Customer Reviews: Sony DVPFX780 7-Inch Screen DVD Portable
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This review is for: Sony DVP-FX780 Portable DVD Player (Introduced March '12)


We have been using Sony portable DVD players for many years and have always been very happy with them. However, although this has the usual GREAT PICTURE AND SOUND we expect from Sony portable DVD players, CONSIDER A HIGHER END SONY MODEL.

This is an excellent entry point into Sony's portable DVD players. However, for only $20-$30ish more one can leap to a 9" screen (9" diagonal) with higher resolution to boot, a much better choice. The 9" models available at the time of this review:
Sony DVPFX980 9-Inch Screen DVD Portable
Sony BDPSX910 Portable Blu-ray Player

One negative that stands out is its RIDICULOUSLY SHORT CORD compared to past models. The new cord plug-in port is incompatible with past cords so if you are replacing an old model, you can't use the old much longer cord. Sony said they don't sell a long version of the new cord, if you find one from a third party company, please add that information in a comment :).

The Sony line-up has changed considerably. Gone are the mid-range models with 6 hour battery, 2 headphone ports, etc. They are now just offering very competent models at the low end and getting to high-end features is now a $200ish affair (at the time of this review). I hope to see models with 6+ hour batteries in the low to mid-range models again.


If an additional $100-$150 to get the best works for you, skip this review and get a Sony BDP-SX910 (there might be something better by the time you read this, of course) whether or not you play Blu-Ray discs, due to superior overall features that apply to DVDs, too. It was introduced April 2012 so hopefully they have ironed out any new model easy-fixes by now.
Sony BDPSX910 Portable Blu-ray Player


- The usual GREAT PICTURE and SOUND of a Sony portable DVD player.

- Excellent BATTERY TIME:
--> 3 hours 30 mins at default backlight setting of 10 (out of 1-20).
--> 3 hours 45 mins at backlight setting of 5.

- Includes car lighter charging adapter.

- An A/V (Audio/Video) input/output port.

- As always for the Sony's appears well built, a simple good-looking design with a hard shell.


- RIDICULOUSLY SHORT CORD (3'2") compared to past Sony DVD portable players.

- I hesitate to mention this since I never noticed it until I looked it up, however the resolution is 480x234, whereas even the lower-end 9" version that costs $20ish more has 800x480.

- 7" Diagonal screen, which although works fine, again for only $20ish you can get a 9" screen which is a much better option.

- In previous models you could Fast Forward and Fast Reverse with right/left arrows. This new model refresh instead only recognizes dual use of the skip buttons to cover FF/FR AND Skip, depending on the timing of the push. It is thus now easy to ACCIDENTALLY SKIP INSTEAD OF FF and vice verse. That said, you should be able to get used to it once you figure it out.

- If the design needs to be so stingy as to have a super shorter cord, it makes one wonder where else money was saved that one can't see.


Before committing to this model, you might consider looking at some of Sony's higher end models. Here are some of their features to consider:

- A 9" DISPLAY size is easily worth the extra cost in my opinion.

- 3.5-4 hours BATTERY TIME is excellent for inexpensive players, however, look for 4.5+ hours at the high end.

- This model has 1 headset port, the top end Sony Blu-Ray/DVD portable player has 2 HEADSET PORTS.

- The top end Sony model's SCREEN CAN SWIVEL to face any direction.

- Higher end models come with a REMOTE CONTROL.


- The CORD IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH MOST PREVIOUS MODELS' CORDS, so you probably can't use an old cord to overcome the very short cord with this model.

- I hesitate to mention this since it is not an issue for us, however the spoke that holds the DVD is a tight fit for dvds (compared to our other Sony DVD portable players), so to avoid breakage you might not want little ones changing DVDs on it.

- Doesn't charge while used (see below under "Tested").


- Actual BATTERY TIME IS 3 hours 30 mins (at default backlight level of 10 out of 1-20), 3 hours 45 mins at backlight level of 5. The first blinking yellow charge light warning came on roughly half an hour before running out.

- From same tests as above, confirmed there is NO VALUE TO CHARGE AFTER YELLOW CHARGE LIGHT TURNS OFF.

- I semi-confirmed the claim that it mostly DOESN'T CHARGE WHILE PLAYING (but it keeps it from draining). More precisely, limited tests suggest it charges at a rate of roughly 1 min per 8 minutes of play time, so there might be a very slight bit of charging up going on.


- It RETURNS TO SAME SPOT YOU WERE WATCHING AFTER YOU TURN IT OFF AND ON. One review said you can't, this is incorrect.

- You CAN ADJUST COLOR, CONTRAST, Hue, and Backlight. One review may suggest you can't adjust the first two, this is incorrect.

- The screen is 7" diagonal, one review could be construed to suggest it may be smaller than this, which would be incorrect.


- The Sony parts phone # is 1-800-282-2848.

- Sony Part#988516759 is a $36 adapter that plugs into the unit's A/V outlet and gives you standard/composite out (red, white, yellow), allowing you to DRIVE A LARGER DISPLAY. It comes standard with the 9" model.


- To SKIP FORWARD tap the 3rd button up on the skip forward icon once with a quick tap.

- To SKIP BACK tap the 3rd button up skip back icon twice with two quick taps.

- To FAST FORWARD hold your finger on the same skip forward button for a second or so. Do that again for more speed. Do that yet again for even more speed.

- To FAST BACK, it is the same as Fast Forward but with the skip back button.

Hope this helps someone :)
77 comments| 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 6, 2012
This DVD player from Sony is a good value for the price. It's a small unit with 7 inch screen, decent audio and basic features of any DVD player such as play, pause, menu, audio, return, options, volume, fast forward/reverse, etc. I do have to agree that the controls could be more sensitive, but are certainly completely functional. It also has a A/V out as well as a headphone jack. It's a bit "fat" but fairly light and portable. The exterior design has a nice feel to it, it feels better than plain surface.

Among my criteria for selecting a DVD player was a good brand, which Sony certainly is. It's been working well for me the few months I've had it. The other criteria for selecting this unit was the battery life. This unit has a 4-hour battery life and so far I can say that my battery has been holding up near that long. I've never actually ran it completely out, but used it for nearly 4 hours on a few occasions and battery still had a bit left in it. The full charge takes nearly 4 hours.

There is no doubt that there will be newer and better players coming out with newer features, longer lasting batteries, etc. but overall, this is a great value for the price.
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on February 4, 2013
Like many other reviewers, I purchased this for my kid (toddler, actually) to watch Sesame Street on 1 plane trip and for a handful of long (30 minute) car rides--it worked great. For less than 6 months.

I charged the DVD player fully after every use and noticed after 6 months of light use, the battery wouldn't hold a great charge--after 30 minutes, it was a goner last week. Today: I didn't get 4 minutes down the road after a full charge, and it was done--empty battery symbol flashed and that was the end of it!

There's no way to replace the battery (design flaw or planned obsolesence to drive future sales??), which is disappointing. I hate the idea of spending money on a disposable DVD player--I neither want to purchase a new one nor toss this otherwise fine DVD player in the landfill.

For the next generation of these DVD players, Sony needs to create acessible and replacable batteries. This product was an annoying waste of my time and money.
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on June 27, 2012
First of all, I would like to preface my review by saying that I haven't gotten down to using the DVD player extensively. I just un-boxed it today and tested a couple of DVDs. So these are first impressions. The player looks nice and solid; I like the textured design which is meant to keep those finger prints at bay. The video quality wasn't exactly stellar but not bad either (which I believe is typical for players this size). The audio was quite clear though. The unit comes with an AC adapter as well as a Car adapter.But no remote; all the functions are on the unit itself. Please note that the Amazon description gives the battery life as 3 hours, but the unit box claims 4 hours of battery life, which was a welcome surprise! A few minor complaints - the AC adapter has a very short chord and I wish the indents for placing the fingers while plucking out the DVD were better-positioned.
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on July 21, 2012
I bought this DVD player a week ago and I just love it. It's super light and has great audio. The screen size is just fine too. The battery life is wonderful. I was able to watch 4 hours of a 6 hr. movie and I watched the remaining two hours while the DVD player was charging. I would definitely recommend this item.
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on June 17, 2012
I bought this product to keep my 8 yo son entertained on a long car trip. He loved it. He even dropped it once and it was fine. I prefer to change the disks myself because the center really holds on to them. I figure that keeps them from shifting while the device is mobile. When my son got cranky from sitting too long this really did the trick. I would also take it on a plane too. They don't usually have Scooby Doo movies on planes.
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on September 19, 2012
This is a great DVD player for a child in the car, but my son uses his headphone's because the speakers are a little fuzzy at a certin volume. Ive owned a Ventura for years and it still sound better then this Sony. But all in all its a good purchase.
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on December 31, 2012
We got this in June and at the time I was slightly annoyed as it was supposed to be delivered in time for me to take it to the hospital while I was in labor. Instead, it showed up late and the baby showed up on time. That being said, it seemed to work well at first, but died suddenly about two weeks ago, at not even 6 months old. Suddenly stopped reading any and all DVDs. And of course the warranty does me no good as labor is only for 90 days and the costs for that would likely exceed the price of just buying a new one.
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on December 22, 2013
I deleted my last not so good review. The player does play some dvd's in full screen. I found that connecting with an extension cord also with original cord does keep it from running out of battery life.
However the battery does go down fast, do not know why, but Sony personnel is not very nice or polite in helping or answering my questions, actually hung up on me. Oh well, so much for customer service from SONY. The short cord is fine when connected to another longer cord and plugged into wall. At least that problem was solved. Sony needs to send their personnel to manners school. Just my thinking.
Otherwise I like it and am not nit picking every thing about it, after all I did not buy a new house for this small money. Also, Amazon is the best thing I discovered on my computer, could not be nicer to me, and that I appreciate, good customer service and polite to me every single time I call. Thank you AMAZON.
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on September 23, 2014
This is sturdy!! It's the third one of this brand I have bought over the last ten years. My son has autism, gentle and don't break, doesn't mean much to him. I've seen this take falls, survive tug of wars, everything you don't want to see happening - and it chugs on for longer than you would think. You can hardly find them anymore. The screen is smaller but did I mention how sturdy it is?! I was looking at newer models in various brands. Alot had the swivel screens and felt so light compared to this one. As I looked at them all I could think was - this isn't going to last a week. I was relieved to find the one I know can take a knock or two and carry on.
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