Best DVD Players

Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
16 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
173 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best DVD players

The widespread use of Netflix and other streaming services begs the question, why does anyone need a home DVD player? While streaming services are convenient for enjoying movies and TV shows, there's no guarantee your favorite content will be there forever. Most streaming services keep film and television series for a limited time.

Furthermore, you might already have a collection of videos that simply aren’t available online, or custom footage that isn’t found in stores. All of this is to say, there's nothing better than owning a DVD of your favorite movie and popping it in when the mood strikes.

Here at BestReviews, we've compiled a handy guide to help you decide what kind of DVD player is right for you. We include a list of important considerations to take into account when shopping for a DVD player and a brief overview of the pricing for DVD players. When you’re ready to buy, check out the high-quality selections we have featured as our recommendations.

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Portable DVD players are a great way to keep children entertained at doctor's offices, or when running other types of errands.

Is a DVD player right for you?

Whether you're an avid movie collector or simply enjoy occasional film viewing, a DVD player is an essential addition to any home theater setup. Even the most budget-conscious homeowner can find an affordable unit to satisfy their needs.

If you think such a device is useless in an age of streaming services, think again. Many DVD players allow users to play music and showcase other content, such as VCDs and photos from burned discs.

For frequent travelers, a portable DVD player may be the best buy because it allows viewing in any setting without the need for a wireless connection. For home theatre buffs, HDMI-compatible players can offer the ultimate viewing experience, and many players are capable of Blu-Ray playback for incredible high-definition visuals.

DVD player considerations

Region compatibility

Make sure that your chosen DVD player is region-compatible with the discs you own. Region-free DVD players can play films from all regions of the world. If you don’t want to be limited to content from certain geographical areas, select a region-free DVD player.

Applications

Find out whether the disc player you are considering supports applications like Hulu and Netflix. It will lessen the need for other devices, and your DVD player can act as a one-stop shop for content.

Wireless

Newer models will be able to stream content wirelessly to your television. Wireless streaming is convenient because it reduces the number of physical DVDs required for playback. What’s more, there is no need to deal with a tangle of wires.

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Did you know?
Region 1 DVD players will play discs that were released in North America, Bermuda, and other U.S. territories.
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Multi-disc option

Some DVD players allow you to load up multiple discs. A machine with this feature may be the best buy if you enjoy binge-watching TV series — box sets often contain multiple discs. This is also a good option if you plan to use your player for music listening.

Remote control

Take a look at the included remote control to determine if it would suit your needs. For those who have more complicated home theatre setups, a universal remote may be required.

TV compatibility

Make sure the DVD player you're considering is compatible with your TV. If you plan on watching HD films, you'll want to ensure your TV supports HD playback.

Blu-ray

Some DVD players are Blu-Ray compatible. Don't assume every player will be able to play back your Blu-Ray collection. Most Blu-Ray-only players will be able to play DVDs, just not the other way around.

USB ports

A USB port will allow you to quickly download content onto a USB stick, which is less time-consuming than burning a disc and offers ultimate portability. It's easy to transfer downloaded media like movie files or photos to a USB stick and simply plug it into a compatible DVD player.

Other types of file support

If you plan on queuing up home videos, like VCDs, and family photographs on your television to show your loved ones, don't forget to check whether a specific DVD player can play burned discs and what kind of file types are supported via playback.

If you're a Netflix addict, consider getting a DVD player that can host streaming service apps. You will no longer be glued to your laptop.

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Types of DVD players

There are a few different types of DVD players that will cater to a variety of different users.

Single-disc

Your basic DVD disc player,  the single-disc player, is the kind most people are familiar with. These players sometimes come with extra features, but they only hold a single DVD for playback.

Multi-disc

These types of disc players can hold many discs at once. The user can queue up their desired content, usually music, to eliminate the need for constant manual disc changes. They can also be convenient for multi-disc movie sets, or special feature content.

Portable

Portable DVD players are lightweight machines with small, built-in screens for convenient viewing of movies or other media on the go. They are ideal for campers and frequent travelers who want to watch or listen to content when they do not have Wi-Fi connectivity. If you travel often or want to provide entertainment to a child in a backseat, consider one of these compact DVD players.

Automobile

DVD players made for cars are meant for backseat viewing, often used by parents to entertain children on long commutes or road trips. They usually attach via the car's headrests. Most have relatively large screens and are powered by a special car adapter. Many units come bundled with two screens.

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For your safety
Be careful when handling DVDs! Less fragile than VHS tapes and CDs, DVDs can still get scratched, which may alter the quality of playback.
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DVD player pricing

Lower cost: Most DVD players are extremely affordable. Basic models with simple playback options are often sold for less than $70.

Higher cost: More expensive models generally offer options like HD compatibility, and more file types will be supported. Features like the possibility to download streaming applications and wireless capabilities will also be offered for a premium. The most expensive players are multi-disc devices that allow the user to queue up many discs for playback. Expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $170 for these better DVD players.

DVD-RW is a type of disc; the RW stands for “rewritable,” which means you can record and re-record onto the DVD-RW.

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Tips

  • Know what’s in the box. Most DVD players come with a remote control and an audio-video cable. You may need to buy HDMI cables separately.
  • Note the difference between upconversion and upscaling. Whereas the process of upscaling can enhance the resolution of content, upconversion improves the quality of the connection with your TV.
  • Check compatibility. Will your new DVD player work with your smart TV? What about a 4K smart TV? Before you buy a new DVD player, find out what formats it is compatible with (audio, video, photo) so you are sure to get the functionality you want.
  • Protect your investment. Many DVD players have shock protection, which means if you drop it or it falls off of the TV stand, it is less likely to be destroyed.
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If you've forgotten a DVD inside the player for a while, don't worry. It should be fine, and it's well protected from dust and debris.

FAQ

Q. What is the advantage of Blu-Ray playback?

A. The sound and picture quality will be better overall, but unless you're very into image quality, you should be okay with regular DVDs. Blu-Ray discs tend to be more expensive, too.

Q. I burn a lot of family photos and videos onto discs. Can I play them on all DVD players?

A. Not necessarily. Make sure to check the file types supported by the DVD players you're looking into. Not all players will be able to play burned discs, CDs, and all media types.

Q. Is setting up a DVD player challenging?

A. Unless you have a complicated home theatre system, most DVD players can be hooked up quickly. Even the most tech-averse folks can manage to set up a DVD player. Just plug in a few wires here and there, and you're done!

Q. I watch a lot of Netflix. Do I still need a DVD player?

A. Yes. Not all movies are available on streaming services. Even if you plan on watching DVD videos just once in a while, it's a useful device to own. There's nothing better than popping in a DVD of your favorite film, knowing you can watch it again and again.

Q. What kind of warranty do most DVD players come with?

A. You'll have to check with the manufacturer. Most players are quite durable and shouldn't need a replacement for years down the road, but it's always a good idea to make sure the warranty covers at least a year of use. Some retailers will offer an extended warranty, available at the time of purchase.

Q. What is a region code?

A. DVD regions allow media companies to control the viewing of their content based on geography. Some DVD players can read all types of region DVDs, but many are region-locked. Make sure you purchase the correct DVDs for your particular region.

Q. Why can’t I play a Blu-ray disc in my DVD player?

A. Blu-ray discs are only compatible with Blu-ray players. The reason: Blu-ray discs contain more information than a DVD player can read and handle. Some people say they prefer watching Blu-ray for its excellent sound quality and audio quality. Others say that Blu-ray technology is no longer advancing and it is, therefore, impractical to deal with Blu-ray at all.

When shopping for content, you may find it easier to find DVDs for your DVD player than Blu-rays for your Blu-ray player.

 

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