With the improvement in home theatre technology, the DVD player has become a critical component for a quality viewing experience. When shopping for a DVD player, there are a number of options that you can use to compare different models.
- Brand - Some consumers prefer to choose a brand that they are familiar and comfortable with, such as Sony or Toshiba. The reason for brand loyalty is the belief that a name brand product will be a higher quality than the product of an unfamiliar brand. While correct in some situations, it is not always the case as many of the less common brands are just as reliable as the Sony and Toshiba products. What is almost always a certainty, though, is that the more familiar brands will be more expensive than a unknown company.
- Cost - DVD players can be found anywhere from $20 to over $1,000 depending on features and options.
- Color - If you are interested in the aesthetic look of the DVD player, you can search for a unit that fits the color you would prefer in your entertainment area.
- Disc Capacity - DVD players have been made with a disc capacity of anywhere from one disc to 12 discs. Increased capacity can be nice if you like to keep a number of discs in at a time, or if you are using your DVD player as a CD player in addition to watching movies.
- Parental Control Features - If you have children or teens in your house, you may wish to select a DVD player with parental control features, which allow you to limit the programs that can be watched. These players will require a short code to be entered for any movies that are above the rating you specify.
- Playback Features - Depending on your planned usage, you may look at whether a DVD player features Audio CD or MP3 playback ability.
- Audio Options - DVD players offer a number of options on audio. The higher end players offer either Digital Optical or Digital Coaxial audio. If you intend to hook your DVD audio up to a receiver, it is important that you know which kind your receive accepts before buying a DVD player. All DVD players will have the capacity to connect with audio through the standard composite cables (the yellow, white and red cables).
- Video Connection Options - DVD players have a variety of options for video connections, some of which will provide higher quality picture than others. From best to worst on the video options, you will see: HDMI, Component Cables, S-Video, Composite Cables and then RF Modulator for video options. Check the owners manual for your TV to determine which type of connection you have available. HDMI and Component are the only ways to reach true 720 or 1080 resolution, which is considered High Definition.
- Type of DVD player - Recently, two new formats were rolled out to the public - Blu-Ray and HD-DVD (High Definition). Both of these new formats offer discs with more capacity, creating higher resolution and superior sound quality. Most Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players are backwards compatible to play standard DVD's.
By determining what features you are interested in prior to shopping, you will be able to make an informed decision on which DVD player is best for your needs.