Portable DVD Player Basics FAQ

portable DVD player

Those who grew up in the ’90s know the joy that portable DVD players can bring. Road trips, flights, and boring family discussions; they’re all equally great times to break out that bad boy and boot up a copy of your favourite Star Wars film. Okay… maybe the last one is less than ideal, but you get the point – portable DVD players are cool! Today, we’re going to discuss if portable DVD players play CDs, their average wattage, and more. Let’s get going!

Today’s Topics Include:

  1. Do Portable DVD Players Play CDs?
  2. How Many Watts Does a Portable DVD Player Use?
  3. Will a Portable DVD Player Drain My Car Battery?
  4. Can a Portable DVD Player Be Connected To a TV?

Now without further ado, let’s just get right into the nitty-gritty, shall we?

Portable DVD Players: The Basics

Let’s just dive right into the thick of things. First up is the title question – then we’ll move into the more technical stuff momentarily.

Do Portable DVD Players Play CDs?

CD in portable DVD player

There are two answers – short, and slightly less short. The former answer is that more often than not you’ll find that modern DVD players can and will play CDs. This is because CDs are pretty old technology at this point (sorry, millennials – it had to happen to us at some point). While DVDs are also getting up there in terms of age, really the only major advancement in the field of note has been Blu-Ray discs.

And this is where we get to a slightly less short answer. Depending on what your device is marketed as your answer will vary. If it’s marketed as a CD player (music only, no video or HDMI port), then you’re likely to be unable to play anything but CDs. If it’s a Blu-Ray or DVD player, though, you’ll notice that it’s able to play just about anything – this is what gamers call “backward compatibility.”

In short, the newer your portable DVD player, the more likely it is to play CDs and other older forms of the disc. If it’s an older boy (especially if it’s sold as a CD player) those chances dwindle drastically.

How Many Watts Does a Portable DVD Player Use?

This is one of those technical questions that everyone wonders about at some point. No matter your level of technical expertise, it’s extremely likely that this will be a question that floats through your head at some point.

Luckily for you, this is a super quick and easy answer. Keep in mind that this will (I would assume obviously) vary by manufacturer. How many watts does a portable DVD player use, you ask? The answer is:

Portable DVD players vary in terms of wattage, but their average is between 1 and 13 watts. This comes out to less than £.10 per hour on average.

Will a Portable DVD Player Drain My Car Battery?

Portable DVD player killed car battery

This is a surprisingly commonly-asked question, and the answer won’t surprise you. Yes, leaving a portable DVD player plugged into your car will drain the battery if the car isn’t driving while attached.

For those who don’t know, combustion engine cars (i.e. most of them) charge their battery through movement. When you start up your car, it takes a good amount of electricity to get going – after all, you’re powering a multi-tonne steel beast. Even something as small as a charging DVD player can and will drain your battery because even after it’s finished charging, the connection continues to draw power.

The same goes for anything you leave plugged in – if it’s in an outlet, it’s using electricity, plain and simple.

In short, yes – leaving a portable DVD player plugged into your car will drain the battery and make it harder (or impossible) to start.

Can a Portable DVD Player Be Connected To a TV?

HDMI cable for portable dvd player

Yet another technical (and somewhat subjective) question! I think you know where I’m going with this, so say it with me: it depends on how new your DVD player is, and who made it.

This question is further complicated by another question – what type of TV do you have? If it was made in the past ~20 years then you’ll be looking for an HDMI connector (pictured above). If you want to hook up your DVD player to an older TV, though, you’re looking for something else entirely.

For those who lived to see the 90s, let’s show the youngin’s what’s poppin’. Remember those RCA, colour-coded plugs – the ones with red, white, and yellow (or green) connectors? Yep – if your TV has those connectors, it’s likely you’ll need to dig around in that “master box” of cords and find that RCA adaptor.

In short, a portable DVD player can be connected to a TV, assuming you have the proper cords. Nowadays, it’s likely that you’ll need an HDMI cord – though you could need a colour-coded RCA connector if the TV is older than twenty years.