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Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

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Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

Old 07-11-22, 07:16 PM
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Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

Hi all,
I'm looking for a portable DVD player that will play my 4:3 DVDs correctly. I've tried a few different brands and every single one stretches the image out to fill the screen, even if you choose the "pan and scan" or "letterbox" option.
This is a pain, as I'd like to be able to watch old movies and TV shows on my portable DVD player, but not if everybody is stretched out of proportion.
Are there portable DVD players that will properly display aspect ratio? Or do those not exist?
Thanks for your help!
Sarah B.
Old 07-11-22, 08:57 PM
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Re: Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

It's probably not the DVD player but your TV settings. Check it your TV has an aspect ratio for 4x3.
Old 07-11-22, 09:02 PM
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Re: Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

Originally Posted by Eddie W
It's probably not the DVD player but your TV settings. Check it your TV has an aspect ratio for 4x3.
I think she's talking about the portable players that have a screen. The ones that were somewhat popular with travelers for a while.
Old 07-11-22, 09:04 PM
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Re: Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

Originally Posted by Eddie W
It's probably not the DVD player but your TV settings. Check it your TV has an aspect ratio for 4x3.
Thanks for the reply, Eddie! But I'm not running the player out to a TV. The ones I've tried are portable, they have built-in screens.

The latest one I tried is a Wonnie 9.5" portable from Amazon. I can't post a link, though.
Old 07-12-22, 01:06 PM
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Re: Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

There's usually a setting in there somewhere for "stretch" or "aspect ratio" or maybe even "zoom". Once you find it, you may have to set it each time you turn off the player, or at least each time you switch between 4:3 and 16:9 content.
Old 07-13-22, 07:10 PM
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Re: Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

Originally Posted by jjcool
There's usually a setting in there somewhere for "stretch" or "aspect ratio" or maybe even "zoom". Once you find it, you may have to set it each time you turn off the player, or at least each time you switch between 4:3 and 16:9 content.
Thanks! Each player I've tried has a zoom option that just makes the entire screen bigger or smaller and doesn't change the aspect ratio.

Each one also has a feature titled "aspect ratio" that offers 3 options: 4:3 pan and scan, 4:3 letterbox, and "wide."
You'd think that would be the option to pick, but I've tried 4 different players and no matter what option I pick, the picture doesn't change. It stays stretched out. One player did change when you chose "4:3 letterbox" - but all it did was take the stretched-out picture and put bars at the top and bottom.

I just tried a Sylvania 9" portable DVD player, thinking it was because I was trying 'no-name' brands, but nope - the Sylvania doesn't properly play 4:3 either. No matter what you choose, the picture stays stretched out. So back it goes.

I don't get it. The ability to play a DVD in the aspect ratio it's encoded for is basic, yet not a single portable DVD player I tried can do it. It's very frustrating!

Last edited by SarahB1863; 07-14-22 at 08:32 PM.
Old 09-30-22, 11:29 PM
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Re: Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

I remember when someone I worked with brought one into the break room- they had the "Money Talks" DVD playing the pan and scan version stretched to 16x9. Flipped it over and played it properly. It had a manual switch to change screen formats, but you shouldn't have to do that. I didn't even buy a widescreen TV until players had that figured out.
Old 04-21-24, 12:30 PM
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Re: Portable DVD player that plays 4:3?

I've had the same problem SarahB1863 has. My original Sony Portable player worked fine for years, but it finally stopped functioning. I couldn't find a new one from Sony, so I went to Best Buy and bought an Insignia and the instructions insist that the default play is 4X3, but everything on it is stretched out, even anamorphic titles are stretched beyond what they should be. I tried every setting they had and nothing changed it. I wrote to the company and they said to just return it. Big help. I've kept it because I need a portable CD player and that's what I use it for, but I sure wish I had another Sony Portable Player like the one I bought in the first decade of this century. Those are great and I never had any aspect ratio problem with it. I can get probably get one used, but I wanted a new one and I don't think Sony makes them anymore.

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