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Best DVD Players In The UK For 2018

Standard DVD players are still with us even in today’s world, and they serve an important function in some homes. The whole point of cord cutting is to stop paying high prices to the cable and satellite companies, and watch TV and movies wherever and whenever you want, without paying through the roof – and DVDs can still do that.

Keep in mind, DVD content will not look as good as Blu-Ray, and will not even look as good as streaming TV from the likes of Netflix – it’s an ageing technology that doesn’t have HD resolution (though some of the best DVD players offer an “Upscaling” feature that improves picture quality on standard definition discs.)

Still, many of us have enormous DVD collections at home, and if you dig at pound shops, you can often find real DVD bargains. Plus, you can transfer your old VHS tapes to DVD. And with DVD player prices at an all-time low, you can snatch a great device for less than £40.

In this round-up I will review some of the top DVD players out there, and the things to check before you buy. Obviously, the selection of DVD player models isn’t as big as it used to be when the technology was new – so it’s important to buy the right model.

RankDVD PlayerOur RatingPrice
1LG DP542H
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐CHECK PRICES
2Panasonic DVD-S500⭐⭐⭐⭐CHECK PRICES
3Denver DVH-1244⭐⭐⭐⭐CHECK PRICES
4LG DP132 Slim⭐⭐⭐CHECK PRICES

Best DVD Players 2018

Buying The Best DVD Player: Things To Consider

While there aren’t A LOT of DVD devices still being sold today, they still vary in features and quality. But first, let’s touch on the elephant in the room – DVD or Blu-Ray?

Up until a couple of years ago, it was a no-brainer to go ahead and buy a Blu-Ray player instead of a new DVD Player. They’re backward-compatible with standard DVDs, but they can also play the more advanced, Full HD (and even 4K) Blu-Ray discs.

However… with streaming TV services becoming so popular, Blu-Ray is on its way out – it still offers excellent quality, but the future is in streaming. Obviously, DVD players are not the way of the future either – but if you just want a way to watch your DVD collection, or get a few bargains to watch without paying a monthly subscription to a streaming service – you might as well get a cheap DVD player and skip Blu-Ray, where not only the devices cost more – but the discs do as well.

Father and son dvd player

But before you buy a DVD player… here are some of the things to look out for:

Multi-Region: Back when DVD players were first introduced, they were all region-locked. DVD Regions are a way to control release dates and – let’s face it – DVD prices across the world. The United States (and Canada) are Region 1, while the United Kingdom (and the rest of Europe) are Region 2, and it goes on like this with more regions for the entire world.

The catch is that a region-locked DVD player can ONLY play discs from its own region. So, if you buy a Region 2 (Europe) DVD player, you WON’T be able to play discs that you bought in the US (Region 1) or from any other region other than 2.

Thankfully, Multi-Region DVD players were introduced. These devices can play discs from ANY region, so you don’t have to worry when you buy a DVD, even if you order it from the US or other countries. And while Region Locked players are sometimes a bit cheaper – I would still recommend getting a multi-region one, so you’ll have more flexibility when buying the discs.

As a side note, the whole DVD Regions thing was a bit of a mess – and you might occasionally end up with a Region 1 DVD that doesn’t play well even with a Multi-Region player. That’s the nature of the beast… but most will be fine.

Important Tip: Some DVD Players from big brands are sold as Multi-Region on some stores, and Region-Locked on others (despite them being, on the surface, the same model.) The models I list in this review are all Multi-Region, and are available from Amazon. If you buy them elsewhere – make sure they’re Multi-Region, because they might not be, despite seemingly being the same model

Connections: These days, we’re used to connecting devices to our tellys with HDMI connections. But since some DVD players are from a different era, they don’t all have HDMI connections – some only have SCART and Composite (Red/White/Yellow) line-outs, so decide what you need first (depending on the available connections on your TV set.)

USB Port: If you want to be able to play home videos and other stuff from your computer (MP3, photos, etc’), look for a DVD Player with a USB port. You can then transfer the content you want to play onto a USB stick, and play it on your telly via the DVD player.

CD Usb stick sd card

Video Formats: This used to be a major consideration with DVD players, though these days, most players can play the majority of video formats – from MPEG to DIVX to XVID and everything in between. Unless you know there’s a very specific and rare video format you’re going to need – you shouldn’t bother yourself too much with this issue. Keep in mind, though, that some of the newer video formats might not be supported anymore.

Upscaling: These days, we’re used to HD (720p), Full-HD (1080p) and even Ultra HD (4K) videos. But DVDs don’t even get to 720p (1280x720) – they can play video at a resolution as high as 720x576. That means discs won’t look very good on today’s high-definition TV screens. Some DVD Players, however, can “Upscale” the video quality up to HD level.

Upscaling mathematically “matches” the pixel count of HD content, and enhances the look of Standard Definition DVDs. Don’t expect too much – your old content won’t “magically” transform into true HD content, but it IS an improvement.

Cord Busters’ Best DVD Players In 2018

RankDVD PlayerOur RatingPrice
1LG DP542H
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐CHECK PRICES
2Panasonic DVD-S500⭐⭐⭐⭐CHECK PRICES
3Denver DVH-1244⭐⭐⭐⭐CHECK PRICES
4LG DP132 Slim⭐⭐⭐CHECK PRICES

Price

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quality / Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pros

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Play video/photos/music from USB
  • Solid, slim design
  • Comes with an HDMI cable

Cons

  • No SCART connection
  • Struggles with some video formats (on USB)
  • Region 1 discs a bit fiddly

Extra Features:

  • Mutli-Region: Yes
  • Upscaling: Yes
  • Connections: HDMI, Composite, Optical (Audio)
  • Audio: DTS Digital Out (Needs Amplifier for DTS)
  • USB Connection: Yes

Bottom Line

 

LG are known for making excellent devices, and so this DVD player doesn’t fail. It provides excellent picture quality and upscaling (just remember, this is still a DVD player – you’re not going to get real HD quality no matter what), it plays DVDs from all countries, and you can use the USB port to play videos and photos from your computer.

As far as connections go, the LG’s got the standard HDMI port, and composite for older TVs or sound devices – but not SCART, so make sure you don’t need one. There’s an Optical audio port, which can also pass through DTS Digital sound to your amplifier (but the player doesn’t have its own DTS decoder).

As is the case with a lot of Multi-Region DVD players, some buyers reported issues with Region 1 discs, but most had no problem playing DVDs from all regions. (Important: Some retailers sell a different version of this model, which is NOT multi-region.)

The player comes with an HDMI cable, a remote and even batteries for the remote – which improves the value for money even further. If you’re looking for a top-notch DVD player, with most of the features you might need, this one is an excellent choice.

Price

⭐⭐⭐

Quality / Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pros

  • Good native picture quality
  • Dust-proof
  • Rip music from CDs to USB
  • Play photos, music and video from USB stick

Cons

  • No HDMI Connection
  • No upscaling
  • Limited remote control

Extra Features:

  • Mutli-Region: Yes
  • Upscaling: No
  • Connections: SCART, Composite
  • Audio: Dolby Digital
  • USB Connection: Yes
  • CD Ripping

Bottom Line

 

The main thing going for this slim, good-looking DVD player is that it’s from Panasonic – that means good reliability (in most cases), and an excellent picture quality.

The fact that it doesn’t have an HDMI connection is a minus (it comes with a SCART cable), and there’s also no Upscaling – but the native DVD picture quality is excellent, and since Upscaling is a bit of a “cheat” anyway, you might get better “native” picture quality from a DVD with this player, than with the “Upscaling” feature on some other players.

The remote control only controls the DVD, which is actually a plus for some, though others would perhaps want TV and volume controls on it as well.

The player is Multi-Region (just make sure you get the right model – some retailers sell a very similar one which is Region 2 only), and it has a neat little feature – Music CD Ripping – which lets you rip music tracks from CDs onto a USB stick. With many computers ditching CD/DVD drives, it’s nice to have this feature in the living room.

All in all, this is an excellent DVD player, which only loses points for the lack of HDMI.

Price

⭐⭐⭐

Quality / Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pros

  • Decent picture quality and Upscaling
  • Dolby Surround Sound built-in
  • Play photos, music and video from USB stick

Cons

  • No composite connection
  • Some say the disc spinning is too noisy
  • Struggles with some video formats (from the USB)

Extra Features:

  • Mutli-Region: Yes
  • Upscaling: Yes
  • Connections: HDMI, SCART, Optical (Audio)
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 (Optical)
  • USB Connection: Yes

Bottom Line

 

The Denver DVD player is a solid machine – most people are satisfied with the picture quality, it has both SCART and HDMI connections (but no composite, so take notice if you have a very old TV or no free HDMI ports), and it even has a nice, slim design.

So why is it in 3rd place? It’s a question of Price vs. the competition – most of the DVD players in this review have a very similar price point. And for that price, you can get more features and slightly better quality from the other players.

Another point to notice, is that a lot of buyers reported a noisy device, mostly when the disc spins and the motor’s running – so be careful if you’re sensitive to such things.

All in all, this is a good DVD player – and if you manage to catch it during a special sale, the value for money would be even better.

Price

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quality / Features

⭐⭐⭐

Overall

⭐⭐⭐

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Slim, small size
  • Rip music from CD to USB
  • Play photos, music and video from USB stick

Cons

  • No HDMI (comes with RCA-to-SCART cable)
  • Very small remote
  • No upscaling

Extra Features:

  • Mutli-Region: Yes
  • Upscaling: No
  • Connections: Composite (With SCART cable)
  • Audio: Dolby Digital
  • USB Connection: Yes
  • Music CD Ripping

Bottom Line

 

This is a good little DVD player from LG – literally, as it’s slim and compact. (Though that goes for the remote control as well, and some say it’s TOO small, especially if you have big fingers.)

There’s no HDMI, and not even a direct SCART port – the device only comes with a composite connection (Red/White/Yellow), and a cable that converts that into SCART. That means picture quality is not top notch, but the device itself does a decent enough job when it plays DVDs.

The player has a Music CD Ripping feature, so you can rip music tracks from discs directly to a USB stick, and convert them to MP3s.

Other than that, this is a pretty basic DVD player, without many bells and whistles – but it’s quite cheap, and the lack of extra features makes it easier to use, which is a plus for some.

Writer and news editor based in London, I cut the TV cord back in 2014 and never looked back. I watch A LOT of TV, and thankfully I can choose whatever I want to watch without depending on archaic channels.

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