Since DVD recorders have become the hot new product to buy, DVD players have fallen to the wayside and their prices have dropped considerably. The differences between models are minute with most players on the market today getting good to excellent reviews for playing commercially-produced DVDs. There are some characteristics that make some players better than others; however, certain specs are not as important as DVD player manufacturers may claim.
Choosing a DVD Player
# '''Choose a layout'''. Below you can learn about the different types of DVD player layouts available. If you can't decide, opt for the more advanced style of the bunch. DVD players with more features may prove to be more useful than you think down the road.
# '''Pay attention to formats'''. If you are getting a basic DVD player, make sure to note which types of DVDs and CDs it can play. Some simple models may not read MP3s or recorded DVDs, like DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW. See the section on Disc Formats to learn more.
# '''TV and DVD compatibility counts'''. If you have or plan to buy a TV that supports high definition or progressive scan, you'll want a DVD player that is up to snuff with this cutting edge technology. Otherwise, don't waste your money on a higher grade DVD player; it won't improve the picture unless your TV is of the same quality.
# '''Warranties are only so important'''. Warranties are usually one year for parts and 90 days for labor. Since DVD players have a limited lifespan, don't bother with the extended warranty. At some point you'll simply have to replace the player, thus defeating the purpose of paying extra for the warranty.
DVD Player Types
There are a few kinds of DVD players available including single-disc, multi-disc, and VCR/DVD combo players. Since the quality of players overall is very good, you can decide what to get based on the layout that you want. When it comes to the features of the players, regardless of their format, you will need to pay closer attention to how you choose since it may make a difference in picture quality.
After deciding on a layout for your player, you should also consider picture and sound quality, and formats. Besides those specifications, which are explained in detail below, always be certain that the model you are interested in seems user-friendly and intuitive enough for your needs. If it's not easy to use, you may miss out on some of the features you are paying for. Speaking of paying, do be sure to stick to your budget. There are many options available in all price ranges and there should be something on the market to fit your needs.
HDMI and DVI for HDTV
You'll see HDMI used often when talking about high definition DVD players as well as the term "upconverting DVD players". This is becoming standard in DVD players, but your TV has to have an HDMI-input in order to use this kind of player as well. It is commonly available in HDTVs. Whether your choose DVI or HDMI, both systems have pretty similar results at the moment, but you'll see fewer and fewer DVI DVD players on the market as HDMI takes over.
* '''DVI''' = Digital Visual Interface
** Converts digital signals to analog.
** Only transfers digital video; audio is converted to analog.
* '''HDMI''' = High Definition Multimedia Interface
** Digital video connectivity.
** Transfers digital audio and video.
Some good models with HD support include the NeoDigits Helios HVD2085, Samsung's DVD-HD950, and the Sony DVP-NS75H.