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Portable DVD players are now really cheap. Useful?

Portable DVD players are now really cheap. Useful?

Old Dec 13, 10, 3:53 am
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Arrow Portable DVD players are now really cheap. Useful?

Does anyone use these regularly? Saw on SD that there's been a big price drop on a this nice Sony 9" model and am thinking about picking one up.

How is the battery life?

Last edited by ScottC; Dec 13, 10 at 7:27 am
jastevenson is offline  
Old Dec 13, 10, 4:04 am
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I bought a Philips 7 inch portable DVD player for US$100 in Bangkok recently. It's a bit heavy, but sometimes I bring it with me if I'm going to buy the cheap DVD's and I can check the DVD quality right at the stall before I decide to buy the DVD. I think the battery life is 2 - 3 hours.

I haven't taken it on a long trip, but will when I go from Hong Kong to US later this month for a cruise to Caribbean. It'll be useful for me on long plane ride and on the cruise ship because I usually pick up some DVDs in the US that are not available in Hong Kong or Bangkok. Lugging the player around is a bit of trouble because it's heavy and you have to bring the charger, A/V cables, and earphones.

Real question is: how much do you enjoy playing your DVDs?
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Old Dec 13, 10, 1:53 pm
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There was a point in time at which cassette players became very cheap too...

Just sayin'.
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Old Dec 13, 10, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by jastevenson View Post
Does anyone use these regularly? Saw on SD that there's been a big price drop on a this nice Sony 9" model and am thinking about picking one up.

How is the battery life?
It occurs to me that unless you are in a seat with a power port you're pretty much limited to playing a couple DVDs at the most unless you decide you want to also pack an auxiliary power pack. The difference in screen size between what's standard on jets would not be negligibly different than what the airlines provide.
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Old Dec 13, 10, 8:49 pm
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I bought an 8.5" Philips model back in mid-2006. It was one of a handful of models that had a dock for a 5.5g iPod Video of which I had a 30gb version of at the time. It made watching video much easier than squinting to see the tiny iPod screen. It got around 4 hours of playback when using the iPod (only about 2.5 hours when spinning a DVD) and was a good supplement to my 14" laptop which, at the time, only got about 2 hours on battery. It was also worthwhile when traveling with my wife so she could watch one thing and I could watch something different.

Fast-forward 4.5 years and it's dead weight that hasn't been taken out of a drawer in at least 3 years. It's been replaced by any one of 5 devices (of which I have 3 on-hand). It's the size of a netbook which will last longer on a charge and can do so much more (though you'll need to rip your media ahead of time, something I've already done as I use an HTPC as whole-home movie server). It has a smaller screen than an iPad which is thinner, lighter, and has nearly infinite uses while on the road (again, you'll need to rip your media). Even an iPod Touch, iPhone, or Android phone is big enough to make due with for video playback while doing so much more and being MUCH smaller. Laptop battery life has also grown leaps-and-bounds, so 5-8 hours of laptop use is nearly the norm.

Based on the above I don't really see any justification of the size and weight of a portable DVD player if you have any one of the above devices, save for possibly for kids in a car or on a plane if you don't want them possibly doing damage to one of the said other devices (though I put my iPad within arms reach of my 16-month old triplets with very little fear of damage).

If you happen to not have ANY of the above devices, or absolutely will not rip or download your media ahead of time, then there might be some use for a portable DVD player. Still, it's a lot of added bulk and weight, even if it is cheap.
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Old Dec 15, 10, 7:29 pm
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I bring mine with me and the RCA plug adapter to hook it up to the TV in my hotel room.....

Also make sure you "unlock" it so it will play all the DVDs you buy,

it was great to have on a very long layover in Singapore a couple yeas ago

Rally
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Old Dec 15, 10, 8:34 pm
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Was a good idea in 2003-2006. Now an iPad, other tablet or Netbook will be a much better multitasking option.
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Old Dec 15, 10, 9:26 pm
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I'm embarrassed to admit how much I paid for a portable DVD player back in 2004: $400

It still gets occasional use during mattress runs: I hook it up to the big-screen LCDs at the local Hyatt Place and run through a few of the many DVDs I have yet to watch. (And FWIW, the TV at the HP is bigger than the one I have at home.)

But overall, there's a reason that portable DVD players are so cheap now....
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Old Dec 16, 10, 9:38 am
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I do see a surprising number of portable players being used - many by parents to keep their kids entertained/occupied, but also by a number of adults in F
(the guy across the aisle was watching an Angelina Jolie movie the other day).
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Old Dec 16, 10, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by losta View Post
Was a good idea in 2003-2006. Now an iPad, other tablet or Netbook will be a much better multitasking option.
I wish I was tech savvy enough to convert this pile of DVDs into digital but that also takes time so I stay with the small DVD player.

Rally
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Old Dec 19, 10, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by losta View Post
Was a good idea in 2003-2006. Now an iPad, other tablet or Netbook will be a much better multitasking option.
Especially since a lot of new DVD and Blu-Ray discs come with a free digital copy of the movie for your laptop/netbook.
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Old Dec 19, 10, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by mikew99 View Post
I'm embarrassed to admit how much I paid for a portable DVD player back in 2004: $400
I paid close to $1000 for a Panasonic portable DVD player in 1999 or 2000 - that thing got more looks than an iPad would have on its launch day. Remember, back then there were virtually no laptops with DVD players, so watching your own movies on a plane was quite something. Amazing how quickly things have evolved in just ten years.
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Old Dec 30, 10, 3:55 am
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Just got this in email from Amazon, thought might be interesting http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DVD-.../dp/B0014FO5CE $80
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Old Dec 31, 10, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by losta View Post
Was a good idea in 2003-2006. Now an iPad, other tablet or Netbook will be a much better multitasking option.
If only the next generation of iPads had a DVD player option, I would buy one in a second. That's what I am holding out for!!!!!
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Old Dec 31, 10, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by rally View Post
I wish I was tech savvy enough to convert this pile of DVDs into digital but that also takes time so I stay with the small DVD player.

Rally
It is not really that hard. Just search for the best settings for Handbrake for your device and plug them in. Apple devices are already set as presets. Then just rip the DVDs while you are doing other work on a computer.
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