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Great Electronic Gift Ideas: Portable DVD Players And Their Many Uses

Updated on February 25, 2011

Great Gift Idea: Portable DVD Player

With the holidays right around the corner, here's a great gift idea that is sure to please - a portable DVD player.

I came to love the idea of the portable DVD player from personal experience. I have an 81-year-old mother who is the world's best in hating computers. She also lives far away so getting together a couple times a year is sometimes all we can manage.

However, I like to keep her up to date on the happenings in my life and send her an old fashioned letter at least once a week. Along with these letters, I usually send the latest pictures I have of my pup, Griffin the malamute and his mentor malamute, Denaya.

public domain image
public domain image | Source

It becomes not only time-consuming but expensive to keep printing out my digital images to send through the snail mail because she will not use a computer or have email.

Even further exasperating is the fact that I now have a Flip video and make videos all the time of where we go or of the dogs mushing but I can't share them with her until we get together and I can show them on the TV or my laptop.

Mulling this over for several months and realizing as well that she was also amassing a great many photo books (while they try to minimize what they collect), I finally hit on the right idea - the portable DVD player.

Since my mother absolutely refuses to let me buy her things 'that cost too much', I scoured and scoured until I found one that would meet with her budget ideas and mine. I found a fantastic deal on a portable DVD player that had all the things I wanted in it and ended up buying it as a combination Mother's Day and birthday gift.

The portable DVD player has made my life so much easier and hers so much more enjoyable!


I believe even in this highly technical world, keeping in touch is essential. I also believe that we should use the great tech gadgets available to us to entertain. I think the popularity of Facebook and Youtube for instance bears this out! But what to do if the person you are trying to share with refuses to use a blasted computer? Again, enter the portable DVD player.

I also believe that all our high tech gadgets were invented to be used. So along that vein, I use my Flip video camcorder to videotape us snowshoeing or when Griffin was a wee lad, videotaped his antics or his dog training escapades. I videotape our mushing outings or just a day trip to the Painted Hills of Central Oregon or Smith Rock.

I also use my digital cameras and my cell phones like they might evaporate unless I use them. It's fun to just shoot away and see what you come up with. It's also great to have the pictures to share of course with folks on the Internet and for publishing with my hubs but now I can also share them with my computer-impaired mom!

I convert my videos to a format that will read easily on the portable DVD player and then burn them to a DVD. With a little bit of effort (I would have spent the same printing out scads of pictures) and no outlay other than the DVD's and CD's I buy, I can send her the latest dog happenings or family gatherings if someone happens to be visiting, or my favorite pictures I've taken that week - all without printing out anything and all easily accessible within seconds.

The DVD player that I bought for my mom plays CD's and DVD's and it is so simple a child could operate it. This was a good thing because my mother is terrified of anything remotely resembling high tech gadgets as well.

When she receives a DVD with Griffin and Denaya mushing for instance, all she has to do is open the personal DVD player and insert the DVD. It begins playing immediately and has a nice sized screen to watch them on complete with audio. The portable DVD player has built-in speakers so she can experience all the fun of listening to them as well as watching them in their glory.

I also sometimes use songs I have on my iPod and insert them into the videos I've created. I own them in my iTunes collection, so I copy the voice file and then insert a song to match my video. It's kinda fun to select a song like 'Born to Run' and have that playing in the background with my malamutes running. I also insert some text to run on the screen. Some of her favorites are the musical pairings I've made with the actions on the videos - like Griffin and Bob skipping to Dancing Queen.

As to the digital pictures, I go through my photos on the computer, then pick out the ones I want to share with her. I then doctor them if I want to or add things like captions through PhotoShop or Picasa. Then I burn them to a CD and send the CD off with the next letter.

Again, all she has to do is pop the CD into the portable DVD player and voila - she has all my latest pictures of the events of the week without any of the stacks of photos or photo books I keep sending. The nicest thing of all is that she can simply take the DVD player in her purse and play them for her friends to look at or watch, too.

Or if there is a particular picture she wants to print out, she can take the CD to the local store and have them print it out.

I guess it's never too young to have a portable DVD player!
I guess it's never too young to have a portable DVD player! | Source

More Reasons Why a Portable DVD Player is a Great Gift Idea

Of course, you can also play movie DVD's on a portable DVD player so it's a totally cool gift idea for anyone traveling and wanting to have some entertainment. People use these all the time to entertain their kids in the car and to entertain themselves on long flights or train rides.

Same goes with listening to music CD's or books on CD.  It has a great set of speakers so the sound quality is just perfect.  With a set of headphones, you can take it anywhere you're going and never disturb a soul.

It's small and portable.  Most are about 8-9 inches max, about the size of a netbook, lightweight.  They run on battery power if you're away from electricity and are easily rejuvenated by plugging into AC power. 

Portable DVD players have been around since 1998 and are only getting better and better.  They have become extremely popular as on-the-go devices and are popular because they can play both music and video.  They can also display images as we've seen from digital cameras, phones and camcorders. 

The innovations keep coming though.  Most screens are 7 inches although they have models with screens as large as 10-12 inches. 

Some have swivel screens that rotate 180 degrees and fold flat.  Most also come with a car lighter adapter plug so you are never without energy if traveling by car.

The latest adaptations are portable DVD players with an iPod dock, USB and SD card slots built right in.  Some can also play video in DivX format or JPEG either from CD's or flash memory cards. 

Some portable DVD players even have a USB video recorder.  Wi-Fi connections are great attributes to have in a portable DVD player so you can play or record files from or to other devices such as cell phones. 

You can even play video games on most models as they have either AV inputs or some now have internal game console action built right in.

About the only downside to a portable DVD player has been the complaint that the screen resolution isn't top notch but even that is improving with the need for higher screen resolution to accommodate the newer Blu-Ray formatting. 

All in all, the portable DVD player might be one of the best gifts I ever found for my mom and in the long run, it's ended up making things easier for me. It's a great feeling knowing I can share just about any media with her now even without trying to talk her into a computer!

Phillips Portable DVD Player Review

Sony Portable DVD Player Review

Panasonic Portable DVD Player Review


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