The Craig CVD401A DVD player is on our list of the best DVD players (opens in new tab) mainly thanks to its stand out feature of being really, really compact. This is ideal for a small space or to keep a DVD player for older discs without taking up lots of cabinet space.
Despite the size this still features some of the most sought after more modern features like HDMI connectivity and even 1080p upscaling of discs.
The Craig CVD401A comes with a remote control which is well needed since the device itself is so small and doesn't feature a lot in the way of buttons. Dolby Audio support is a nice touch as is the addition of subtitle support covering you for narrative, no matter the disc.
The issue is a short warranty and plenty of online complaints about issues after a while. So, is this the DVD player for you? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Craig CVD401A DVD player.
Craig CVD401A DVD player: Design and build
The Craig CVD401A DVD player is a real diddy disc displayer at just 6.5 x 7.8 x 1.7 inches. Yup, that's about the size of a DVD case making it not much larger than the discs it holds. But, as they say, good things do come in small packages.
The black finish helps this to blend in, barely noticeable in a cabinet. While the front is angled there's no display to see, just a green LED light to show when power is on and a receiver for the IR remote control. You also have a few buttons on the unit including power and eject. Everything else is on the remote which features soft touch buttons.
Round the back you've got your composite and component ports but also an HDMI for connections to modern TVs. This even comes with an AV cable included, should you need that.
Craig CVD401A DVD player: Features
The Craig CVD401A features 1080p upscaling smarts. That means even older DVDs will be upscaled to allow them to look decent on larger TVs connected via an HDMI cable. But it's not just old DVDs that this works with as it'll play a few formats including DVD-R and DVD-RW as well as CD-R and CD-RW. No DVD+ or CD+ options there unfortunately though.
Those CDs can be used to play music but this will also display JPEG files making it a useful tool for showing off photos on the big screen.
Dolby Audio support is a nice feature that should mean you can get a more immersive audio experience out of the disc. Of course this is limited by whatever TV or speakers you're playing the disc out through.
The support for audio files and subtitles is a useful feature for anyone watching foreign language films. That means you can pick to have the audio in your language or leave the original audio language and read subtitles. Not as many features as the Panasonic DVD-S700 (opens in new tab), our top pick, but it has the basics.
Craig CVD401A DVD player: Performance
The Craig CVD401A isn't the fastest we've tested when it comes to loading up the disc from insertion to playback time. Despite this, it is consistent so at least you know what you get every time. And we're only talking about seconds here, so not a big deal really. If speed is important, the Impecca DVHP-9117 (opens in new tab) is the player for you.
To focus more on the positives, the upscaling is great making any disc look decent on a big screen. The auto playback is a useful feature, recognizing where you left off on a disc and playing back from that point when you next load it into the tray.
The progressive scan is useful for a fast-forward through a show or movie while still seeing quite clearly what is going on so you can stop at the right point you're looking for. This, of course, also helps with playback to offer the smoothest of motions when playing normally.
Th warranty was a bit of a grumble at just 90-days long. Most others we tested were a year for parts and 90-days for labor. That said, Craig does offer a lot of support on its site and has a customer support team on both phone and email that you can contact should you run into any issues.
Should I buy the Craig CVD401A DVD player?
The Craig CVD401A is one of the most compact DVD players you can buy that still offers HDMI connectivity, 1080p upscaling and Dolby Audio support. The addition of a useful remote control, progressive scan quality, subtitle and audio track support as well as the ability to play JPEGs are just nice bonuses.
The price is low, but so is the warranty period and there are a lot of online complaints about it not working after a while. But with plenty of customer support this could be a good option for your DVDs where space for the player itself is at a premium.