Blu-ray and DVD Players Buying Guide

How to choose a DVD Player

The vitals

A VD player is a device that plays DVDs (Digital Versatile Discs), CDs and other audio, video and visual media via a USB port.


Unlike other electrical items, you can pay a small price for a DVD player and still get a good quality device. Standard, no-frills players are available for as little as £30. At the other end of the scale, prices can set you back £400 for a DVD player with a wide variety of features and great audio and visual quality.

Blu-ray technology is much more expensive. A 3D Blu-ray player can be as little as £130, but go up to £800, although they’re gradually getting cheaper. Up-market DVD players are still much cheaper than Blu-ray players.

Portable DVD players start at about £60.



Most new DVD players are progressive-scan. These players scale twice as fast as traditional players, resulting in a flicker-free, bright picture. This technology is referred to as 480p (progressive). Look out for special effects, such as slow-motion, frame-by-frame, fast forward and pause.


The major difference between DVD and Blu-ray technology is that formats such as DVD, DVD RAM, and DVD –R and RW use a red laser to read and write data. Blu-ray, as the name suggests, uses a blue laser which allows data to be packed tighter. This means that a Blu-ray disc the same size as a DVD has a much larger storage capacity.

Blue-ray technology gives you an unparalleled HD experience (you need an HD TV), offers a huge storage capacity (500GB hard drive), network sharing ability, superb picture quality, and the capability of recording two channels at once.

DVDs are 30 to 40% cheaper to buy than Blu-ray discs, and they’re much more widely available.


Portable DVD players have a five to ten-inch rotatable screen, robust, clamshell casing, car headrest mounting and power adapter, re-chargeable batteries, earphones and an audio/video cable. Some models come with built in FM radio receivers and some have dual screens.


Some high-end DVD players take standard definition images and add extra pixels to create higher definition. They also have good zoom and panning options, for a more magnified viewing experience.

Our most popular DVD players