Buying A DVD player is a great way to watch your favourite films on TV, and has been a popular choice amongst families for years. But, choosing the perfect model can be difficult if you don’t know which features you need.
You should consider the features offered, the types of discs it can play, how easy it is to use and what connections it needs. We’ll explain everything to look out for in this handy guide so you can pick the perfect DVD player.
Most DVD players come with a set of standard features regardless of the brand. One feature you may find is MP3/MP4 playback. This allows you to listen to your favourite tracks through the player.
HD upscaling technology is another handy feature as this will transform standard pictures into a near HD image quality. Most players will also allow you to view photos so you can enjoy your holiday snaps on the big screen.
Some higher-end players let you record content onto a DVD to watch at a later date. You can also find devices that support USB playback, so you can enjoy films, music, and photos stored on a USB stick.
You may also want a DVD player that can play widescreen videos, as well as convert your videos to either full-sized or stretched. It’s important to choose a device that has a progressive scan too, as this will produce a sharp image without any flicker.
Almost all devices sold in the UK will play DVD region 2 discs, as this covers all the discs legally sold in Europe.
Even the most basic models can now read multiple formats such as CD audio, MP3, and WMV. It can be difficult to know which disc formats you’ll need your device to play. We’ve explained the main types, so it’s easier for you to know which ones you’ll use.
DVD Video – The most commonly used video format supported by the vast majority of DVD players.
CD – Most players can also read compact discs (CDs). If you have a home cinema system connected to your DVD player, you can enjoy your favourite songs in fantastic quality.
MP3 CD – This format can hold a lot more music than a regular CD disc. If you want to play custom discs from your music collection, you’ll need this feature.
Even the most basic models can now read multiple formats such as CD audio, MP3, and WMV.
WMV – Many computers use this digital video format. You’ll want your player to read this format if you’re going to play videos from a burnable DVD or CD.
DivX – A high quality, high-compression video which supports HD content.
JPEG – One of the most commonly supported digital photo formats. This should allow you to view photos stored on a DVD or CD.
EASY TO USE
A good DVD player also needs to be user-friendly. You don’t want to have to read the product manual every time you forget how to do something.
The best players come with a remote that is easy to understand and use. The main functions that you need are play, stop, rewind, fast-forward, pause, mute, main menu, and volume controls.
Some devices can also remember your place, so you can continue watching a film without having to find the right scene yourself.
You need to ensure that your chosen DVD player is compatible with your television unit at home. Otherwise, the player will not work to its full potential.
There are several ways to connect your device to the TV. An HDMI cable will give you the best picture and sound quality All of the cables you need should come included in the box, but you may need to check which connections your TV can work with too.
PORTABLE DVD PLAYERS
If you’re often on-the-go and you need to keep the little ones entertained, a portable DVD player is a great option. These devices feature a disc player and a small screen in one compact design. They often come with a charger which can be used in the car and a headphone jack. These aren’t as commonly sold by retailers, so you’ll need a budget of around £55 to £80.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MODEL
Prices for DVD players start at around £25, but most models won’t exceed £30. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-range device, you’ll have to dramatically increase your budget to around £200. These players will let you record hours of content, and may also feature Freeview or Freesat HD tuners.
You won’t get a choice in the colour of your device, as the majority of the players available are black. If the design is important to you, you can find slimline models.
Before you do buy a DVD player, you should note that they are rapidly dropping in popularity and quickly being replaced by Blu-Ray players. Thanks to the improvements in technology, you can now pick up a high-quality Blu-Ray player under £100, and you’ll get a wider choice of models too.