How to buy the best TV DVD combi
By Tom Morgan
TV DVD combis - televisions with built-in DVD players - are an appealing solution if you're struggling for space and don't want a DVD player cluttering up your living space. Great for holidaymakers, caravan owners and students at university, combis are more portable than regular TVs.
Most combis come with Freeview tuners and some have advanced features, such as Freeview HD, app support for Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Facebook, and built-in sound bars.
In this guide:
Since they are generally small - it's rare to find one with a screen larger than 32 inches - you shouldn't need to pay much for TV DVD combi. DVD players are very cheap when bought separately, so adding one to a TV won't increase the cost much either.
The big-name brands, such as LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, got out of the market years ago and now only budget brands bother.
All this means is that you shouldn't need to spend more than £300 and it's possible to spend less than £100 if you're looking for one with a 20-24-inch screen.
- Smart features - look for one with an internet connection so you can download and watch streaming and catch-up apps.
- Full HD - you're unlikely to find a combi with a 4K screen, but you should get a Full HD one. They are capable of displaying slightly higher resolution images than HD Ready models, which should mean a sharper image.
- 12V power - if you want to use your combi in a caravan, look for one that can run off less power and doesn't require a mains plug. Some can even be powered from a cigarette lighter.
- Connections - since they are more basic, combis often have fewer HDMI and USB connections. If you want to connect extra devices, such as sound bars, games consoles and TV streamers, make sure the set you're eyeing up has enough available HDMI inputs. Look for at least one USB port so you can watch content stored on a hard drive.
TV DVD combis are great if you want a simple and affordable product. They're worth considering if you're after a TV to play DVDs or watch television in a second living room, study or kitchen. They're great presents for a son or daughter heading off to university, or a grandchild who loves to watch DVDs in their bedroom.
Caravan owners can buy a power adaptor to use their TV DVD combi away from home.
If you're after a TV for the living room or a model with a screen size over 32 inches, you may be better off buying a high quality TV and a standalone DVD player, or even upgrading to Blu-ray. Combis excel on price and simplicity, but they don't always give you the best possible quality when compared to a regular TV. For some alternative options, take a look at our TV reviews page, which features models from Samsung, LG, Sony and other big-name brands.
You can pick up a combi where you'd usually see standard TVs - think John Lewis, Currys PC World, Tesco and Argos. They're typically cheaper than standard TVs. Top-end models can go higher than £300, with premium sets including web browsers, apps and remote control functionality for Apple and Android smartphones.
You'll see the likes of Avtex and Hitachi, along with retailer brands including Logik (Currys PC World), Alba and Bush (Argos) and Technika (Tesco).
While you're shopping, consider an aerial – a potentially useful addition if you value portability. Our indoor aerial reviews cover models costing as little as £15.