Buying A New DVD Player
Whether you are buying your first DVD Player or replacing an old one it’s important to know what’s available on the market at the moment. It’s also useful to know what some of the terminology means – many of us think terms like HD and Progressive Scan sound impressive but don’t actually know what it does! The fact is these days there is so much more to DVD Players than just watching movies. The newer models offer high quality audio and video connections providing crisp clear images and impressive surround sound. As well as playing recordable and rewritable CD’s they can handle your MP3 mix discs, some can also play WMA (Windows Media Audio) files. Some Players have SACD (Super Audio CD’s) or DVD audio decoding for high resolution multichannel music. Obviously the perfect DVD Player for you is the one that best meets your needs – it should have the features that matter most to you.
For instance, if you still have (and watch!) a lot of VHS tapes then a DVD/VCR Combo Player is a good choice. These are extremely affordable and provide the familiarity of a VCR Player with the enhanced music and movie quality of DVD. You can use it to record your favourite TV shows on VHS, watch movies on DVD and listen to your audio CD’s. If you want to archive your VHS tapes consider a DVD Recorder which offer convenient tape-free recording with the functionality of a DVD Player. You can also back up home movies onto DVD.
There are a variety of writeable and rewriteable formats available to enable you to use the right disc for the right job. If you travel a lot a Portable DVD Player could be the answer. These are compact and lightweight and some also offer dual headphone jacks enabling more than one person to listen at the same time. Many of these portable players are car-friendly – as well as having rechargeable batteries some also come with features like cigarette lighter power adapters and car mounting kits. If you have a High Definition TV HD DVD is a high definition disc format designed to maximise your viewing experience when using HDTV. Another option is a DVD Player with Video Upconversion which will convert DVD video to a resolution that more closely matches that of your High Definition Television. The signal remains digital as it travels through the connections to your television for the cleanest possible transfer. If your TV is Enhanced Definition (EDTV), High Definition or HDTV-ready a Progressive Scan DVD Player is an option. In fact, even if your existing TV is not progressive capable your next one almost certainly will be which means you would get a great picture now and an even better one when you upgrade your television. So what is Progressive Scan? Progressive Scan displays the entire frame in one sweep (unlike Interlaced Scan which splits each video frame into two fields) and since the whole picture is displayed together it has less flickering and clearer details.
To view the progressive scan signals you need a progressive capable TV so if you don’t have one at the moment choose a DVD Player that allows you to select either 480i interlaced scan for use with a conventional TV or 480p progressive-scan output for compatible TV’s. A big part of choosing the right player is ensuring it has all the necessary connections to perform with your other audio visual equipment. Nearly all current DVD Players have at least three video jacks – composite, S-video and component. Component inputs are typically only found on mid-priced to high end TV’s made in the last few years. The component connection provides the best picture quality. If your TV only has an antenna style RF input you will need to install an RF modulator between the TV and DVD Player. Also a DVD/VCR Combo might be worth considering as some can pass DVD signals through their RF output. Current players have a digital audio output – coaxial, optical or both. This enables them to send Dolby Digital or DTS signals to your receiver for multichannel surround sound. All DVD Players include standard stereo audio jacks for connecting to stereo receivers and stereo TV’s.
Some players also have built in decoding with 5.1 channel analog outputs to connect directly to 5.1 ready receivers. These models usually also play multichannel DVD Audio or SACD discs. Some high end players have IEEE1394 jacks (known as FireWire or i.LINK); these single cord connections carry 5.1 channel music to a compatible receiver. This article was written by Lorraine Simpson, Director of Fifth Ace Ltd. who sell DVD/VCR Combos, Progressive Scan, In Dash DVD and HDTV on their website http://www.amplechoice.