Best Buys: DVD players on the move

(National) Dec. 13, 2004 - The Mackie family recently bought portable DVD players for their kids. Tracy Mackie says they come in very handy. Tracy Mackie, "If someone would like to see a show in the family room, or if my husband and I would like to watch TV in the family room, then the kids can go watch their DVD players in their rooms."

And, the kids like having a portable DVD player, too! Logan Mackie says, "I like it a lot, because I can watch whatever I want. It's small, and you can take it wherever you want."

Consumer Reports just tested six portable DVD players to see how well these on-the-move players perform. The prices range from $200 all the way up to $500. Consumer Reports' Gerard Catapano says, "The portable DVD players we tested had seven-inch LCD screens. We chose that size, because if it's smaller it's hard to see the movie."

First, testers looked at picture quality. Some were judged only fair with soft pictures that lacked clarity. Others were better and had sharper images.

Then testers assessed battery life, an important consideration, since you don't want the player to die in the middle of a movie. Catapano says, "Battery life ranged from two-and-a-half hours to four-and-a-half hours. Even the ones with the least amount of battery power, which was two-and-a-half, should be sufficient for watching a two-hour movie."

In the end Consumer Reports testers found the $250 Mintek MDP-1720 did well in all of the tests. And, the battery lasts for three-and-a-half hours. So, if you're like the Mackies and want an occasional break from your kids' movies it may be the way to go.

Consumer Reports says if you're want a player that can handle epic movies, you need to consider a pricier player. Sony's DVP-FX701 $500 was top-rated in the tests. The battery life is an impressive four-and-a-half hours.

For tips on finding the best gift for everyone on your holiday list, see's free Holiday Giving Guide.

by Troubleshooter Judi Gatson

posted 6:00pm by Chris Rees

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