DVD Player for Chromebook (How to Make That Synergistic Connection)

GigabyteKingdom is audience-supported. When you purchase through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
DVD Player for Chromebook

The Chrome OS ecosystem is revered for its light weight, ease of use and capabilities. But if you’ve lived with it in a device like a Chromebook, you’re painfully aware that its not all rainbows and sunshine. For instance, how do you play a CD or DVD on a Chrome device? As rigid as this operating system is, it does lend itself to a few options for playing your physical media. A DVD player for Chromebook may not be mainstream tech. But if you’re willing to do some investigating, you’ll be able to launch your CD or DVD in no time.

Why Would You Need a DVD Player for Chromebook?

Chromebooks don’t come with built-in DVD players. And that’s understandable. At a time when flash memories and SD cards can hold gazillions of bytes, why would anyone need an old-fashioned DVD player?

The answer is simple because DVDs still exist. Whether they come with a textbook, or contain memories you’ve had for ages, these data carriers are still alive and well.

Connecting an external DVD player to your Chromebook is a breeze. All you need is just a cable to the USB port. You’ll also find that displaying and transferring files from the player is no hassle at all. However, this doesn’t mean that you can play any media file on a Chromebook.

What Are the Limitations of DVD Players for a Chromebook?

In theory, you can run any data file that can be transferred to a device. But in practice, there are some factors that determine what a Chromebook is able to playback.

Media Type

If the DVD contains images or texts, then displaying these files shouldn’t be difficult. On the other hand, media files with music, movies, and other demanding files might cause your Chromebook difficulty.

In general, Chromebooks aren’t equipped with the hardware to play movies or old playlists from DVDs. They’re often used to read the CDs that come with the aforementioned textbooks, user’s manuals, or to look at family photo albums. 

File Formats

There are various digital formats for every media type, whether that is an image, a sound file, or a video. And each one needs a codec to translate its contents to a suitable playback app. Clearly, it’s close to impossible to gather all of them in one place.

You might be able to see the file and copy it to the hard disk, a USB memory, or any other memory device. But that’s about it. Also, you wouldn’t be able to burn any new material on the CD.

There is a smart trick that you can use to play old media formats, which is installing an app that contains a wide variety of codecs. The VLC media player has been around for ages, and that’s likely the reason why its library is so good with retro files.

Future Updates

This is actually a bit tricky. Some files might run nicely for a while, then just stop being recognized by the Chromebook. This happens because a new update on the Chromebook OS is no longer supporting those formats.

Add to this the fact that there are no hard and fast rules as to what will stay and what will go. Afterall, this is retro tech at this point. Some users increase the capabilities of their Chromebooks by installing Linux OS. This usually enables more file formats to run and its contents to be fully functional.

How to Connect a DVD Player to Your Chromebook

Chromebook doesn’t come with a readiness to accept a DVD, so first of all, check the compatibility of the device.

Once you’ve found a suitable DVD player, unpack it, and the rest is often plug and play. The DVD package typically includes a USB cable, which you can hook up to the Chromebook.

From there, the Chromebook will recognize the DVD as a digital memory device. And the files on it will be displayed on-screen right away.

The Best External DVD Players for Chromebook

Not all DVD players are created equal, and some models might be a bit problematic for a Chromebook. The three most important features to look for in these devices are compatibility, speed, and build-quality.

You can easily find these devices offered online. And you can get a reliable DVD player for under $50. In fact, there are some pretty good units that cost around $25.

Here are some of the finest DVDs that’ll play nicely with Chromebooks.

1.    Hitachi LG GP96Y Multi OS External DVD

Hitachi LG GP96Y Multi OS External CD/DVD USB Type C Re-Writer (Fire, Android, Windows, Mac) – Burner, Writer, Recorder – Fire HD, Fire TV, Laptop, MacAir, Surface, Galaxy tab
  • Enhanced Compatibility: The Hitachi-LG portable DVDRW drive was designed to ensure perfect compatibility with multiple operating systems including Fire OS, Windows, Mac and Android interfaces, supporting most Android Smartphone, Fire HD Tablet, Fire TV, Set top box, TV box devices
  • User-Friendly App: This portable optical drive features a convenient and easy to use DiscLink Platinum app which automatically recognizes and displays album images, song titles and artist information through Gracenote. The app allows MP3 extraction from music CD, as well as backup data from your smartphone to an optical disc.
  • Automatic firmware update : Firmware update utility ensures that important security updates and new devices updates are automatically downloaded by automatic firmware update utility. You can maintain the latest firmware from Hitachi-LG Data Storage.
  • Fire TV DVD Player : Plug into your Fire TV and download DiscLink app from Amazon app store then you can play DVD movie from your Fire TV
  • What’s Included: This External DVDRW includes everything you need for a smooth and simple installation. Cyberlink Power2Go Tool CD and manual, USB type A and USB type C. The ideal choice for backing up your precious memories or enjoying your favorite music and movies!

Last update on 2022-05-03 at 23:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The best feature of the Hitachi DVD is its compatibility with almost every device you might have. It’s designed to communicate with various operating systems. This includes Fire OS, Windows, Mac and Android platforms. As such, it performs as perfectly on a PC as it does on a smartphone.

The plug-and-play connectivity and user-friendly interface garnered this player a lot of popularity among users. In addition, it has an automatic firmware update prompt that keeps the player up-to-date and regularly debugged.

The package contains a clear manual, plus two types of connections: USB-A and USB-C. This enables you with the versatility to use either port on your Chromebook.   

2.    ASUS ZenDrive External DVD

ASUS ZenDrive Silver 13mm External 8X DVD/ Burner Drive +/-RW with M-Disc Support, Compatible with both Mac & Windows and Nero BackItUp for Android devices (USB 2.0 & Type-C cables included)
  • 13mm for ultra slim and light
  • Mac/PC Support
  • Includes USB 2. 0 and Type-C cables
  • Nero BackItUp function for Android Devices
  • DISC Encryption II for password-controls and hidden-file functionality

Last update on 2022-04-18 at 23:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Asus places functionality above all else. Right next to that in order of importance, you’ll find plenty of tech and unique designs.

This DVD talks to Windows, Mac, and Android devices, so it shouldn’t cause any issues as you hook it up to a Chromebook. It’s perfectly ready to read and work with CDs of various formats. And as usual, the speed of data processing and response will depend on the data formatting.

3.    HP External CD/DVD RW Drive

HP External Portable Slim Design CD/DVD RW Write/Read Drive, USB, Black (F2B56AA)
  • COMPATIBLE OPERATING SYSTEMS: Windows 10; Windows 8; Windows 7; Windows Vista; Windows XP; Windows2008; Windows2003; Mac OS X
  • Supported discs: DVD-ROM, DVD-R DVD-R , DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, and +RW CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-DA Super Audio CD CD-R discs CD-RW discs CPRM (DVD-R/RW/RAM)
  • Write read speeds: DVD-RW 6X maximum by ZCLV, DVD+RW 8X maximum by ZCLV, CD-RW 24 X maximum by ZCLV, Read DVD-R/RW/ROM 8 X maximum, DVD-R DL 8 X maximum DVD-RAM 6 X maximum, DVD-Video 4 X maximum, M-DISC(DVD+R SL) 8 X maximum, DVD+R/+RW 8 X maximum, DVD+R DL 8 X maximum, CD-R/RW/ROM 24 X maximum, CD-DA 24 X maximum

Last update on 2022-04-18 at 23:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

HP devices are typically compact, elegant, and efficient. And that’s exactly what you get with this DVD drive. It’s quite durable and stable, which justifies the price. Additionally, its slim design makes it fully portable and easy to handle.

This DVD is fully compatible with most operating systems, as well as various CD formats. A glitch some users encountered is that it doesn’t connect as expected occasionally. As for the speed, depending on the capabilities of the CD, it can go from 4X all the way to 24X. This is pretty speedy, but only if you have a Z-CLV CD

4.    Dell USB DVD Drive-DW316

Dell USB DVD Drive-DW316 , Black
  • Dvdrw (R DL)/ DVD-RAM
  • 24x (CD)/ 8x (DVD) read speed
  • 24x (CD)/ 8x (DVDR)/ 6x (DVDR DL) write speed

Last update on 2022-05-03 at 17:56 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a high-speed player that goes from 6X to 24X, depending on the file and CD format. Its low profile extra slim shape is quite attractive. And practical while being fully portable. You simply plug it into your Chromebook’s USB port and you’re good to go.

This DVD player is made to process data, music, and video formats. And if you happen to have a classic game CD, you’ll be able to run it with this player.

Wrapping Up

So, that’s it. Just connect the external optical drive to your Chromebook via a USB cable and you’re pretty much good to go. Given the limited space in a Chromebook, there are many reasons why you may need your device to read content off a CD or DVD. Fortunately, connecting an external DVD drive to a Chromebook is fairly simple business. But even though they are relatively cheap, it’s important to know what you can and can’t do with a Chromebook DVD drive before you make the plunge.