DVD Player has never worked

I bought a refurbished Toshibla RD-XS55KU HDD/DVD Video recorder 2 years ago. I hooked it up and started using the video recorder feature and tv guide feature. After about four months I tried to use DVD player. Everytime I hit the eject button for the dvd player it would open the dvd tray about 1/2 way and then close. I called Toshiba and of course they said it was a month out of warranty and there was nothing they could do. So I saw that the gear was not in properly and fixed that issue and opened and closed without a problem. However once the disk was in it never played. It just says loading on the tv screen. Any ideas on what the problem is?

My first thought would be firmware
Burnt disc ? Regular Movie disc ?
Older disc or newer disc?

I have tried a unburned workout dvd from 2003 and a burned copy of a movie from around that time.

Looking over the manul I get the impression it is real picky on what it will play.

http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/tacpassets-images/models/RD-XS55/docs/rd-xs55_im_e.pdf

It does not like + dvd’s Start pg 11 to 13

If the gear was out of whack maybe the laser is also, or it just needs cleaning, or use.

From Toshiba site :

CD-R/CD-RW discs recorded by CD-DA method can be played back. Some CD-R/CD-RW discs may be incompatible due to laser pick-up and disc design. DVD-R discs recorded by DVD Video method can be played. Some DVD-R discs may be incompatible due to laser pick-up and disc design. WMA, MP3 and JPEG discs may be incompatible due to different recording format or condition of disc.

3 Certain encrypted programming may not be recordable.

Years ago I used to fix the 1st generation DVD players with they had small pots for focus, focus, gain etc. When you said it had a gear instaed of a belt it made me think that it could be a timing issue. If their is a led (cold be infred) sensor that is not aligned properly, it may not move into the next step, play. Look for any infra-red pick up or sending unit and look for any holes that may align up with the mechanism that would alow a beam go shine thru and signal the disc is in position. That failing, throw it away, it’s junk anyway and you would be much happier with a cheap $89 dollar any format upscaling new DVD player that will almost play a vinyl record.