The Durabrand DVD-1002 is a compact, inexpensive DVD and CD player. It features composite, S-Video, and progressive video output, as well as MP3 capability. It can also play CDs with JPEG-format photographs on them and CD-R or CD-RW music discs.
SIZE/STYLE: It is lightweight and smaller than most other DVD players. The player is mostly dark grey, with chrome-colored buttons. The unit is easy to move around, but requires that electricity be provided through a built-in AC cord, so portable use is limited. The tray for placing DVDs and CDs is located on top of the player, and pops open with the press of a button, so it is not possible to stack other devices on top of it, or place other top-loading audio/video devices under it. It has a row of indicator lights (power/standby/play) on the front, but no clock. The DVD-1002 comes with a small grey remote, which is powered by two “AAA” batteries (included).
MANUAL: This Durabrand DVD/CD player comes with a detailed instruction manual, as well as a quick reference sheet for setting it up. The English section of the manual is about twenty-six pages long. When purchasing a used Durabrand DVD-1002, try to buy a unit which includes the manual, as some functions are not entirely self-explanatory, especially if you are not already familiar with using a DVD player. There is an inaccuracy about subtitles in the manual (refer to the “subtitles” section below).
CD/DVD PERFORMANCE: So far it has been used to successfully play six DVD movies over a period of almost one month. It also displayed all of the photographs on a Kodak PictureCD well, and worked fine when tested with a music CD. While playing a music CD, the track number, number of seconds elapsed (on the current track), and a logo appear on the screen. While playing CDs, the video cable can be disconnected from the TV to save electricity by leaving the screen blank, or to connect a video cable from another device (you might use a TV-capable computer or watch a satellite TV channel while listening to a CD through the television speaker). Updates will be posted in the “Comments” section of this review if there are any mechanical problems or changes in the DVD-1002’s performance.
SUBTITLES: This Durabrand CD/DVD player is capable of displaying subtitles in multiple languages. However, the menu for turning subtitles on/off or selecting language doesn’t seem to actually change the subtitle mode, despite following the manual’s instructions. Instead, to turn the subtitles on and off or select a language, press the button on the remote control marked “SUBTITLE” repeatedly until the desired setting is reached.
TV CONNECTION: With most televisions, it should be possible to connect the Durabrand DVD-1002 to them using one or more of the connection options available (composite via RCA jacks, S-Video, or Progressive). However, some older (esp. 1970-1980s) or small (under 13″) TV models do not have the correct type of input jacks. For these TVs, an RF modulator unit can be used to connect the DVD player to the TV. Also, the manual states that some VCR-TV combination units cannot be used with a DVD player.
POWER: According to its manual, the Durabrand DVD-1002 consumes fifteen watts of electricity while operating (about equivalent to a low-wattage CFL bulb or a five-inch B&W television), and five watts (almost as much as a clock radio or answering machine) when in “standby” mode. It is in standby mode whenever it is turned “off”; unplugging it when not in use can save a small amount of power.
BUYING: This Durabrand DVD player can (as of late July, 2007) be purchased at Wal-Mart stores for about $28, so it is one of the least expensive DVD players available. Wal-Mart offers a number of other Durabrand products, including televisions and boom boxes. This player can also be purchased on eBay and a couple of online shopping websites.