Experience high-quality home entertainment
Recent years have seen a tremendous proliferation in the amount of movies,
television shows and concerts that have become available on DVD, a format that
offers superior sound and visual quality. New hits and old classics are
available for viewing in the comfort of your own home. In order to fully enjoy
them, you’ll need a state-of-the-art DVD player. With a wealth of options to
choose from, including standard players, portable players and DVD/VCR combos,
you’ll want to hone in on the machine that has the capabilities, options and
features that best suit your viewing needs. In addition to clear pictures and
crisp sound, DVD players can provide a host of features ranging from parental
controls to the ability to play multiple media formats ranging from DVDs to
MP3s. Keep the following questions in mind to help guide you to the right
player for you:
Performance Considerations, Player Types and Combination Players
When looking at DVD players, the differences between them lie primarily in the features they offer. All players have the ability to skip through movies and shows with the touch of a button, but only some players are capable of supporting a variety of different media formats, such as VCDs, Audio DVDs and MP3s. As with many technological devices, the more features you choose and the higher the quality of the player, the more you’re going to have to pay. New technology is constantly emerging, such as DVD players that connect directly to the Internet and High-Definition DVD. Staying aware of these developments can help you select the ideal player for your needs.
Performance Considerations: The player you choose will depend in large part on how much you expect from your home entertainment system. Progressive scan, a feature many players now offer, is one way to ensure a high-quality picture. Images come onto the screen in fields, and progressive-scan DVD players double the number of scan lines on screen in comparison with standard interlaced pictures. This reduces the amount of flicker and sharpens the image for stunning results. In addition to progressive scan, the type of connection your player has will help determine the level of performance. The video outputs on your television will dictate what type you use with your DVD player. Component video outputs provide a high-quality connection, as do S-Video inputs, with composite connections lagging slightly behind in terms of sound and picture quality. Look for units with DVI and HDMI connectivity for the highest quality digital signal transmission.
The quality of your TV will have an effect on the picture your DVD player can produce, particularly when it comes to progressive-scan technology
Player Types: There are a number of different types of DVD players to
choose from, including standard players, players/recorders, portable players
and units that are integrated parts of a home theater system. While certain
features, such as progressive-scan and multiformat playing ability, may be
common to all varieties, there are some features that are more common in
certain types of players. Consult the chart below to learn more about some of
the features commonly found in different types of players as well as a few
points of consideration.
|Type||Common Features||Points to Consider|
|Home Theater System||
Combination Players: In addition to players that allow you to view DVDs, you can purchase combination players. DVD/VCR players offer the additional benefit of being able to play VHS tapes, something you may particularly appreciate if you still have a large collection of tapes. Like their standard counterparts, these players offer a wealth of different features, including progressive scan, high-quality sound and multiformat playback. Another combination choice is to purchase a TV with a DVD player built in. These units allow you to view movies without having to worry about where you’re going to find room to place the DVD player, making them ideal for tight spaces or simple setups.
Parental Controls and Child-Oriented Players: If you want to watch a movie together as a family but are concerned that it might have some objectionable content, look for a player with parental controls that will filter out inappropriate dialogue and cut questionable scenes. Some players even feature custom menus and interfaces designed especially for children.
Multiregion Players: DVDs manufactured in different parts of the world are classified by the region in which they are produced. Not all players can show DVDs from all regions, which can be a problem if you tend to buy movies from foreign sources. Multiregion DVD players are designed to solve this problem, allowing you to view your favorite movies no matter where they were produced.
HD DVD and Blu-ray: DVD technology is continually advancing, with HD DVD and Blu-ray being two of the more recent developments. Both types of discs are able to contain more information than standard DVDs and present it with greater clarity and enhanced audio. They also provide for more interactive content.
JPEG-Reading Ability: In addition to video and audio files, some DVD players can read picture files. If you want to go back and relive your last family vacation without having to crowd around a set of 5" x 7" photos, put the pictures on a disc and insert them into your DVD player so you can view them on your big-screen TV.
If you’re tired of having to switch back and forth between multiple remote controls, purchase a universal remote to help streamline your system.