DVD Player Hot to the Touch - Fire? Help!

I have an Emerson combination DVD player/VCR player & recorder. Even when it’s not on (but still plugged in), the machine’s case is really warm, almost hot, to the touch all over the case no matter where you touch. I’ve had the unit over a year and it seems to work fine. When I remove any DVDs from the unit, they are very warm too.

I also have a Panasonic DVD recorder that’s about 8 months old, and when it’s not in use (but still plugged in), one side of the machine’s case is slightly warm, but not hot to the touch.

My concern is that is this normal? Or is there something wrong with the unit(s) that could lead to a fire? I left both machines unplugged today, waiting until I can get some advice from you all. I am just concerned as to what is “normal” and what is an overheating or fire hazard.

Thanks for your help.

What isn´t normal - send it in for service!

I’m no technician, but the Emerson is definitely a problem and dangerous!..unplug it now. It’s probably not worth anyone looking at it, certainly not if there’s a charge incurred. Aside from the obvious hazard, the excessive heat is harmful to your media, since heat is what alters the dye in the first place. The slightly warm temp on the panny sounds normal, although my units are cool when not powered up, yet plugged in.

Yes unplug NOW the PSU is most probably faulty and may catch fire, a tragedy waiting to happen particularly if the family is in bed when it catches fire!

What’s the problem with the Emersons that I should be aware of? (The unit I have is the combination VCR recorder and DVD player). It only ran about $80.

My other unit (the Panasonic DVD recorder/player) is slightly warm to the touch when shut off (but power is still going into it because the digital clock is on). I have the unit plugged into a surge protector too. This unit ran almost $400.

I use the Emerson when viewing regular broadcast TV (I don’t have cable or dish), so to get the picture in clearer, I always watch TV with the Emerson turned on and viewing done through the Emerson hooked into the TV. So the Emerson generally runs maybe 7 hours in the evening continuously (sometimes just power on, no features running; other times with a DVD playing). I’ve noticed the DVDs to be very warm when I take them out. Lately on some DVD recordings I’ve noticed a “skipping” or “pixilating” image sometimes with freezes. Could the overheating be causing this too?

Thanks again for the info and help.

If your case is hot just think how hot the parts that are making the case hot are.
UnPlug time.

If it heats up while using as a tuner it may be ok, but you need to get a temperature reading to see how hot. I think most components are safe to around 100 degrees. A service check will cost more than it is worth.


Not sure what you mean by repeating, “…what’s the problem…” As we’ve said, it’s dangerous…a fire hazard and a potential tragedy waiting to happen…all for an $80 unit (when it was new)… :eek:

As I’ve said, the heat can be damaging to your media, but my guess is the pixelation, etc., is not directly related. Time for a new, safe unit my friend… :iagree:

Yep, its best not to risk it…

Hi everyone and thanks for all the advice about the Emerson unit. It will be hitting the trash can tonight. Now I’m in the market for another unit. I’m open for suggestions on what you all think is a well-made, dependable, reliable, and safe unit that I should invest in. Thanks again for all your help and advice.

Just curious… What do you have plugged in drawing power from the circuit your DVD player is on ?
Low voltage will cause any electrical unit to overheat . Is the wall plug hot also ? Is the power cord hot ?
As stated above be safe --not sorry.

Actually, I’m not sure what all is on that circuit and if the plug/outlet is warm. It’s a good point though, so when I get home I’ll definitely check it out. Would low voltage still be a potential cause of the hot Emerson unit even if the unit is plugged into a surge protection strip? Wouldn’t the circuit breaker flip in my breaker box or the surge strip pop if there was an electrical issue, rather than just letting the unit heat up?

no, a voltage protector protects your hardware from voltage spikes, that could erase/damage data. However if the psu in the player is faulty, it could remain at a voltage reasonable to the resistor, and so would continue allowing electricity to reach the device.

I guess you want one with a tuner, but Sam’s Club has a good player for around $31.00. It is a Magnavox and I have bought 3 for gifts and all have worked great even my wife’s 70+ grandmother who never wanted a DVD can work it.


It’s not low voltage that is causing the problem but probably excess current that is being drawn due to a fault. Units even on standby can catch fire when excess current is drawn due to a fault it all depends what is faulty.

When testing an electrical motor for overheating problems we found that when the voltage dropped from 117 volts to 94.3 volts for extended time the winding in the motor overheated and caught fire. This test was repeated several times to prove a point to a customer.
I do not know if this holds true for a DVD player or not but I am not going to test it to see.
Either way the man has a problem of some kind. In 1983 my home burned resulting in a total loss of contents for me…Cause was never determined.
Do not take any chances with an over heating unit of any kind.

Excellent advice. I’m certain we all agree, the Emerson is belly up. I’m fairly certain both scenarios can and will cause excessive heat production and failure. I think it was less than adequate current that caused a circular saw falilure for me about 20 years ago. Both my father-in-law and neighbor are electrical engineers, I’ll ask for an explanation.

As far as recommending a unit, it really depends on your specific needs. The cheaper units are often very decent all around, but it’s always a bit of a risk with playing bkup discs. Probably best to purchase from a retailer where a return is easy and painless. For a DVD/VHS combo with a decent tuner, I have an RCA DRC6350N (2 of 'em actually)…a little pricey at $90 each, but they’re great. I had bad luck with a magnavox, but Mack has had great luck with 3 no less… :confused:

If you are not in a big hurry this is a great one and hook a VCR to it and transfer old VHS tape. There is a firmware flash to allow it to bypass the protection on VHS. It will play about anything you can put in it. DVDs that are problem for others play fine on this. Tom recommended this one to me back on the old dvdidle forum days.



Did some spot temperature check on several items. TV on 74, DVD running 79, PC power supply 72, Plug in volt reducer 82, and a Digital clock 84. My Liteon LVW 5005 has a fan built in and I have seen pictures where people had added fans to players. Just some FYI and a chance to play with my laser Infra Red Thermometer.


OK - so now I’m paranoid about this safety and electrical heat issue with my electronics. I tossed the Emerson in the trash tonight, not willing to take any further chances with an $80 unit that is a year old. Then I walked around my house and was feeling all my wall outlets and cords. All the outlets are normal and not warm at all. All the surge protectors are normal too – no heat. And all the electrical cords seem normal temperature and not warm. However, the electrical items I have that have the transformers (little black boxes on the cord that plug into the outlet) are warm (things like my cordless telephone, computer, etc.) Almost every one of these little transformer boxes that I have was warm to the touch. Is a normal thing with these types of transformers?

Thanks again everyone for your help and suggestions.