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Most portable DVD players can display JPEG photos, but LG has taken the idea to the next logical step and turned its latest portable player into a fully-fledged digital photo frame. Therefore, when you’re not using it to watch movies on the bus or train, you can plonk it on the sideboard and let it flip through your wedding snaps.
This dual functionality explains why the DP391B is one of the most unusual looking portable DVD decks we’ve laid eyes on, but it also happens to be one of the most gorgeous. The light and compact tablet-style unit doesn’t use a flip-up screen like the vast majority of portable players; instead the 8in LCD screen is at the front with a fold-out battery pack on the back that enables you to prop it up on a flat surface. The disc drive is cleverly concealed within the unit, which folds open at the top so you can pop your DVD in.
Surrounding the screen is a beautiful high-gloss black frame which is a complete fingerprint magnet, and on the right hand side is a small menu control joystick surrounded by a blue light. It’s the sort of classy piece of kit that’s sure to draw plenty of admiring glances from friends or fellow commuters.
A collection of buttons covering all of the player’s key functions sit along the top and right side is, whereas on the left you’ll find a small selection of sockets. Among these is a mini USB port (with a USB adapter in the box) that enables you to plug in a USB flash drive and play digital media files; plus an AV minijack input/output to feed composite video and stereo audio to your TV and sound system, should you want to watch DVDs on the big screen. There’s no digital audio output, however, so you’ll have to make do with stereo sound. Twin headphone jacks allow two people to listen to the DP391B simultaneously, while on the opposite side is a three-in-one card reader (SD, MMC and Memory Stick), which will no doubt come in handy when the 256MB of internal memory is full.
The unit supports all the usual file formats, including MP3, WMA, DivX (including VOD) and JPEG, but doesn’t stretch to WMV. It also accepts all the main disc formats, including DVD-RW/-R, DVD+RW/+R, dual-layer DVD-R/+R and CD-RW/-R, plus it can play the above files from any of these discs. When playing back JPEGs you can choose from a selection of transition effects, which add an elegant visual touch when using it as a photo frame.
The LCD screen boasts a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, which is ideal for displaying 720 x 576 resolution DVDs, while the unit’s three and a half hours of battery life should see it safely home to the end of most movies. It also performs all of the tricks you’d expect from a DVD player – four different search speeds, slow motion, a zoom mode (up to 900%), frame advance, repeat modes and random playback.