The best DVD players are very affordable options now since the tech is getting on for two decades old. But age isn't all bad, in spite of being overtaken in quality by Blu-ray and digital media. The humble DVD player still breathes life into our DVD collections on TV or PC.
When looking for the best DVD player options it's important to find a unit that is reliable and well made. This means your discs won't get scratched and you'll get the best possible playback quality, with the least amount of noise in the background.
All that means you'll want to get something from big names like Sony, LG and Panasonic. That said there are some lesser known names that do a great job and have made it onto this list too.
You may want a DVD player with features like a hard drive and smart TV access, or support for some of the best TV streaming services. These will cost you more, but you can skip these features if your smart TV or set-top box can do all that anyway.
One huge feature is the ability to upscale to Full HD, so you get the best picture even on a more modern large screen TV. Also keep a look out for region-free DVD playback so any disc can be used.
Below are the best DVD players right now, and if you need a solid connection, we have a list of the best HDMI cables to hook you up. Alternatively, we also have a guide to the best Blu-ray players, for full HD and 4K viewing.
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, the top item on the list when shopping for the best DVD player would have to be quality. This is because that covers two areas: the build quality and the DVD reproduction quality. The former is important as a well built unit will run silently, keep your discs safe and keep working at that optimal level for a long time to come. The second is important as it can mean you maximize the quality of the DVD, sometimes with upscaling so it looks better on larger and more high resolution TV sets.
The types of features available on the DVD player can vary so be sure your unit has what you need. That could mean WiFi connectivity, smart app support, the ability to zoom in on a frame, upscaling, the ability to play MP3 CDs or copied DVD discs.
The usability of your DVD player is important as it can be the difference between an easy experience and a hassle. An easy to use interface, a well laid-out remote control and even smartphone support are all helpful and worth looking out for.
Getting WiFi, Bluetooth and wired Ethernet connections are all really helpful. If you can get them all then go for that as it gives you the most options. But also make sure to look out for the type of video connection with HDMI 2.1, optical and aerial connections also worth getting. The number of HDMI ports can also be a factor if you want to run through with a stereo system. USB is another useful connection as this can let you plug in a flash drive to play downloaded movies, photos and videos.
Why get a DVD player over a Blu-ray player
It would be silly to say that a DVD player is in anyway better than a Blu-ray player, as the later can usually play most older DVD discs as well as more modern Blu-rays. But it isn't built to do this specifically. So a Blu-ray player may not serve you as well if you are using the device specifically for DVD playback. Lots of Blu-ray players won't play your copied DVD-R discs, for example. And many can be cluttered with extra features you pay for yet may not use.
In reality the main appeal of a DVD player, over a Blu-ray player is cost. You could stand to make a saving, just don't expect the end result quality to be as good.
Keep your videos safe
A DVD player is a solid offering. If you have a dedicated device and use that for all your old DVDs, be they a movie collection, your home shot videos, music or photos – they're all secure. You can look after the discs and watch them whenever you want. There's no chance of losing them in the cloud of having them hacked away from you. Sure, it means you need physical space for the player and discs but then you get the pleasure of physically playing your content which can be worth the cost in and of itself.