With portable DVD players quickly turning into commodities, they're becoming harder and harder to distinguish. Some offer a slightly better picture than others, but the majority can display an acceptable image for portable viewing, especially if the target audience is the kids in the backseat. So what makes GoVideo's moderately priced DP8440 and its relatively large 8.4-inch screen any worse or any better than the rest of the pack?
For starters, it comes with a nice set of accessories, including a car adapter/charger and a protective carrying case. It's also the only portable DVD player we've seen that has a special jack for an optional DPT100 TV tuner accessory ($59 list) that allows you to turn this player into--you guessed it--a mini TV. The included credit card-style remote has numbers on it to change channels in the event you purchase the TV tuner.
Otherwise, the GoVideo is your standard portable DVD player, with an attractive enough, mini-laptop-style design. Our gripes--and they're fairly minor--are that it weighs a somewhat hefty 3.1 pounds (with battery), and we didn't like the glossy sheen on some of the buttons, which made them look a little cheap.
You get a reasonable amount of connectivity, with two headphone jacks to share the unit with another viewer and a set of jacks that can be either A/V inputs or outputs with the slide of a button. The unit allegedly offers progressive-scan output in case you'd want to connect the player to an HD-capable TV, but we were unable to test the feature because GoVideo does not include a component-video--or even an S-Video--adapter/cable. A digital coaxial output is available for digital surround-sound output, but again, the adapter/cable is not provided.
The DP8440 supported a wide variety of formats in our compatibility tests, including CDs and CD-Rs filled with MP3 and JPEG files, DVD-R/-RW and DVD+R/+RW. Some skip protection is also provided, and we were able to jostle the unit a fair amount (our simulation of a bumpy road) without having the audio or picture cut out.