Philips DCP951 review: Philips DCP951

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Typical Price: $319.95
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Charges and plays iPod content. Crisp, clear screen. Good speakers. Variety of inputs.

The Bad Back-seat suspension pocket is flimsy. Comparatively expensive.

The Bottom Line It's not a cheap portable DVD player, but it is stylish and has a lot going for it.

8.3 Overall

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.

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