Movies on the Go

First introduced in 1998, portable DVD players made by Panasonic hit the market making watching movies on the go possible.  Whether needing entertainment while traveling or keeping your kids entertained in the car, portable DVD players are convenient, easy to use and an affordable way to take your fun with you wherever you go.

Since 1998, many manufacturers have come forward with their own versions of portable DVD players.  There are so many options and features that it can be difficult to make a choice.  It helps to have a guide to help you.

Use the comparison chart for a quick at-a-glance view of a Top 10 list then view descriptions, pros and cons of each device.  Keep in mind prices may vary.


Portable DVD Players – What You Need to Know


10. Sony 8-Inch Portable DVD Player

Sony 8-Inch Portable DVD Player

Comes with a removable and rechargeable battery that provides over 5 hours of viewing time.  It has an 8-imch screen and 12 Bit Video DAC with 108 MHz processing.  It also has a swivel and flip screen and remote control.


Has a solid, sturdy feel with strong screen hinge.  The remote control is a bit larger than other portable DVD remotes making it a little easier to use.  The player remembers where you stopped and will pick up where you left off.


This player doesn’t have a matte screen so there may be glare.  The sound is rather weak so you may need headphones.  Has a rather low resolution and this may affect the quality of the picture.

9. DBPOWER 10.5-Inch Portable DVD Player

DBPOWER 10.5-Inch Portable DVD Playerbuynowimage


Compatible with CD, DVD, DVD+, R/RW, VCD, MP3, WMA, VOB, AVI, MPEG1, XVID, JPEG, this portable DVD player has a rotate/flip feature of 270 degree rotating and 180 degree flipping.  It offers a 3-year extended battery life and includes both a USD and SD card reader.


This player has a matte screen which works well at reducing glare.  It is a lightweight device which is a bonus for kids – easy for them to tote and move around.  Can also play music and offers 300 games which is also a kid-friendly bonus!


The buttons feel a bit cheap and not well made.  Sound quality isn’t ideal and headphones are helpful.  The chord that comes with the device may be too short for some users – an extension cord is recommended.


8. Philips PET741M/37 Portable DVD Player

Philips PET741M37 Portable DVD Playerbuynowimage


This device comes with a 2-hour playback and is DVD, DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW, (S)VCD, CD compatible.  It has built-in stereo speakers and the 6:9 widescreen aspect ratio means you won’t get the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, which can be annoying.


Has closed-captioning and subtitle capabilities.  It’s lightweight and easy to use.  The picture quality is great.


There may be issues with this device holding a charge.  Some users may feel this player is too small for their needs.  This device is a bit noisy which may be a distraction while viewing movies.


7. Sony 7-Inch Portable DVD Player

Sony 7-Inch Portable DVD Playerbuynowimage

This player comes with 2 headphone jacks so sharing is easy.  It also features the ability to support multiple DVD and CD disc formats, plus JPEG photo slideshows and MP3 audio.  The battery is built-in and rechargeable.  It’s attractive with a textured cover design.


This is a well-built player; very durable.  It’s an intuitive device and the controls are easy to use and understand.  Outstanding picture quality.


Doesn’t support Blu-Ray.  Sound quality isn’t great without the use of headphones.  Screen is a bit small for some users.


6. Sylvania SDVD7060 7-Inch Portable DVD Player

Sylvania 7-Inch Portable DVD Playerbuynowimage

This particular player comes in a bundle and includes matching oversize headphones.  It also comes in multiple colors.  It features a 16:9 Wide-Screen TFT LCD display, USB and SD card reader.  It is DVD±R/RW, CDR/RW, JPEG AND MP3 compatible and also comes with a deluxe travel bag and car and AC powder adapters.


Sturdily built and durable.  Both the player and headphones are lightweight.  The screen swivels and can be positioned flat.


The buttons are a bit awkward and take time to get used to.  The screen size may be too small for some users.  Headphones may be considered subpar and flimsy.


5. DBPOWER 9.5-Inch Portable DVD Player

DBPOWER 9.5-Inch Portable DVD Playerbuynowimage

The battery life with this player is a bit better than others – 5 hours.  It includes a USB and SD card reader and it’s shock resistant so no skips if bumped.  It is CD, DVD, R/RW, VCD, MP3, WMA, VOB, AVI, MPEG1, XVID, JPEG compatible.  This company doesn’t have as much experience in this field as other manufacturers but still they produce a great product.


The player comes with games and game controller which is a plus for kids.  It also comes with a remote control.  It’s easy to use and the sound quality is good.


Some users may find it not sturdy enough for car headrest use and may prefer to hold the device while traveling.  Cords may be considered cheaply made by some.  Screen is top heavy (heavier than the base) so it may topple over during viewing.


4. Sylvania SDVD7046 7-Inch Portable DVD Player

Sylvania 7-Inch Portable DVD Playerbuynowimage

Great portable DVD player with an integrated handle.  It is DVD, DVD/-r/RW, Cd, Cd-r/RW, MP3 & JPEG Compatibility compatible and instead of headphones, which can be bulky, it comes with earbuds.  The battery is rechargeable and the player comes in multiple colors.


Comes with a car charger and remote control.  It’s lightweight and easy to use.  Has a vibrant picture.


There may be issues/difficult with buffering.  Without the use of the earbuds, the sound quality is lacking.  The spring that opens the player is a bit cheap and may come loose.


3. Sony DVP-FX980 9-Inch Portable DVD Player

Sony DVP-FX980 9-Inch Portable DVD Playerbuynowimage

The player features a 9-inch high resolution monitor.  It has a flip screen and comes with a car adapter, AC adapter and remote control.


Very little skipping experienced during travel.  Has a great picture and sound.  Controls are easy to use and understand.

Cords are a bit too short.  Doesn’t have as many features as other Sony models.  May not pick up closed-captions on DVDs containing them.


2. Sony DVP-FX820/R 8-Inch Portable DVD Player

Sony DVP-FX820/R 8-Inch Portable DVD Playerbuynowimage

Features include an 8″ LCD Widescreen Monitor and High-Resolution (800 x 480 resolution).  It has a swivel and flip monitor, dual sensor remote control and a great battery life – up to 6 hours!  It also comes with 2 headphone jacks for sharing and will plays CDs and MP3s.


This player isn’t noisy.  Volume is great – no headphones needed.  The images on screen are bright and clear.

Battery pack is a bit large making the player rather bulky.  There is no way to adjust sound qualities.  The lid can be difficult to open.

1. Sony BDPSX910 Sony Portable Blu-ray Player

Sony BDPSX910 Sony Portable Blu-ray Playerbuynowimage

The older model is included in this review because it has one of the highest Amazon ratings and sometimes older is better.  It has a 9-inch (diag.), high-resolution, widescreen LCD, up to 4.5-hour rechargeable battery and a 180-degree swivel, flip screen.  The touch key controls are easy to operate and it comes with a remote control and AC/car adapters.


The picture is very clear and works well with Blue-Ray.  Has the ability to resume so you can pick up where you left off.  Cords are a great length.


Sound is okay but will be improved with headphones or earbuds.  There is no random/shuffle playback option which might be inconvenient for users who wish to use it for MP3s.  After the warranty expires, replacement parts (if needed) can be expensive.


Things to Consider When Buying a Portable DVD Player


Buying a portable DVD player is just like buying any other electronic device.  You want to do your research and weigh carefully your options.  You want to give thought to why you’re purchasing the player – is this for an adult, for kids, for both?  For kids it may be important to find a player that is simple to use, mounts easily on a car headrest and has headphones.  For adults, maybe you’re purchasing a player for airplane travel in which case you’ll want something lightweight and easy portable.  Whatever your reasons, make sure to take them all into consideration before making your purchase.

Other things to consider are media capability, battery-life and is the battery replaceable/rechargeable, the ideal size for yourself and your family, do you need a travel case or additional headphone jacks?  Do you prefer a manufacturer warranty or want to spend money on an extended warranty?  The extras can make a difference in your portable DVD player experience.


Final Conclusion


It seems Sony makes the list more often than other brands.  This isn’t surprising as the company has been around for quite some time.  Their products may be priced higher than other options but depending on your buying purposes, quality may be a more important factor than cost.   Look around for deals, take advantage of rebates when possible and wait for sales.

Buying a portable DVD player is really a matter of personal choice.  You want one that is user-friendly, affordable, of superior quality and one that suits all of your needs but you also want one that will provide you and your family great entertainment for a long time to come.