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This page relates to a hardware device used to play DVD. For the Microsoft Windows software program, see DVD Player . For the Applemarker software program, see DVD Player .

The interior of a DVD player
A DVD player is a device that plays discs produced under both the DVD-Video and DVD-Audio technical standards, two different and incompatible standards.

Technical Details

A DVD player has to complete these tasks:
  • Read a DVD disc in ISO – UDF version 1.2 format
  • optionally decrypt the data with either CSS and/or Macrovision
  • read and obey the DVD's Regional lockout codes and display a warning if the player is not authorised to play the DVD
  • decode the MPEG-2 video stream with a maximum of 10 Mbit/s (peak) or 8 Mbit/s (continuous)
  • decode sound in MP2, PCM or AC-3 format and output (with optional AC-3 to stereo downsampling) on stereo connector, optical or electric digital connector
  • output a video signal, either an analog one (in NTSC, PAL or SECAM format) on the composite, S-Video, SCART, or component video connectors, or a digital one on the DVI or HDMI connectors

CD/DVD/RMVB playback

Additionally, most DVD players allow users to play audio CD (CDDA, MP3, etc.) and Video CDs (VCD). A few include a home cinema decoder (i.e. Dolby Digital, Digital Theater Systems (DTS)). Some newer devices also play videos in the MPEG-4 ASP video compression format (such as DivX) popular in the Internet, as well as the RMVB video compression format.


Most hardware DVD players have to be connected to a television set; there are also some small portable devices which have an LCD screen attached.

Portable DVD Player

Portable DVD players that are capable of playing DVDs. Most have an LCD screen and stereo speakers and are usually powered by lithium ion batteries. Portable DVD players are often used for long road trips and travel.


, retail prices for such a device, depending on its optional features (such as digital sound or video output), start between 30 and 80 USD/Euro. They are usually cheaper than VCRs.


 the largest producer of DVD players is Chinamarker; in 2002 they produced 30 million players, more than 70% of the world output. These producers have to pay US$15–$20 per player in license fees, to the patent holders of the DVD technology (Sony, Philips, Toshiba and Time Warner) as well as for MPEG-2 licenses. To avoid these fees, China has developed the Enhanced Versatile Disc standard as an intended successor of DVD;  , EVD players were only being sold in China.


Software DVD players are program that allow users to view DVD videos on a computer with a DVD-ROM drive. Some examples are the VLC media player and MPlayer (both free software), as well as WinDVD, PowerDVD, Fluendo DVD Player and DVD Player.


The first DVD players were introduced in Japan in November 1996, and DVD players were first available in the United States in March 1997. The first commercially available dvd player in the United States was the Sony DVP-S7000 in 1997 produced at Sony's Terre Haute Indiana plant, the cost was $970 USD.


There are successors to the DVD player: the HD DVD player and the Blu-ray Disc player, utilizing two incompatible technologies that reproduce higher quality video images than standard DVD. On February 19, 2008, Toshiba, creator of the former technology announced it would cease production on all HD DVD products leaving Blu-ray as the high definition successor to DVD players.

See also


  1. Taiwan joins Chinese effort on proprietary DVD format
  2. Video software list

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