Comparison test: portable dvd players

If you tour, you should take a break now and then. A movie is just the thing to either cool down your own freeway adrenaline level or to please the kids in the back seat. Seven portable DVD players up to 350 euros are recommended for drive-in movies and movie fun on the road.

  1. Comparison test: portable DVD players

Stop, put your feet up and enjoy a movie. The DVD evening has long since ceased to be a privilege of the living room. Since LCD displays and drives have made it possible to miniaturize home theaters, portable DVD players are enjoying increasing demand. While the first generations of players still had to contend with teething problems, current devices offer long-lasting batteries and high-resolution displays.

in addition to playing video dvds and audio cds, all test devices can now also play multimedia files – either from dvds or, like the devices from grundig, mustek, philips, thomson and xoro, via a usb connection or even an sd card. This transforms an entire class of devices from pure DVD artists into multimedia all-rounders that combine picture frame functions, MP3 stations and even DVB television.

One of the biggest uses of portable players is in the car. This is one of the reasons why each of the portables tested comes with a headrest mount and a charging cable for the cigarette lighter. panasonic proves how important the car installation is to the manufacturers: their mount passed the crash test at dekra, for which the DVD-LS80 is now allowed to carry their logo.

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Comparison test: Portable DVD players

Portable DVD player

Grundig DVD-P 8600, 350 euro

The most important questions about portable DVD players:

Here you will find the most important questions about portable DVD players answered in advance:

1.) I can also use portable DVD players as players in my living room installation?

In principle yes, because all tested devices have video and audio outputs. However, since these are exclusively composite video outputs, which produce a dubious quality composite signal on the video side, they are not recommended – especially if the TV is a large-format flat screen.

More expensive devices then also have YUV outputs, which bring quite respectable pictures to the television set. For high-quality output of digital sound to the receiver, some devices have coaxial digital outputs that transmit at least the bitstream without loss.

2.) i can use portable dvd players as digital picture frames?

This works with all players that read JPG photos either via CD, DVD, memory card or USB interface. However, the quality of what is shown varies greatly from device to device – the main reason for this is the resolution, which should be as high as possible for detailed photos. Furthermore, not all of the 16:9 displays correctly show photos in the conventional 4:3 and 3:2 formats. Then the photos appear strongly distorted, which already diminishes the picture impression considerably.

3.) how safe are the car mounts?

only panasonic proves the safety of its car mount by the certification body dekra. The mount consists of a strap around the headrest and a hard plastic anchor that holds the device in place – even during the crash test. The assembly of the philips also makes a robust impression with its solid plastic parts.

The other manufacturers in the test field rely on sometimes adventurous assemblies of carrying cases, straps and Velcro fasteners. These hold up during normal driving, but are likely to pose a serious danger to a child watching a movie in the event of a rear-end collision, for example.

4.) the DVB-T reception, as far as supported, also works in the car?

Yes, but only in the parking lot or in traffic jams. As soon as the car moves, the reception breaks down. This is where the mobile and portable DVB-T receivers differ: mobile solutions have dual antennas and tuners that allow reception even at high speeds. portable solutions allow porting from one place to another and receiving there, but not on the road.


For me as a display tester, there is one clear winner and that is grundig. No other combination of player and display can achieve a comparable level of quality. Many other competitors offer similarly good resolutions, but like xoro, they suffer from overly squeaky colors or, like the mustek, look too dull. Thomson wants to win with its flood of features, but doesn’t manage to keep them usable.

The classic consumer electronics manufacturers panasonic, philips and toshiba present themselves with thoroughly mature products. Here, the low panel resolution is the stumbling block to the impressive picture quality. toshiba impresses with its rich equipment, philips with its diverse capabilities and panasonic with the best car integration solution.

Long live the battery

Every battery loses capacity and therefore runtime. Find out here how to keep your portable DVD player mobile for as long as possible:

Anyone who frequently uses his portable DVD player on the mains or on the car charger cable is advised to remove the battery if the device allows this. In mains operation, the battery heats up unnecessarily and thus loses power.

If the battery is to be stored for a longer period of time, it should be fully charged beforehand. However, it should not be left unused for too long, as it discharges slowly. And once the battery is completely discharged (deep discharged), it can no longer be recharged and is therefore defective.

Charge your battery consciously. After a few hundred to 1000 charging cycles, it no longer stores capacity. So it is best to charge it only when it is empty and not after each use.

Overcharging leads to a reduction in the battery’s capacity. Good chargers with integrated electronics avoid overcharging. Most of the chargers supplied lack this function, however, which is why you should not charge the battery for more than twelve hours if possible.

Memory effect: used to be main battery capacity reducer, no longer hits current models as hard. It is nevertheless recommended to always fully charge batteries and to use up the charge just as completely

Batteries are sensitive to temperature. Both high and low temperatures affect the sensitive electrochemical processes inside the power generator. Do not leave the DVD player in the car – temperatures can quickly reach up to 60 degrees in the car during a vacation. Equally recommended to take the porti to the hut on a skiing vacation.

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