portable dvd vs. laptop

dara wrote on 9/10/2003, 9:39 AM
I need a way to show people my projects (I'm a professional/amatuer/ hobbyist--doing projects for friends of friends. . .). thought about a portable dvd player--only about $250-350, but of course that's all it does. thought about laptop for the versatility, but that's about 3xs the cost.

question: can I get a decent laptop for a decent price that will run 8 min projects decently? or should I go w/ the port dvd?

any opinions?


johnmeyer wrote on 9/10/2003, 10:38 AM
I have no idea why anyone would buy a portable DVD player. I purchased a great laptop on eBay two years ago for about $700. It has a 15" screen, DVD player, etc. Has video output too. I edit on it in the field, capture directly to it (great for time lapse, or for captures longer than a one hour DV tape can hold). And I use it in the car for the kids on long road trips (I plug a cassette adapter into the headphone jack, and we can hear the movie through the car's quad speaker/subwoofer sound system).

For your application, the 15" screen is the key. Even if none of the other things mentioned above make a difference to you, the impact to your clients of a large screen will make all the difference in the world. In addition, the ability to plug into any projector via either NTSC output (get a laptop with video out) or VGA (most portable projectors support VGA) gives you the ability to do large format presentations.
Chienworks wrote on 9/10/2003, 11:12 AM
Don't go overboard on the latest laptop if all you want it for is showing videos. A 700MHz Pentium or 1GHz Celeron class processor is plenty fast for this purpose. The screen should be TFT or ActiveMatrix to get the best picture. Of course, you'll need a DVD drive to play DVDs. However, if your videos are all that short you might want to consider playing them straight from the hard drive. The new Windows Media Player 9 plays DVDs and MPEG-2 files quite nicely so you don't need any additional software. Look around at used, refurbished, or demo models. You can probably pick something like this up for $500 to $600.
Jessariah67 wrote on 9/10/2003, 3:06 PM
Nice thing about the portable DVD is it gives the kids something to do on those long trips...

Seriously, though, I have a portable DVD and love it. It's half the size of a laptop. It doesn't crash. It doesn't have to be booted. I think there's a good argument for either. It just depends on what you want to do with it.
dara wrote on 9/11/2003, 12:50 AM
thanks for the feedback. I was all settled on the laptop til Jessariah chimed in, :-). gonna sit on this one for a bit . . . really do like the idea of the larger screen, that alone may sway me, if I can find one on the cheap.
thanks again
williamconifer wrote on 9/11/2003, 9:44 AM
keep in mind alot of portable DVD players have AV outs, you just need that funny 1/8" (or whatever the size is) plug with 2 rings and a tip. My audiovox even has an optical out. I've dropped that thing from 4 ft up onto a concrete driveway and it still runs like a top. My 2 year old likes to try and kick the damn thing when she doesn't like the dvd it's playing. It just won't die.

I love portable DVD players.