As with any portable DVD player, Philips is aware that what you're interested in is the display screen, so from a design perspective, they've kept things very simple indeed. The DCP951 features a 9-inch widescreen LCD display that sits above a speaker grille which also incorporates playback and menu controls in a nicely stylish fashion. We've seen a lot of inexpensive portable DVD players that have, to be frank, felt pretty flimsy in actual use, but the DCP951 bucks that trend, as it's a solid unit with some weight behind it.
Down the left-hand side, you'll find two headphone sockets — ideal for keeping multiple back-seat passengers happy, along with 3.5mm AV input and output sockets, a volume wheel and an SD/MMC card slot and the unit's AC adapter input. Philips provides a wall socket adapter as well as an in-car charger with the DCP951.
The right-hand side houses a pop-out slot that can be used to hide the DCP951's rather chunky remote, but it's also got one other trick up its sleeve, as it also houses a standard iPod Dock connector. This will allow you (in theory) to play back iPod audio and video content on the DCP951.
As a DVD player, our DCP951 came out of the box locked to Region 4. We're not fond of consumer-unfriendly limitations like that, and thankfully a quick bit of googling soon saw our test unit placed in a much more flexible region-free situation. Aside from commercial DVDs, the DCP951 will also play back DVD+/-R and DVD+/-RW, (S)VCD, DivX and MPEG4 discs and SD/MMC cards, as well as the video formats supported on any connected and video-capable iPod. Discs are loaded into the back of the unit via a flap that drops open.
Most portable DVD players see most of their action in an in-car context, and with that in mind, Philips provides a sling to hang the DCP951 off the back of a car seat headrest.