Streaming may be a convenient way to enjoy movies that doesn’t take up any space on your shelf, but there’s nothing like the owning a physical DVD and popping it into your player.

Visual Excellence

If you’re connecting to a top-of-the-line HDTV, the device can scale up to 1080p, so you can retain your television’s superior video quality. LG

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If you want a more high-definition viewing experience—as well as exclusive content and 3D capability—you should spend a little extra on a Blu-ray disc player. The discs are capable of holding around 25 GB of data, which is five times as much as a standard DVD, so you get both premium video and audio. The one downside is that many older movies are still available on DVD only, so a device that plays both keeps you covered.

Total Recall

Pick up where you left off with the “disc resume” feature. Sony

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The best DVD player is one that isn’t just a DVD player. Get a model that also plays compact discs, so you won’t need a separate CD player in your home entertainment system. If it also can play DVD+R and DVD+RW discs containing burned data (“RW” means the disc can be recorded over with new data multiple times, while anything copied onto an “R” disc is permanent), you’ll be able to play videos you’ve grabbed from YouTube, even when your Internet connection is down.

Great for Road Trips

A 270-degree rotation and 180-degree flip enhances viewing options, and you can hang it from the driver’s seat for kids in the rear of your ride. HDJUNTUNKOR

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If you go portable, you can get a DVD player that sits on your lap or one that has mounting straps to place behind the headrest of the front seats in your car. That way the kids in the back can enjoy movies during long drives. Quick tip: if you’ll be watching videos you’ve downloaded online, it’s easier to find a device that plays DIVX and AVI files than MKV ones. And don’t settle for a fully charged battery life that isn’t at least three and a half hours, which is about how long it takes to finish a really long movie.