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Panasonic DVD-LV60 review:

Panasonic DVD-LV60

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The Good Sleek, compact design; decent battery life; plays MP3s, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs.

The Bad Could be a little less expensive.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for a no-frills ultraportable player, this is a good choice.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.0 Overall

Panasonic's DVD-LV60 may not offer the large screen and more advanced audio features of the company's current top-of-the-line portable player, the , but it has a few things going for it that should appeal to a lot of buyers. For starters, it's small and lightweight. Additionally, it offers good battery life and is relatively affordable. Panasonic's DVD-LV60 may not offer the large screen and more advanced audio features of the company's current top-of-the-line portable player, the , but it has a few things going for it that should appeal to a lot of buyers. For starters, it's small and lightweight. Additionally, it offers good battery life and is relatively affordable.

A shade more than a pound
At 1.19 pounds with the included battery pack attached, this portable, 1.1-by-6.25-by 5.5-inch player takes up little space in a travel bag. It has only a 5.8-inch, wide-screen display, which we found to be quite acceptable for viewing movies. We would have even been willing to go a little smaller had Panasonic been able to trim the player and its price a bit.

Like the other models in Panasonic's line of portable DVD players, the DVD-LV60 is sleek and offers the same attractive blue trim and multidirectional mouse button/jog dial as the DVD-LA95, as well as a small, easy-to-use remote for home use. This model's mouse button doesn't have a blue backlight, and neither the transport (next chapter, previous chapter, pause) nor the power on/off buttons are backlit. That would have been a nice touch, but we didn't find this to be a major drawback.

Around the side, you'll find a couple of minijack outputs that allow you to connect the player to your TV, as well as a surround-sound A/V receiver. As noted, the player supports playback of DVD-As, CD-Rs, MP3 CDs, and select DVD-Rs. Additionally, there's a Dolby Digital and a DTS-compatible optical audio output (cable not included). You get a minimal set of picture-adjustment options--we kept the brightness and color setting set to their lowest levels--as well your basic DVD features, including the ability to scan forward and backward at multiple speeds by simply holding down the chapter-advance or Back buttons.

All in all, we had no major gripes with the display, and found we could still view the movie from an off-axis position, which means someone sitting in the seat next to you on a plane won't have a problem watching the movie along with you. That said, a more expense portable player such as Toshiba's SD-P1500, has a sharper screen.

Works fine at home, too
Besides using the player on a few coast-to-coast flights, we took the time to hook it up to a 30-inch, HD-ready and an analog 27-inch Toshiba set. Viewing the Training Day DVD, we noticed that picture and sound quality was what you'd expect from a $150 home player--that is, decent but not exceptionally good. While there's an S-Video output, there's no component video connection for optimal picture quality. Since this unit is interlaced-only, users with higher-end TVs will want to invest in a progressive-scan player. The LV60 is ideal for setting up with a hotel room TV or in a conference room.

Aside from a more compact design, the other main advantage to having a smaller screen is increased battery life. Panasonic says you can get up to four hours of battery life from the included detachable, lithium-ion battery pack, and we were able to match and even exceed that number by a few minutes, so long as we kept the brightness set to the lowest level. In other words, it's possible to watch two movies on a flight.

We're not quite sure how well the DVD-LV60 would fare with the kids in the back of a car since a car-mounting kit isn't offered, but we can say this unit is pretty ideal for frequent travelers who want an ultraportable, nearly one-pound player that sticks to the basics and doesn't cost a boatload. If you can find this one for $550 or less, it's seriously worth considering.

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