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Buyers Guides > Why a portable DVD player with USB and - or card reader?

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For the uninitiated, a USB ("Universal Serial Bus") flash drive – otherwise known as a "pen drive", "thumb drive" or, rather confusingly, as a "memory stick" – is a small, flash memory data storage device. Data can be written to the device where it remains until it is electrically erased and rewritten, or "flashed". With storage capacities ranging from 1MB or 2MB up to 256GB, these drives are often used in much the same way as their predecessor the floppy disk but they offer vastly increased storage capacity and no moving parts. SD ("Secure Digital") memory cards are another type of flash memory data storage device, this time in the form of a small card about the size of a postage stamp with a storage capacity of up to 4GB. The SD card, along with its competitors, MMC or "MultiMediaCard", Memory Stick and Memory Pro, is often used by multimedia devices such as digital cameras, digital camcorders, media players and, of course, computers.

So far so good but what, you may ask, does any of this have to do with portable DVD players? Well, basic portable DVD players play DVDs but if you're taking your family away on holiday, for example, the chances are that you'll need to take your entire DVD collection, or most of it, with you to keep them satisfied. Not only that, but repeated handling of DVD media, especially by small children, will inevitably lead to scratches and it won't take many of these to render a DVD completely unusable. A safer solution, therefore, may be to "rip" your DVD collection to MPEG video on your PC or laptop and transfer the files to a USB flash drive or an SD, or similar, memory card. This enables you to view the content from solid state memory rather than from fragile DVD disks and means that you can leave the originals at home. It does, however, also usually involve buying an expensive portable media player which can easily be twice the price of portable DVD players.

Not so in the case of the Click 7 "Click & Go" Portable DVD Player from Nextbase, however. "Click & Go" refers to an intelligent mounting system whereby DVD playback starts as soon as the player is positioned in its mount, but to call the Click 7 merely a portable DVD player actually does it something of an injustice. Yes, like other portable DVD players, it sports a 7" TFT LCD screen with a native resolution of 480 x 234 pixels and a slim, top-loading DVD player, but above and beyond that it also supports SD, MMC, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro memory expansion cards and USB. This essentially means that it can function as a portable media player, with all the inherent benefits, while retaining the flexibility to play DVD disks as well, all at a fraction of the cost. DVB-T ("Digital Video Broadcast – Terrestrial") and FM transmitter modules are optional, but integral 1-watt stereo speakers are included as standard, as is a 2-channel IR transmitter for wireless headphones and a remote control.