The DVD player may have had its day in the sun, but the best DVD players can still offer a quality viewing experience at a price far below many of today’s media players. In fact, some modern DVD players feature useful features like smart TV access or a hard drive that makes them a practical addition to most contemporary audio/visual setups.
While it’s true that DVD players have been overtaken by newer technologies like Blu-ray and digital streaming services, the affordability of DVD players means they are still a great choice when it comes to enjoying that well-worn DVD collection you may have accrued over the years, or for playing that rare classic movie you found buried at the back of a shop or market stall.
You’ll still want the best DVD player you can obtain to enjoy DVDs at their best, of course, especially as well-constructed, reliable players are the most dependable devices for looking after your DVDs and avoiding scratches and wear. For that reason, top models from the biggest names like LG, Panasonic and Sony are often the safest bet, as they’re not only made to the highest standards but offer the best quality media playback as well. That’s not to say that some lesser-known, quality names haven’t made the cut, as you’ll see below in our list of the best DVD players you can buy now.
Another feature to look for when buying a DVD player in 2022 is support for the best TV streaming services, which will better integrate the player into your existing TV setup. Such DVD players can cost you more, but you can skip this feature if your smart TV or set-top box can already do that job better.
The ability to upscale to Full HD is another feature that makes modern DVDs a great companion to the larger TV screens we’ve become used to in recent years.
As you’ll see below, we’ve rounded-up our choice of the best DVD players available to buy right now, and you can also find useful guides on essential accessories to get the best experience possible, such as the best HDMI cables. We believe there’s plenty of life left in the humble DVD player but if it’s more contemporary tech you’re after, then we also have a guide to the best Blu-ray players to enjoy a full HD and 4K viewing experience.
1. Panasonic DVD-S700: Best DVD player overall
The Panasonic DVD-S700 DVD player is the do-it-all best of the best unit for your cabinet. This plays DVD discs from all over the world as it's totally region-free. It'll even upscale those discs to 1080p quality for use via HDMI. Support for Dolby Digital audio as well as a USB port for video, music and image file playback are really great features.
The is also the fastest DVD player we tested. So from inserting a disc to having it loaded up ready to watch, this was the quickest. It also remembers where you've left off so allows you to continue viewing from your last position in the program. Yes, this isn't the cheapest DVD player on the list but if you want a device that does absolutely everything you could want then this is the one and it's well worth the cost.
- Read the full Panasonic DVD-S700 DVD player review
2. Sony DVP-SR510H: Best DVD player for ease of use
The Sony DVP-SR510H DVD player is a super easy to use device that still crams in lots of useful features. From 1080p upscaling and HDMI support to Dolby Digital audio and DVD+R playback, this does a lot. What it won't do is region free playback, which bumps it down to second on the list – that and that fact this is a bit slower to load.
One unique feature we love is the ability to play a slideshow of JPEG images with your MP3 music playing in the background too – all from a USB drive and disc. This features a display and a selection of buttons on the unit as well as a comprehensive remote control. The fact this offers Sony quality upscaling for a really great picture is also of huge appeal here.
- Read the full Sony DVP-SR510H DVD player review
3. GPX DH300B DVD player: Best budget DVD player
The GPX DH300B DVD player is a great option for those looking to buy a unit on a budget. Despite this being a very affordable player it still loads nice and quickly, which applies to both PAL and NTSC DVD discs. That's also with the smarts to upscale the video to 1080p for output to a TV via HDMI.
While this will play nice with rewritable discs like DVD+/R/RW, it'll also play CDs – although there's no USB for file access and no Dolby support. But at this price you'd expect that. The only gripe is a short 90-day warranty and some online complaints about this going wrong after that period. But at this price perhaps it's worth the gamble.
- Read the full GPX DH300B DVD player review
4. LG DP132 DVD player: Best multi-use player
The LG DP132 DVD player is quite unique in that it offers a great CD to MP3 conversion system. Pop on your CD, slip in a USB thumb drive, and the player will convert the audio to MP3 on your drive automatically for you. It also offers region-free DVD playback so you can play pretty much any disc, no matter where it's from.
What's not so great is that this won't offer HDMI, 1080p upscaling or Dolby audio support. So you'll be getting the DVDs at their original quality, essentially. All that does mean this is a very compact player so can fit in well in smaller spaces. It also means the price is nice and low. Plus you get the backing of a decent one year parts and labor LG warranty for peace of mind.
- Read the full LG DP132 DVD player review
5. Impecca DVHP-9117 DVD player: Quickest DVD player
The Impecca DVHP-9117 DVD player does a lot for the price and it does it fast. This is one of the fastest loading DVD players on our list and it plays nice with both NTSC and PAL. It'll also upscale image quality to 1080p for output via HDMI. On the front is a USB port for easy loading of files like photos, audio and video to be viewed on the connected big screen.
What's more, this is one of the cheapest on our list, although there isn't support for Dolby audio, which could be a deal-breaker for some. Everything else is brilliant for the price.
- Read the full Impecca DVHP-9117 DVD player review
6. Craig CVD401A DVD player: Best for small spaces
The Craig CVD401A DVD player is a compact unit that's perfect for anyone looking to hide away their DVD player in a small space. Despite that small package this still packs in HDMI and will upscale those older DVDs to 1080p quality so they look good even on a large TV. This will play lots of different disc formats and also supports CDs for audio.
The short 90-day warranty combined with online complaints about issues from users makes this one to be wary of. But for the price it appears to do the job for most – even if the load times aren't the fastest out there.
- Read the full Craig CVD401A DVD player review
What to look for in the best DVD player
For most DVD fans (and they are surprisingly legion) build quality is a must when it comes to choosing a DVD player. A well-built device will better preserve your discs for longer, and play them silently. Build quality often means more useful features as well, which can help you get the best from your DVDs on modern TVs.
Features vary among the best DVD players, so you’ll want to be sure the unit you choose suits your needs. That could mean Wi-Fi connectivity or compatibility with smart apps and smart TVs and the ability to upscale to full HD. Some DVD players even function as an MP3 player or allow you to copy files from DVD discs you’ve saved onto.
Half the reason you might want a DVD player is for their ease-of-use and simplicity over the many-fangled features of more modern players. A well laid-out remote or smartphone support can make the DVD a breeze to use over more complicated equipment and let you enjoy your favourite media faster.
At the start of the millennium, DVD players emerged into a world that was only just beginning to incorporate the internet into daily devices. Fast forward to 2022, and the best DVD players should now offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and wired ethernet connection as well as a choice of connections such as HDMI 2.1, aerial and optical connections. Look out for how many HDMI and/of USB ports the device has, especially if you want to run it through a stereo or soundbar or plug in an external drive.
Why get a DVD player over a Blu-ray player
We can’t pretend that a Blu-ray player is anything less than a superior device compared to DVD players, with significantly better playback quality and more advanced features. And most Blu-ray players can usually play older DVD discs as well as Blu-rays. So, aside from nostalgia, what do DVD-players offer that Blu-ray players don’t?
Well, it’s worth bearing mind that Blu-ray players aren’t really built with DVDs in mind, so they won’t play your copied DVD-R discs which are writable and therefore may store precious movies, music and other files you’ve saved over the years. Blu-ray players also offer a host of features that many users might just find unnecessary and over-complicated, preferring the relative simplicity offered by DVD players.
Above all, the main advantage of DVD players is cost, with many models being significantly more affordable that the flashier Blu-rays and other media streamers and services around. No, the quality won’t be as good, but they can still provide an enjoyable viewing experience at the fraction of the price.
And lastly, having a physical media collection and the means to play them is still something that appeals to many people, and the DVD player continues to be a reliable means to watch those old movies and home videos, and listen to the music you’ve saved over the years.