Should I buy a new DVD player

Mrs. Godot and I currently have a turn of the millennium style entertainment system including a good quality low-def 32" tube TV and a 14 year old DVD player. Eventually we may find ourselves catapulted into the age of high-def but we’re happy where we are and see no need to change anytime soon. There is only one area where we have some dissatisfaction.

We rent a large number of DVDs via netflix, which arrive in less than pristine quality. Probably about 1/3 of the movies we watch have glitches that cause the playback to come to a stuttering halt, making sections of the movie unwatchable.

I imagine that DVD technology has changed in the last decade and a half. If the newer DVDs are better at overcoming these glitchy spots I’d consider getting a new one, but if I am going to basically have the same failure rate even with a newer system I might as well stay with what I’ve got.

As a second question, if I do decide to modernize my system should I go ahead and buy a blu ray compatible one. Given that the rest of my system is low-def I have no current need for it. But if 3-5 years down the road they stop making DVDs, then I might as well include it so that my system doesn’t become useless.

The Sony x100 line (3100 and 5100, particularly) are excellent buys that play BR, DVD with or without upscaling and stream many channels including Netflix and YouTube. You might find one the ideal stepping stone from your current situation to a more sophisticated one. The 3100 is about $80 and the 5100 about $120.

As for glitchy discs from Netflix, Redbox etc., buy a decent disc cleaner/polisher. It will set you back about $30 plus some minor replaceable costs, but being able to polish and watch a disc in a few minutes is far more cost-effective than losing patience and rental time (and a planned evening). We routinely polished and cleaned about half of NF discs before we gave up the service.

If a new player helps with that, it probably won’t be due to technology, but the dirty laser pickup lens in your old one, which you can clean. That said, people pretty much use Netflix discs as skeet shooting targets, and there are many that won’t play in any player.

Also, I wouldn’t buy a blu-ray player if you can’t use it now. Prices will only come down if you need it later, and I think the industry is hurtling towards 100% digital distribution anyway.

Concur on both points, but a 14-year-old player is going to have many issues besides a dirty laser head. Replacement will be a blessing.

Again concur with the latter - which is why a single box that combines better disc play and streaming is a good bridge for the OP.

Disagree with the former, though. BR players have reached plateau pricing that will only fall as the medium declines in the next five years. A cheap/obsolete DVD player at $45 is a poor buy against a decent BR/DVD/Stream player at $75-80.

My Sony DVD player is probably from 2006. (I don’t remember.) When the time comes to replace it – or when I just decide to replace it – I’ll get a Blu Ray player. As mentioned, they’re so cheap there’s no reason not to.

Note that Sony has the x200 line that are sort-of replacements of the x100 line.
They are some ways worse (build quality. I thought they removed a feature but I cannot find any)


Thanks, I’ll look into that, and thanks everyone else for the advice. I have a DVD lens cleaner which I use periodically, and the fact that the stutters always happen at the same spot with multiple plays makes me think that isn’t the problem, so I might just stick with what I’ve got for now.

Can you even buy a non-BR player today?

When I got a blu-ray player, I had to buy a separate converter to get it to work with my TV as the TV did not have an HDMI input and that was the only output the blu-ray player had.

They do make ones with component/digital output as well, along with composite/stereo. But it is a point worth noting. Most are HDMI only.

You can buy a $9 DVD player. And it plays regular DVDs great,IMO.

My two cents: Unless you watch a large of DVDs and you aren’t paying for a streaming service, then a new DVD player may be in order. However, if you are looking to buy one just to spend money, I wouldn’t bother.

I have watched a staggering number of films and I have plenty of DVDs I have never bought a BR player and I never will.

I’m pretty sure analog video is no longer allowed per the Blu Ray spec (you can get analog audio)


I’m not sure what “no longer allowed” means. I have a fairly recent LG that has both component and composite outputs.

What BR disc makers don’t want is for pirates to have easy access to the root digital signals that would make perfect copies. There are so many ways to get at component and down there’s little point in restricting such outputs.

Low-end units have gone to HDMI only because nearly all modern video has gone to HDMI and there’s little need (especially in cost) to include older outputs.

This is the reason why I’d say you should go ahead and get a DVD player if you have DVDs you want to play. They are just too cheap to need to worry about whether you really need one or not, and they might work better.

Even better would be to stream them from a computer, since those tend to have a lot better error correction capabilities. I can do it right now with a Roku and the Plex app.

Do you rent from a narrow genre of disks that may be inferior? I 0nly rent old movies and only have to return less than 5%. Many of those are bought by Netflix from something called Alpha Videos.

Just use Windex and soft, clean rag – you don’t need to spend any more than that.