Smart TVs & DVD Players: 10 Answers (For Beginners)

If you have been a movie buff for a while, chances are you have accumulated a collection of DVDs. They may seem outdated in today’s age of streaming, but DVDs have the advantage of being watchable even without an Internet connection.

But DVDs are an older technology, and you may be wondering if those DVDs are compatible with modern smart TVs.

Here’s What You Need to Know about Smart TVs and DVD Players.

Smart TVs let you access different media, whether online or offline. Most DVD and Blu-ray players will connect to modern smart TVs via an HDMI cable. You can also cast or mirror to your smart TV from a computer that can play the disc. 

1. What’s the Easiest Way to Watch DVDs on Smart TVs?

The easiest way to watch DVDs on a smart TV is by connecting the video outputs of the DVD player into the inputs of a smart TV.

Now, you should check what kind of video outputs does the DVD player has. Does it use HDMI, VGA, or composite connections?

If the DVD player has an HDMI output, that’s generally your best bet, since smart TVs are sure to have an HDMI port.

Many modern smart TVs have omitted some video connections, like S-Video or composite video. They rely instead on component video, which needs a few plugs.

2. Do I Need a DVD Player for a Smart TV?

If you plan to watch movies and are subscribed to streaming services, you do not necessarily need a DVD player. You can access thousands of titles available on services like Netflix, HBO Max, or Hulu.

But, if streaming services aren’t your thing, or you prefer your discs, then you can enjoy optical media players like DVD or Blu-ray players.

If you have a DVD you want to watch but no DVD player, you can try using your computer to play the DVD and connecting your computer to your smart TV via HDMI or casting.

Check out our article Smart TVs & Laptops: 12 Answers (For Beginners) for more information on how to connect these devices. 

3. How Do You Connect a DVD Player?

DVD players connect to a TV (or any display) through the video outputs of the player.

DVD players have different video outputs available, but the surefire way to connect them to modern display devices, such as smart TVs, is through the HDMI port or component video connection.

4. Can You Buy Smart TVs with a Built-in DVD Player?

Chances are, you won’t be able to find a smart TV with a built-in DVD player on the market today.

While there are some smart TVs with DVD players built-in, these are quite rare, and most likely so outdated that major streaming apps won’t support their platforms, thus defeating the purpose of getting a smart TV.

Manufacturers don’t create TVs with built-in DVD players because, firstly, DVDs have been replaced with Blu-ray players, and secondly, having a built-in optical drive only increases the production cost of a smart TV.

It also runs counter to smart TV manufacturers’ intent: They want you to use apps to watch content.

5. Do You Need to be Connected to the Internet when Watching DVDs on a Smart TV?

You do not need to connect to the Internet when watching DVDs on a smart TV.

DVDs do not rely on the Internet.

6. Are DVD Players Being Phased Out?

DVDs are considered obsolete, given the emergence years back of Blu-ray, and even Blu-ray discs are considered an outdated media format. But that does not mean you cannot watch movies on DVD!

Smart TVs still have backward compatibility, as they can read content from old devices, such as DVD players, Blu-ray discs, and even video cassettes.

However, while smart TVs can play them, you may encounter clarity issues. That can be attributed to the high resolutions of newer smart TVs, while DVDs still use lower resolutions.

It is worth noting that people are transitioning away from optical media formats, in general, in favor of cloud-based apps and storage.

7. Do DVD Players Work with All the Major Smart TV Brands?

You can expect DVD players to work with major smart TV brands on the market, such as those made by Samsung and Vizio.

But you should manage your expectations, as the resolutions of DVD players are very low when compared to the screen resolutions of modern smart TVs.

With that in mind, if you’re bent on using your DVD player with a smart TV, consider getting a smart TV that can upscale content decently.

Smart TVs made by manufacturers like LG and Sony feature upscaling functions that let you display low-resolution content on screens with higher resolutions. While they may not match 4k content, you can expect average image quality at the very least.

8. Will a DVD Player Turn My TV into a Smart TV?

A DVD player will not turn your TV into a smart TV.

If you are considering using optical media players to give you access to apps, you should look into Blu-ray players that have streaming functions built into them. Some Blu-ray players let you connect to the Internet, install apps, and watch video-on-demand content.

A good example of this would be the Sony BDP-S3700.

  • The BDP-S3700 is a Blu-ray player that lets you install apps like Netflix and Hulu.
  • It comes with the option for Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection.

9. Will DVD Players Work with 4k Smart TVs?

DVD players will work with 4k smart TVs, but the picture quality might not be great.

Not all 4k smart TVs have good scaling features, which is why you can expect picture deterioration when adjusting videos to match the screen resolution.

10. What Other Ways Can I Use to Watch DVDs on a Smart TV?

There is no need to scramble to find a DVD player on the used market if you still want to watch those discs. You can play DVDs using other devices that are more likely to be easily available.

First on the list would be the Blu-ray player.

  • While optical media is slowly getting phased out, it is still easier to find and buy a reliable Blu-ray player than DVD players.
  • Blu-ray players feature backward compatibility for optical media, which lets you access DVDs.

Another option would be to use a laptop or computer and mirror the screen on your smart TV.

  • Many brand new laptops come with optical drives.
  • You can still get external optical drives that play Blu-ray and DVD media.

If you have a gaming console, you can use your Xbox or PlayStation to play DVDs.

  • There are gaming consoles that give you the option for optical media use, thus letting you play DVDs.

Final Thoughts

As DVDs have become obsolete, smart TVs don’t cater to viewing them. You won’t find many built-in DVD players on smart TVs these days, and if you already have a smart TV, there is a good chance you can find your favorite movies online to stream.

With that said, if you are in for the nostalgia or aren’t interested in subscribing to streaming services, you may want to consider getting a Blu-ray player instead of a DVD player. They are easier to connect to devices, and there is a better chance you can find a decent one available for sale.

But do keep in mind that optical discs like DVDs are also prone to damage, which is why many have shifted to more stable platforms, such as flash drives and streaming. Because once a disc gets damaged, that is the end of it.

 

Sources:

How to Connect a DVD Player to a TV

Are Smart TVs Compatible With DVD Players, Blu-ray and VHS?

High Definition 101, Resolution and Scaling Explained

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