Why Do Some DVDs Vibrate?

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Why Do Some DVDs Vibrate?

As we all know, vibrations are caused due to a mechanical phenomenon. Oscillations occurring around points of equilibrium cause different types of vibrations. The word itself was taken from the famous Latin word named "Vibrationem" meaning brandishing and shaking. But, just because we know what vibrations are doesn’t help us know what is causing our DVDs to vibrate. 

Since a DVD is played by spinning the disc at a fast speed and reading the files on the disc then a DVD is likely to vibrate because of an issue with the balance of the disc. If during manufacturing the label on the top of the disc is put slightly off center then that tiny amount of extra weight on one side can cause the DVD to vibrate. The vibrations can also be caused by a tiny crack at the center of the disc that causes the disc to be slightly unlevel. 

These are the two most common things that cause a DVD to vibrate when it is being played but they are far from being the only things that could cause it. The cause could also be that your DVD player is not spinning the disc at the same speed on all sides and that is causing the disc to wobble which causes the vibrations. 

We will discuss some troubleshooting methods when you have a vibrating DVD as well as go into what could possibly be causing the issue in the rest of this article. Before we get to that we will discuss whether the vibrations cause any issues. 

Do vibrating DVDs hurt anything?

When a DVD vibrates in the player the number one thing that it does is annoy the user. Afterall, you are trying to watch a movie or TV show and having a loud humming sound coming from your player will certainly be annoying at best and unbearable at the worst. 

When a DVD is unbalanced and is vibrating it can cause the DVD to get hotter than it normally would. This excess heat won’t normally cause any issues and will likely just make it hot to the touch when you eject the disc. 

When a disc is vibrating it can however cause problems for your player as well as for the viewing of the DVD. If your DVD player is sensitive then the vibrations could cause the player to get damaged. This is extremely rare and won’t happen in most cases. The more likely thing that a vibrating DVD will do is it will cause the movie or TV show to get “stuck” or to even “jump” from one scene to another. 

This can certainly be annoying so it is definitely something that you will want to fix if at all possible. We will go into the fixes for this issue later in this article. 

There are a few different things that you can do to narrow down the exact cause of the vibration. We will discuss those below. 

What is the cause of DVD vibrations?

Since we all know, every variant of an optical disk has its own mass. In order to read the disc, the motor in the disc drive has to be turned on. After turning on, the disc spins so that different parts of the disc can be brought under the laser's "read head" for enabling proper reading. The laser read head is built to read a DVD that is moving properly and tends to move as well to read both the outer circles and the inner circles of the given disc. The disc is usually rotated at a very high speed. Such type of high-speed rotations can bring about certain kinds of noise and cause vibrations in the disc drive itself.

It has been noticed that the faster the disc spins, the vibrations tend to get stronger and stronger. Therefore, whenever you load the disc into the dvd player, the higher the speed required by the disc drive the greater the intensity of vibrations will be. 

Sometimes, the question arises as to why does the disc drive rotate the disc at such a high speed if it might cause problems? Well, the answer is simple. Since the disc drive is trying to read the contents of the inserted disc, it quite simply has to move the DVD fast to read it properly. If it spins the disc at lower speeds, then it will take hours to read the DVD which obviously would not be good for trying to watch a movie! 

Sometimes, the issue that causes the vibrations can be due to the physical imbalance of the disc itself. Also, the improper positioning of the laser head can also be an issue.

To know exactly what is causing the issue when you have a DVD that is vibrating is to check to see if another DVD does the same thing or if it is isolated to a single disc. If all of the DVDs that you try seem to have some vibration to them then it is likely that your DVD player is having issues. 

Since DVD players are relatively inexpensive it is worthwhile to go and buy a new one and see if it has the same issue. If the new player solves the vibration issue then you know that it was some issue with the old player. If the new player still has the DVDs vibrating then it is obviously the DVDs that are causing the issue. 

If you recently bought the DVDs then you should exchange them for a new set but if the DVDs are older or are ones that you made with home movies then you will want to check the center hole for cracks as well as check and see if the label is off center. 

The most common thing that causes vibrations is the label being slightly off or someone adding stickers or marking up the label side. It only takes a small amount of extra weight on one side of the DVD to force it to become unbalanced so if you have a sticker on the disc then that could be what is causing the issue. 

How can you fix the vibrations coming from DVDs?

If the vibrations persist, then we recommend you try to troubleshoot the problem by yourself. This can be done by following the steps below. 

  • First of all, you have to make sure that your DVD player is placed on a flat and stable surface. Avoid placing your DVD player on top of other electronic equipment.
  • Check the connection of the cables. If they are loose, take the time to properly tighten them and make sure that the player is connected properly. 
  • If that doesn’t fix the issue or if you have narrowed it down to the actual DVD being the problem then you will want to set the DVD on a flat surface and see if it lies down flat. If one side of the disc is off the surface even slightly then this may be what is causing the vibrations. You can fix this by simply putting a heavy book on top of the disc and then leaving it for a few days. 
  • If the disc is not warped and you are unable to exchange it from where you purchased it from then the next thing to try is balance it manually. If you notice that the label is slightly off center then take a sticker or some packing tape and put it on top of the label on the opposite side of the disc. This extra weight should help counterbalance the label being put on wrong and should fix the majority of the vibrations. Getting this part right is mainly trial and error so it is better to start with a small stick or tape and then add more until the vibrations are gone.


These are some of the things that you can try to troubleshoot your vibrating DVD issues. In most cases a vibrating DVD will be noticed soon after purchase so contacting the company that you bought the DVD from will be your best course of action. If it has been a while since you bought it or it is one that you made yourself then you can go on and try the other troubleshooting steps mentioned above. 

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