Nowadays, 1080p and 4K video projectors are setup in a way that they can double as HDTVs. What this means is that you don’t need any fancy adapters or converters in order to make a projector work with any given DVD or Blu-Ray Disc (BD) player as long as it has a component or HDMI input. The exception to this is vintage projectors that used to work with VHS, Betamax, and LaserDisc media players instead, but that’s more of an issue of old tech being used with new tech.
Therefore, in theory, any DVD player from Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Samsung should work fine with your projector on hand, right? To err on the side of caution, we researched through the depths of Amazon.com to find the highest rated DVD player for projector use, and the one we came across is the Jinhoo Region-Free DVD Player.
What Is a DVD Player?
First off, what is a DVD player anyway? Ostensibly, a DVD player is a device that plays DVDs or Digital Versatile Discs. The Blu-ray Disc (BD) became the de facto successor of DVD because its intended successor, HD-DVDs, fell on the wayside. Regardless, DVDs are still being used to this day along with BDs but they’re being rendered obsolete currently by digital streaming or video-on-demand services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. The player plays DVDs produced both for DVD-Audio and DVD-Video technical standards.
- The History of the DVD Player: There are also DVD players that play audio CDs and any movie rendered in the VCD or Video CD format that never took off in the U.S. DVD players are typically connected to television sets or HDTVs in order to watch DVD-related content, whether it’s a season of a show, a movie, a game, or some other piece of media. Additionally, the first DVDs were made by Sony Japan and the U.S. Pacific Digital Company back in the 1990s. There were manufacturers who claimed that the DVD would become available for mass consumption for as early as 1996, which were highly optimistic projections.
- Copy Protection and Early Distribution: DVD players didn’t proliferate up until the 1st of November 1996 in Japan because delivery was held up for “political” and “business” reasons—in other words, manufacturers were trying to implement better copy protection of digital media on the DVD players as per the demands of movie studios. However, this copy protection tech was further delayed due to the lack of movie titles available on DVD. Soon after, on the 19th of March 1997, the U.S. got their first few DVD players, which came days earlier than the launch of DVD-video discs. For the first six months, the distribution of these new devices was limited to 7 major cities.
- The Slow Trickle: DVD players slowly trickled to households all over the world even as VHS players or VCRs remained the major media player of the late 1990s. This is because only a few movies were being released on DVD at the time. The prices of the first few DVD players in 1997 began at $600 but could cost as much as $1,000 if you’re buying something high-end. By the Turn of the Millennium, players became available for under $100 at discount merchants and retail stores. In 2002 or 6 years after DVD players were first made available, almost 1,000 models of these players became available care of over 100 consumer electronics companies. Additionally, DVD devices also became available for under $50 around 2003.
- DVD-ROMs on Computers: The first computer equipped with its own DVD-ROM was released in Great Britain by Fujitsu on November 6, 1996. Then, in early 1997, Toshiba offers a computer with a DVD-ROM drive in Japan. DVD-ROMs from Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi, Pioneer, and Panasonic started getting released in sample quantities in January 1997. However, none became actually available for consumer purchase up until May 1997. The first PC upgrade kits for DVD-ROMs that include the drive and the hardware decoder card was released by Diamond Multimedia, Hi-Val, and Creative Labs from April to May 1997. By 2014, every major PC maker has models with DVD-ROMs included in them.
Finding The Best DVD Player for Projectors
DVD players, along with their more advanced Blu-Ray counterparts, aren’t created equal. Some are better than others. Others are better at certain things than others. According to Amazon.com itself, our most highly recommended DVD player for projector use is Jinhoo. In our view, your best bet for a DVD player made for projector use is a region-free DVD player like the Jinhoo Region-Free DVD Player. Regardless, if you have doubts or have other options in mind, suffice it to say that you have your work cut out for you in terms of shopping for the best projector-friendly DVD player.
- Price Considerations: DVD players come in all shapes, sizes, and quality. This is why you can buy DVD players for as cheap as $25 and BD-specific projectors for as high as $70. This is also the reason why many other players can cost as high as hundreds of dollars, particularly the BD ones with 4K resolution capabilities or branded DVD ones from Sony and Toshiba. Meanwhile brands like Jinhoo, you can get for cheap at under $40. Nowadays though, most households would prefer a BD player over a DVD player as the second option for streaming. By the way, Sony invented the BD and is a major manufacturer of it to boot.
- DVD versus BD: There’s no doubt that Blu-Ray is the superior format to DVD. However, it’s still 2nd banana to many people because DVD is simply more affordable. Middle class to upper class would rather use a BD player like the 4K Sony BD player for their projector since the same white-collar demographics would own projectors and home cinemas in the first place. There’s no point to play a DVD when Blu-Ray players is superior and can reach 4K UltraHD heights of quality. However, guides like this remain because DVDs have proliferated as deeply as VHS had back in the day. Also, there’s such a thing as cheap projectors to coincide with cheap DVD players anyway.
- Component versus HDMI: The current format for HD streaming is HDMI, especially HDMI 2.x. 4K and UltraHD is the wave of the future. However, 1080p like DVD players remain the most common type of HD available out there, including on YouTube where most videos are in 1080p HD instead of 4K. Component video, meanwhile, is the only remaining analog standard for A/V connections that can do HD. Because it’s analog, it has more issues when it comes to artifacts and quality drops. Digital HDMI is generally better, particularly when it comes to DVD players being connected to the latest of HDMI-ported projectors.
- The Digital Connection Is The Way to Go: When it comes to DVD, you’re limited to 1080p because there’s no such thing as a 4K UltraHD DVD. If you want 4K you need to go Blu-Ray. 4K also gives you more pixels to work with when dealing with the much bigger widescreen of a projector. However, 1080p is perfectly fine for your needs and it’s decently clear enough for general audiences since even 480p is watchable in their eyes. However, even with 1080p, HDMI, DVI, or even DP is the A/V connection format to go for your projector. Get a DVD player with an HDMI connector.
- The Problems with Digital and HDMI Hookups: Digital performs flawlessly or it will cut out entirely. Long-distance cabling is the bane of HDMI’s existence, but thankfully you can use Cat5/Cat6/Cat7 Ethernet extension cabling to fix your digital cable distance woes. YOu can go up to 30 to 80 feet nowadays when back in the 2000s you can only go for up to 20 feet. You can also opt for wireless HDMI transceivers in order to turn your DVD player into a Wi-Fi router of sorts, with its A/V signals being broadcasted all over your home instead for convenience’s sake. Watch out for HDMI cables that claim high throughput and long-distance signals without attenuation but are actually doing some false advertising.
Our Recommendation Is Jinhoo
You have loads of choices for compatible DVD players that could play their movies on your projector with little to no problem. The key here is to find out which ones perform the best. For our money, the Jinhoo 1080p DVD Player offers compatibility with the HDMI, USB, and coaxial A/V connection formats. We had multiple options for connecting with a wider variety of projector types, from the latest ones to even vintage ones that still use component cables. Other DVD players were much more limited and touchy with their output. (See more spec).
- Jinhoo DVD Player Does It All: When choosing DVD players to connect to your projector, you usually have to choose between multiple criteria. Should you get something with an interlaced or progressive output? Should it use a component video (analog) or HDMI/DVI/DP (digital) connection? Should it be able to handle a 1080p output, upscaled 1080p output, 4K, or true 4K content? The beauty of Jinhoo is that our older DVDs and the latest releases work beautifully with it without any region-locking or sensitivities to what it’s playing. It also runs in full 1080p just fine versus the older 1080i format.
- A Swiss Army Knife of a DVD Player: Jinhoo stood out to us not only because of its low price point that didn’t detract from its quality. It’s also a multi-faceted DVD player that allows you to play CD-R discs, can do traditional A/V or HDMI output with A/V and HDMI cables included, offers true 1080p HD support, and has built-in vintage ports for PAL/NTSC, coaxial, and USB. You can connect older types of projectors and TV on it and it will still work fine so that you don’t need to buy an extra adapter or converter for it. You can connect devices through USB on it for good measure. There are no limits to your projector choices and compatibility issues will not get int the way of your listening or viewing pleasure.
- All-Region Free DVD Player: Region lockout is annoying, whether it’s on YouTube or through DVD players. It’s, therefore, encouraging to find region-free DVD players available on the consumer level without looking for nefarious hackers to hack through the DVD player you’ve bought. Jinhoo is a must-have DVD player even in 2020 because it can play DVDs from multiple regions, so no content is off-limits to you, especially if you import DVDs from foreign lands. It covers Region 1 to 6 DVDs except for CPRM discs from Japan. It also supports the disc formats of VCR, SVCD, CD-R/-RW, DVD-/+RW, DVD-R/+R, DVD, CD, and discs recorded by a DVD recorder. However, it doesn’t support Blu-Ray discs or BDs.
- Input for USB 2.0: USB 2.0 input for USB-A allows you to play various digital media files from USB flash drives, external hard drives, and much more. This standard of USB enables you to enjoy detailed, smooth, and crisp HD video from a USB stick without compromising your home cinema experience whatsoever. Additionally, it offers loads of playback support for AVI, MPG, MPEG4, FLV, VOB, and DIVZ. It can also read audio files like MP3, MPEG1, and WMA. It also supports flash drives of up to 16 gigabytes of size and play videos for up to 720p HD. It doesn’t support MP4 file playback or USB 3.0 though. The DVD can also play 8cm to 12cm CDs and various other discs except BDs or Blu-Rays.
- Superior Connectivity: The DVD player of Jinhoo has an HDMI output, a composite A/V output (3 RCA connectors), and a coaxial audio output. This allows you to connect the device to your audio and TV as well as projector systems for high-quality movie and TV show viewing. It offers an enhanced entertainment experience like no other that’s region-free to boot. You’ll be able to watch on your home cinema’s big screen various films, series, sports, and much more through this DVD player. You can get compilations of wrestling matches or recordings of past Super Bowls as well. The AV and HDMI cables are even included for good measure for out-of-the-box connectivity.
- Quiet and Fast Disc Reading: The compact Jinhoo DVD player also reads discs quickly and quietly. This is because it’s made of high-grade material and it’s designed intentionally to work as quietly as it can for your viewing convenience. You won’t have to be distracted by any clunky or whirring noises when watching something through this device, especially with its topnotch drive core doing all the work for it. Its noise reduction is superb and it can read discs so fast that you won’t have to deal with skipping or latency issues. It’s the purest viewing experience and the unit even comes with anti-shock protection for good measure. Its shock-resistant body also allows it to reduce noise to a minimum.
- The Most Notable DVD Specs: The most notable DVD specifications for Jinhoo is the fact that it readily and easily accepts HDMI connections both wired and wireless (via HDMI dongle) from projectors made in the 2010s and presumably the current 2020s. It also uses an AC 110-240V or 50-60 Hz power source and consumes 11W of power. Its remote control specifically requires 2 AAA batteries and it’s a DC3V type of remote. As for its video signal system, it’s AUTO/NTSC/PAL. Remember that even though it’s region-free, it doesn’t support the Japan CPRM discs (which is fine because those discs are practically never used in the west). This multimedia player supports multiple formats and can even play movies from a USB drive but with certain limits.
- What’s In The Box? The package includes the Jinhoo DVD player itself, remote control with batteries sold separately, an A/V cable, an RCA cable, an HDMI cable, a user manual, the 12-month return policy, and various screws, nuts, and bolts. The customer service for Jinhoo is friendly and receptive as well to all comments and questions. The customer care number is indicated in the user manual. Otherwise, you can search it online through Google or other search engines. Jinhoo also gets great user ratings because of its high-quality control, such that the complaints about it rarely feature issues with the device right off of the box.
The Bottom Line
Blu-Ray Disc players had their legs cut from under there with the proliferation of streaming services that are quickly becoming the option of choice for watching on-demand content by the masses at large, the way DVD eventually overtook the VHS market when it comes to renting or owning home video. That’s just the way technology marches. However, even in the 2020s, DVD players from companies like Jinhoo are still hanging on there along with high-performance, cost-effective BD players from Oppo.
Regardless, from our standpoint, Jinhoo is the DVD player of choice in 2020 that you should buy if you wish for instant projection compatibility. You can view your DVDs in a movie-quality home theater and projector using the super-affordable, region-free DVD player. Streaming might be the wave of the future as of the time of this writing, but DVDs and BDs are still hanging on there and fighting the good fight in the world of home cinema and home entertainment.