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How to Optically Calibrate Your DVD Player

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 6/30/2009

One of the trickier things you can do to your conventional DVD player is to calibrate the optical drive. For that, we've got the complete guide here.

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    Calibrating the Optics

    Calibration of your DVD player’s optical components can result in a much better experience for your entire Home Theater experience. Before we get started though, I’d like to preface this by saying that if you’re using a Blu-Ray player or the like, you’re better off having it repaired somewhere else rather than messing around in its innards. The reason is that if you happen to mess anything up, you’re going to be out a considerable amount of money. However, if you’re just sporting a regular DVD player, let’s get started:

    1. You’re going to have to take apart the DVD player; this is a process that’s rather delicate, so please consult your manual before getting started.

    2. Remove the bolts that hold the casing onto the drive and proceed to remove the drive out of the DVD player – if possible.

    3. Once you have the drive out of the DVD player, you’re going to now remove the casing off the drive, this is usually done by removing incredibly tiny screws that hold the top and bottom casing together.

    4. Now that the DVD drive has been opened, you should be staring right at the laser component of your DVD drive.

    5. If you want, while you already have it open, take some alcohol (ONLY rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol) and apply to the end of a q-tip and gently clean the lens of the drive.

    6. With the lens of the drive now clean, you’re going to next take a look at the belt mechanism that moves the DVD while its inside the drive.

    7. Somewhere near the lens, there is going to be a really tiny mechanism that looks something like a pin attached to a bolt.

    8. Move the pin in the direction of the lens using the steadiest hand possible, but do it in slight increments.

    9. This is where it gets complicated, plug in the drive and test out your adjustment – if it did the trick, you can put the drive back into the larger casing and proceed to close up shop.

    10. If you weren’t able to calibrate adequately on the first try (which should be 99% of you), keep trying until you get it. You’ll know you’re there when the DVD is read by the drive without additional tinkering.

    This procedure is, again, rather tricky and difficult. If you don’t know what you’re doing, chances are you’re going to do more harm than good. Take your time, and be extremely careful. One wrong slip of the q-tip and you’re going to end up with a brick and not a DVD player.