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Guide to Elder Friendly DVD Players

All DVD players may seem the same at face value. This is because many of the functions they’re utilized for, like watching deleted movie scenes or displaying a movie in widescreen, are stored on the actual DVDs and not the DVD players.

This can lead many people to choose a DVD player based on price or name brand alone since all the bells and whistles come with the DVDs.

This is not true, however. There are still many features that a DVD player can contain that will make your movie-watching experience better, especially if you’re getting older, perhaps a little more impatient, and maybe experiencing some hearing or sight loss.

What to Look For in a DVD Player:

I. High Disc Capacity

Just like a jukebox or CD player, some DVD players can store multiple movies at the same time. Even if you’re not likely to engage in a six-hour movie marathon, this feature can be convenient if your DVD collection is difficult for you to access.

Whether your grandkids are coming to visit or you simply want to catch up on the latest season of 24, you can grab multiple selections, load them and settle in comfortably knowing that you won’t have to fuss with numerous discs, cases and storage boxes every time you watch another movie. This is especially great if you’re suffering from arthritis, as you can have someone load the discs for you and watch at your leisure.

Onkyo DV-CP706B 6-Disc DVD Player (Black)

Some industrial strength DVD players can hold up to 200 DVDs, though most people don’t own, let alone frequently play this many movies. A model that can hold six or 10 movies should do just fine.

This player can hold six discs. It also has a chain mode feature, which allows you to play movies back to back in the order you choose.

II. Easy to Operate Front Panel

If you’re already loading the DVD player anyway sometimes it’s just easier to use the control panel than the remote control. And if you should happen to lose your remote or are generally prone to forgetfulness then you’ll want to make sure you can still operate your player with ease.

A front panel doesn’t need to display every function that a remote would. It just needs to have large, well-marked buttons, such as power, open/close, play/pause and stop. Most also have forward and back buttons, but unless you plan to get up every time you want to skip or replay a scene these aren’t that necessary since you’ll use them infrequently.

Coby DVD224BLK Compact DVD Player, Black

This picture doesn’t quite capture the proportions of this DVD player, but the buttons are actually reasonably sized. Their sizes are enhanced by the color contrast, which makes the buttons pop against the black model. This contrast continues to the text, which is in white.

III. Wide Dynamic Range Control

Most of us have had the unpleasant experience of constantly adjusting a movie’s volume because some scenes are too loud and others are too quiet. A wide dynamic range controls sharp peaks in the audio and background noise, which can be nuisances both on their own and when dialogue is laid on top of them. This is especially useful if your hearing aid is prone to picking up background noise or if your ears have trouble focusing when peripheral sounds are present.

Pioneer DV-610AV-S Pal Multiformat DVD, SACD Silver Multi Region DVD Player with HDMI and USB

This Pioneer is famous for its settings and choices. You can start with the default audio settings and move up or down from there, adjusting your dynamic range control and comparing levels until you’ve reached your ideal ratio of dialogue to background noise and music.

IV. High Resolution with HDMI Capabilities

HDMI stands for high-definition multimedia interface, which means that this digital connection is an easy way to produce an HDTV picture when you’re playing movies. Though this connection isn’t the only way to achieve an HD picture, it’s the easiest way. Connect this cable to the HDMI output and HDMI input slots and, viola, you’ve achieved high quality and clarity.

You’d have to mess with three cords, not to mention six different outlets to obtain this same quality without HDMI. Many HDMIs can achieve an 1080p resolution, which is considered top notch. Many consumers note, however, that a 720p resolution works just fine as well. So if your eyes aren’t as good as they used to be do your vision a few favors: watch a crisper, clearer picture – and do so by utilizing only one cable.

Pioneer HDMI 1080p DV-400V-K Region Free DVD Player

When you plug this Pioneer into your HDTV you’ll be able to produce the highest quality picture when watching HD DVDs. This feature won’t compensate for major eyesight issues, but for those who use glasses to enhance their television’s picture it should make movie viewing much easier. In fact, some near-sighted individuals even report that they can watch HD DVDs without their glasses because the picture’s so clear.

V. Large Buttoned Remote

Like the DVD player’s front panel, the remote also needs to be easy for most Boomers and seniors to use. This means that the buttons need to be large and easy to engage. The text and icons should also be fairly big, bold and printed in a legible font.

Some remotes have buttons that light up when they’re pushed though this can be distracting and even irritating to people who have cataracts. A truly convenient remote just needs to work, which means buttons need to be clearly marked, quickly located and easy to push. The rest depends on personal preferences.

RCA 3-Device Universal Remote

Simplicity is the key to enjoyment for many when it comes to electronics. So do yourself a favor and combine all your remotes into one large, easy to use, easy to find remote. This one is color contrasted with well-spaced numbers and large icons. It may not be the most futuristic accessory you own, but it can make operating your entertainment system, including your DVD player, much easier.

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One Response to Guide to Elder Friendly DVD Players

  1. Ron January 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    The Coby dvd player looks like the easiest to use, very simple looking device. The best thing about dvd players that are easy are the noticable buttons and the fewest amount of buttons needed to operate the device.

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