get some in there. You can also try re-seating all of the ribbon cables, this sometimes fixes weird problems.