DVDR890 died - what could be the problem?

A friend (?) has given me a Philips DVDR890 video recorder which had died on him.
Being an eternal optimist and a retired video engineer I have decided to repair it.
There is a complete lack of any help or support in the UK from Philips or any one else. I wonder if anyone on line would be kind enough to give me any pointers as to where the problem in this machine may lay.
This machine is exhibiting the following fault.
When set to record and a program is previewed on the screen of the television.
On pressing the record button the record light comes on and for about ‘ten’ seconds everything appears to be working correctly but then the picture freezes on the screen.
It is a perfectly clear picture of what was showing at the time it locked up.
No recording has actually taken place.
The machine will play perfectly a disc recorded on another machine.

You’ll need to tell us what type of disc you are using (+R or +RW), and what the speed rating of the disc is 2.4x, 4x, 1-4x etc

If you perform various searches on this and other forums, you will see that some machines in the DVDR 880/890 series had problems with faulty optical pickup units. This manufacturing fault has been acknowledged by Philips and the guarantee extended to 2 years on certain machines reported to them.

If the machine is within this guarantee period, and your friend has the proof of original purchase, then I would advise you to follow the procedure here:


… since there’s a chance that Philips will repair it free.

If you are prepared to try replacing the DVD drive unit, then unfortunately there aren’t any recommendations as to what type to use. It would be a lengthy, and probably expensive, exercise in trial and error.

Unfortunatly no purchase details available except that the machine is 3 years old.
You may have answered my query as you seem to suggest that the problem is with the record lazer unit which I rather suspected. My next move will be to strip this out and if the problm is mechanical adjustment or setting I am in with a chance but if the problem is with the electronics or ICs I will be fighting a loosing battle and then just bin it. Many thanks, VIDEOENGINEER

If the fault is the one described, the evidence is that the laser unit lens is held by a cement which softened under use, thereby losing its alignment.

However, as I and ‘V7Goose’ have also suggested, the type, speed and age of discs could be a factor which is worth eliminating before settling on the faulty OPU conclusion.