Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Disposible Portable DVD Players

I just bought my third portable DVD player in six years. Luckily the price keeps coming down so that their being disposable isn't that big a deal, but it's still depressing that they break so fast. My daughter is the main user, so maybe it is the wear and tear of long car rides and plane trips that make them so unreliable:

2003 - Samsung - $554 - My first portable DVD player had great 9" screen quality. The super low-end players hadn't come out yet, and this one had a large screen and lots of bells and whistles. Unfortunately it was neither rugged nor reliable. The battery fell off the unit way too easily and started losing ability to hold a charge in less than a year. Then the AC adapter stopped working, and I figured out there was a short on the main board. I actually tried to fix it (remember I majored in electrical engineering), and got it working, but not reliably. I finally just junked the unit. I expected more out of a Samsung product, so was doubly disappointed.

2005 - Magnavox - ~$220 - I shopped less on brand and more on price this time, although I still have a hard time buying Chinese brands I never heard of (and I am more familiar with companies overseas than most people). The Magnavox had a 8.5" screen, but lousy resolution. But since my daughter really doesn't mind if Cinderella isn't in HDTV, this seemed like a good price point. Like the Samsung, the battery fell off way too easily, although it kept its charge. It just stopped working two years later, without a drop or anything obvious causing the failure.

2007 - Phillips - $180 - Knowing that I would get only two years out of the next unit, I looked for units around $200 since the ~$100 priced units are just too small. I found the Phillips DCP850 with an 8.5" screen AND a doc for a video iPod. This seemed like a great idea since I could have the option to port DVDs to the iPod and leave the big stack of DVDs at home. Plus I could use this on my own trips with my iPod if I ever got the opportunity.

I got this in a few days ago and am very pleased with the purchase. The screen quality is good, not great, but I wasn't expecting HDTV quality at less than $200. The iPod dock works great, and with a built-in battery, I don't have to worry about it falling off like I did my last two units.

In 2009 I will look forward to my next purchase.

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