JVC DVD Player Won't Open Because it Says It's Locked
By Fred Decker
Although DVD movies will last for many years with normal use and careful storage, they're delicate and easily damaged by rough handling. Unfortunately, rough handling is sometimes unavoidable in households with small children, especially when they decide to operate the DVD player themselves. Major manufacturers such as JVC include many family-friendly features on their DVD players, one of which is a locking mechanism for the disc tray.
Locked DVD Tray
When the disc tray on your JVC DVD player is locked, it won't open even if the "Eject" button is pressed. Instead, the unit's display will read "Locked." This can be disconcerting if you hadn't remembered locking the unit, or if you've recently bought it used and don't know if it's usable. Fortunately, it's an easy option to undo. The DVD player locks and unlocks from its own front-panel controls, so you can release the tray even if the remote control is lost or temporarily missing.
Locking and Unlocking
To lock or unlock the disc tray, first turn the DVD player off. Locate the "Stop" and "Eject" buttons on the front of the unit. The "Stop" button has a dark square icon beneath it, while the "Eject" button has an upward-pointing arrow. Press and hold both buttons for a few seconds. The DVD player will turn on, and the word "Unlocked" will appear on the display. You can now open the tray and change discs normally. To restore the unit to its locked setting, turn the DVD player off and repeat the steps. When it powers up again, the word "Locked" will appear on your display.
Using the Lock
The tray lock can be handy for a number of reasons. If you don't want the kids playing movies on your main A/V system, locking the DVD tray will effectively discourage them. You might also opt to put the kids' current favorite in a secondary DVD player attached to a TV in a different room. By locking the tray, you prevent the kids from removing or changing the disc and running the risk of it being damaged. If your DVD is a recorder, setting the tray lock can prevent others in your home from ejecting the blank disc before it's recorded.
Other Parental Controls
The disc tray lock is just one form of parental control, and DVD players/recorders from JVC and other manufacturers often include others. The most common is a parental lock for DVDs and other programming. On JVC DVD players supporting the feature, enter the parental lock mode by holding down the "Enter" and "Stop" buttons and waiting for the menu to appear onscreen. Set your desired level of filtering, and enter in a password for future use. You can adjust the controls permanently or temporarily by entering the password. As with any locking system, it's important to conceal its operation from your kids or they'll learn how to disable it.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.