Notebook or portable for DVD?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by TimothyE, May 16, 2003.

  1. TimothyE

    TimothyE Stunt Coordinator

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    I know many people have chosen a portable DVD player over a notebook PC for DVD playback and vice versa for various reasons. I'm at the point of trying to decide which one makes the most sense for us.

    The primary purpose for us will be for our kids (ages 7 and 4) to view videos while traveling in our Suburban or as a player that can be used in a DVD-less room. At the same time, I hope to get a wireless notebook computer for them to be able to use in their homeschool room, probably within the next year. I'm trying to figure out if it's very easy for a notebook to perform as a traveling player, or if the more logical and convenient "traveling" player is a portable.

    What did/would you choose and why?

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  2. Gary Coker

    Gary Coker Auditioning

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    I tried traveling with a laptop for watching DVDs and it was a major hassle, especially if it's kids that are mainly going to use it. I used a new IBM laptop with a 1.2-GHz processor and 12.1-inch screen. Hassles included:
    • Clunky size. Even though this was a small notebook (around 4 pounds), it was just too big to be comfortable on my 5-year-old's lap.
    • * Mechanics of playing a disc. It's still a computer! Be sure the screen-saver is turned off. Navigate the DVD's menus with the pointing stick (awkward). Don't touch the wrong key on keyboard while disc is playing, etc, etc.
    • Jerky, annoying playback. Even though my machine had plenty of horsepower, it just couldn't play DVDs as smoothly as a cheap portable player.

    The only advantage the laptop had over a portable player was screen size and that's not a big deal if only 1 or 2 people are watching at a time. For me, it's a no-brainer: Get a portable player. Much easier to use, especially for kids. Plus, you can get decent one now for around $400 and it can double as a home player when you're not traveling.

    - Gary
     
  3. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Handing a laptop computer with an open display to a four-year old in a moving vehicle sounds like a recipe for a dropped laptop and an expensive repair bill.

    Even those little handheld DVD portables might be at risk with a child that age.

    There are dedicated VHS (and maybe DVD) portables intended for use in an auto environment. You might want to look into those.
     
  4. TimothyE

    TimothyE Stunt Coordinator

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    We chose a portable DVD player - the Toshiba SD-P2000 to be exact. We had asked some of our friends that have had neither, and they almost all said they'd get a notebook. I guess that's why you ask people who have actually done it rather than those who have just thought about it.

    So far it seems like a no-brainer now that we have it. It is extremely simple to use and the progressive picture is much better than I imagined on an LCD display. I'm convinced that if you look for a one-size-fits-all solution, you're making a big compromise. When we get a notebook, it'll be to use as a computer, not a traveling DVD player.

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I prefer a portable player over a laptop, too. They are smaller to carry (laptops are too bulky), the battery life is generally better, and they are more convenient. If I needed to travel with a laptop anyway I would go that route, but I have no other need for one.

    I just ordered a new Toshiba SD-P2000 to replace my old Pioneer LC10, which I sold to a co-worker. I wanted a little bigger screen (8.9" vs. 7") and progressive scan display, and the Toshiba was available at a close-out price (a new model is coming this summer).
     

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