After a lot of reconsideration and painstakingly endless patience, I believe that Sony 9’’ DVP-FX97 is a great portable gadget with a lame battery life. For $94.95, you are chipping in for a remarkable picture quality, a literal rendition of “play movies on the move” philosophy because you can take this player anywhere with you, and tons of other perks.

Sadly, with this much power, the Sony DVP-FX97 DVD player breaks down on battery life. It is a resource killer. You get awesome results at the cost of a battery that lasts for a little over an hour. What sucks most is that the charging cable for this “portable” Sony DVD player is so small that the ‘play while plugged’ in option does not work too well.

Anyhow, before bitching about the DVP-FX97, let me start with the plus points of having this device.

Good Stuff about the Sony 9’’ DVP-FX97 Portable DVD Player:

Now that’s a Real Screen Twister!

You can Twist the Screen on the Player

 – This DVD player supports a maximum of 800 X 480p resolution. I know it does not look like a high end resolution, but given the screen size, you will begin to love the movie quality on it.
 – Touch system controls of the Sony DVP-FX97 are very responsive. They are not super sensitive in a weird way, but smooth on the contrary.
 – On the outside, the DVP-FX97 model looks a lot like the Sony FX980 DVD player. However, you will notice that this version does not produce that mechanical noise which the FX980 was famous for.
 – Resume function lets you not only resume the playback from last point, but with the same settings that it was previously running on.

People have raised a lot of concern about the DVP-FX97 model in regards to the mechanical whirring issue. To tell you the truth, you shouldn’t be bothered with the whirring “noise” as long as you are watching the movies on high volume, or you are equipped with good quality noise isolation headphones/ earphones.

Sony did revise its entire product line of DVP-FX97 and the FX980 portable DVD players for the sake of mechanical noise issue. In case you ended up with a model with this particular issue, you can always return it to Amazon or directly to the retailer for an RMA. Personally, I prefer shopping at Amazon because their customer service is nice, and they return products with a replacement unit within a minimum time frame.

Sony Portable DVD and CD Player Still Image from Amazon

In my recent Brother Sewing machine review, I forgot to quote the story of an RMA incident. Apparently, upon ordering, this woman ended up with a faulty sewing machine. She returned it to Amazon and they sent a replacement unit the next day, even way before her order ended up at the official Brother retailers. Talk about high level customer service, eh?

Bad Stuff about the DVP-FX97 Sony 9’’ Portable DVD Player:

 – Battery Life Issue:

Sony 9 Inch Portable ThumbnailThis section needed some extra attention because of how a lot of people have been talking about the player’s poor battery performance. Okay, to tell you the truth, battery life does suck on this device. Really, Sony, what is the point of creating a portable DVD player when a user can only get by with only half the length of the movie.

The average length of movies is a minimum of 1 Hour and 30 minutes these days – that is, if you are not watching porn flicks. Secondly, you can watch tons of shit with the charger plugged in, but it has drastic impact on the overall battery life.

Plugged in Mode on the Sony DVP-FX97 Player Sucks: This mode will allow you to watch any number of movies with any duration. However, while you are watching movies, the battery is constantly charged by the charging kit. In a way, whenever you are overcharging a battery, its performance runs out. Therefore, after a few months of overcharging, you will notice that the battery does not even last 1 hour.

The best bet is to charge the DVP-FX97 Sony player battery completely, and then leave it unplugged. If you are enjoying the moments in a movie near a wall socket and looking like a complete moron, you can always re-plug the battery as soon as it runs LOW.

Your Sony DVD Player Warranty Card Looks Like This

Sony DVD Player Limited Time Warranty

Reducing Brightness Works… to some extent…: Well, some people suggested that reducing the DVP-FX97 screen brightness lengthens the battery life. Yeah it works but it also impacts the display quality. The visuals become darker and if you are playing a high def or a Blu Ray movie, it only saves you 15 – 20 additional minutes of entertainment. Afterwards, you’re gonna have to plug the unit in for charging.

 – The power cord is only 3 1/2ft long. This minimizes the extent of portability factor for the player owners.

 – Playing big sized files from a flash drive will cause the video to hiccup. The audio does not stutter, but the video does.

I am only giving the Sony 9’’ DVP-FX97 player a 3.5 out of 5 rating because of its battery performance. Otherwise it is a great player for the entertainment enthusiasts. Now we move on to the section-by-section review of this amazing player.

What’s in the Box?

–          1 X DVP-FX97 Unit

–          1X 4 Hour Standard Battery Unit

–          1X Car Battery Adaptor

–          Pair of AV Cables

–          1 X DVPFX97 DVD Player Remote Control

Display Quality: As stated earlier in this review, the visuals are top notch. I’d say that the screen quality is better enough to make end users feel good about their investment. Videophiles, on the contrary will find that there are better alternatives to this DVD player. Other player manufacturers have introduced particularities, such as, but not limited to:

–          Color Temperature with Adjustment

–          Preloaded Color Profiles

–          Sharpness

–          Better B&W Video Performance

Ordinarily, the DVP-FX97 does not give any reason for complains. The video quality is fine. All the shadowy areas are smooth because I tried ‘3 Women’, Breaking Bad’ and the classic ‘Fellini’s Roma; they all looked perfect.

You can also connect this player to an external A/V source through the AV Out Port. Upon external connection, you will notice that the DVP-FX97 screen does no De-Ice throughout the movie’s duration because the native screen is now your external device screen. Whenever I am watching movies in the TV lounge with family members, and not in my room, I take this player and connect it with my Sony Bravia.

Portable Drive Playing: You can play any number of movies from portable hard drive or USB Flash storage media device. All you have to do is make sure that the device’s speed is high enough. For instance, a FAT32 drive partition may not work properly with the DVP-FX97 DVD player. Sony is not the only company to offer minimal level of support for portable media devices.

Zoom Mode: The Zoom Mode was designed to reduce the distance between subtitle/ captions. Don’t rejoice because this mode does little or nothing to “zoom” anything. Instead, the mode distorts picture quality by throwing fuzzy visuals on the screen. It is better to download good quality subtitles from third party websites for your movies, rather than sticking with the Zoom mode on the DVP-FX97 Sony Player.

Solution to Zoom Issue: I heard that on 4:3 screen mode, the Zoom mode works fine. If you are going to be switching to any other screen ratio, do so at your own risk. Don’t worry, you will not be destroying any core files on this player.

Closing thoughts about the DVP-FX97 9’’ Portable DVD Player:

In the long run, for $94, Sony is offering you a very nice portable media player. It is not future proof, but it is not a shabby product either. Sony has maintained a glossy look, a solid feel and texturized body finishing. The DVP-FX97 deserves at least a 4 star rating from average user. I am a bit of a battery life whore, so don’t mind my rants about it.

Feel free to leave your comments about this product in the comments section below. By the way, if you are having issues with your Sony DVD Player, regardless of model or make, you can send us an email at immediately.

Word from Sony – About the DVP-FX97 DVD Player:

The DVP-FX97/FX98 offers outstanding visual quality. Experience entertainment in a world of your own!