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Pros / It’s one of the most affordable options in our comparison.

Cons / It lacks USB and HDMI connectivity options.

 Verdict / The Insignia NS-HDVD18 offers middle of the road performance for a low price.

With the Insignia NS-HDVD18, you get a stripped-down and straightforward DVD player without any frills for an economical price. It’s lightweight and slim, and its modern black design lets it easily blend in with the other electronics in your living room. The player only has RCA hookups, so it’s really only compatible with older TVs, but it is easy to use.

The Insignia soared through our in-house tests. It was a cinch to set up, and we found the player and its remote to have the cleanest, most visually appealing design. It is easy to use, and the buttons on it and its accompanying remote control are easy to press and clearly labeled. The remote comes with the requisite two AAA batteries, so you won’t have to track down or buy your own – you can start using the entire system immediately.

On the back of the device, you have access to a coaxial audio output, left/right audio output, component video output and composite video output. Unlike many of the other players, however, the NS-HDVD18 lacks both a USB port and an HDMI output. This limits you to TVs that are compatible with RCA cables, which typically only include older TVs and home theater systems. From the remote control, you can access all standard playback buttons, along with language options and the main DVD menu, search, setup, zoom, display and clear buttons.

Another thing we tested was how quickly the player could start playing a movie from the time we shut the disc tray. The Insignia fell right in the center, averaging 16.89 seconds. The player with the fastest load time was the Impecca DVHP-9117, which logged 11.92 seconds. It can play rewriteable DVDs and CDs along with standard ones, too.

The progressive scan function helps smooth out the picture while you watch your favorite movies. It has an automatic playback resume marker, which lets you continue watching the most recently used DVD right where you left off, in case you needed to stop your movie for some reason. The Insignia NS-HDVD18 can play audio tracks and subtitles from foreign languages and it supports Dolby audio for a high-quality experience all-around.

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