Last night, we sat down in the family room to watch the copy of Casino Royale that dek9 had loaned us some time ago. It wouldn't load.
I went to living room and grabbed the DVD player from that set. Then it was off to the basement -- twice! -- to get the required cables, then find the remote, then reconfigure the player, then finally load the DVD.
On the third try.
My hardware hates me, apparently.
A bit of searching later, it appears that the failed DVD burner in the DVR can be replaced with an inexpensive LG model instead of the $350+ part I found elsewhere on line. That's good. But that bit of surgery is going to be postponed for a bit.
In the meantime, I'm buying a cheap DVD player. I'm sure I'll find a use for it...