What Everyone Must Know About A Portable DVD player

What Everyone Must Know About A Portable DVD player

I know some people might view portable DVD players as relics of a bygone era. To many, the portable DVD player was once a handy device which made it possible to watch television shows and movies on the plane or from your hotel bed, but today it is a clunky accessory made obsolete by Netflix and YouTube and similar websites.

While it is true that portable DVD players are not quite as useful as they once were, they can still come in handy during those long, tedious road trips; after all, cars don’t have wi-fi (yet). Furthermore, as great as Netflix is, there are literally millions of movies and television shows which it does not offer its viewers.

This means you may not be able to use the streaming service to enjoy your favorite movie (you know, the one you loved so much that you bought the limited edition director’s cut DVD the moment it was released).

Much like there is a magic to listening to vinyl records despite the fact their heyday has passed, there is a magic to watching your favorite DVDs, snuggling next to your partner under the duvet with a portable DVD player resting on your collective lap.

Yes, portable DVD players are currently sitting in that happy area between useful and retro, where they are likely to remain for the foreseeable future.

If you’re thinking about purchasing one ahead of your next road trip, or just to have one should you ever need it, read on for some things everybody should know before purchasing a portable DVD player.

Screen Size

While portable DVD players are designed to be small, some of them are smaller than others. Screen sizes vary from model to model, so before settling on a particular portable DVD player, you should figure out what size screen will suit you best.

If you are purchasing a portable DVD player for personal use, there really isn’t any sense in purchasing a model with a large screen. If you’re absolutely certain you’ll be the only person using your DVD player, you will be just fine with a smaller screen, which will likely save you some money.

Some of the most  popular small screen portable DVD players include the Craig Electronics CTFT713, the Insignia NS-P9DVD15, and the GPX PD951B.

Portable DVD players with larger screen, such as the Audiovox DS2058 and the Pyle PDH14, are best suited to those who plan to have multiple people watching at a time, which is why they are particularly popular among parents looking for a means of entertaining their children during long plane journeys and family gatherings.

Dual Screens

If you are purchasing a portable DVD player to keep your children occupied but don’t want to commit to a bulky large screen model, you should take some time to research portable DVD players with dual screens.

Multi-screen portable DVD players are designed specifically to be used by two or three people at once and make it possible for multiple users to enjoy the same movie at the same time without having to huddle together.

This feature gives portable DVDs players a rare undeniable advantage over laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Many dual screen portable DVD players can be fitted to the back of a car’s passenger and driver headrests, creating a cinema-like viewing experience and ensuring the device takes up no space which may be needed for luggage.

Some of the most popular dual screen portable DVD players on the market today include the Bush DVD8791CUK, the Alba DVD8791BUK and the NAVISKAUTO Twin Screens Portable DVD Player.

Battery Life

When searching for the best portable DVD player for you, you should always be sure to check the battery life of each potential purchase you come across. Most portable DVD players have a battery life of two hours or so (just enough for you to watch a typical Hollywood movie) but some may be closer to 90 minutes.

A portable DVD player with a shorter battery life will likely cost quite a bit less than its long-lived counterparts and should give you everything you need if you only plan to use the device at home.

However, those looking for a machine that will allow them to watch DVDs on the go should spend the extra bit of cash on a portable DVD player with a long battery life so as to avoid running out of juice halfway through a journey.

Most portable DVD players will come with a charger that can connect to the cigarette lighter of a car, though many cannot be turned on while charging. Similarly, some portable DVD players can run on C batteries, although these are likely to drain in a short amount of time.


If there is one positive that can be dragged out of the decline of DVDs, it is that portable DVD players, and DVD players in general, are significantly less expensive today than they were ten years ago.

While a quality portable DVD player would have set you back upwards of $200 in 2007, most on the market today don’t go beyond the $100 price mark.

The majority of portable DVD players available right now, be they single or dual screen, can be purchased for in or around $50, with prices rising and falling depending on screen size, battery life, and included accessories.

There is a downside, however, in that you will also have to spend money on a DVD whenever you are in need of something new to watch. With most DVDs selling for around $10, you could wind up paying the price of an entire month’s Netflix for the sake of one new movie.


When purchasing a portable DVD player – or anything, for that matter- you want to be sure you go with a model from a recognized brand in order to avoid shoddy workmanship. Portable DVD player manufacturers with a record of excellence include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Bush
  • Sylvania
  • Alba
  • Philips
  • Sony
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