DVD players have practically annihilated the video cassette players, simply because even the cheapest DVD player gives better video as well as audio quality than your VCR. The DVD may have been around for just about a decade but the quick upgrades in technology meant that features that existed in high-end models a few years back are commonplace today. So to choose the right player for yourself, first identify your viewing needs.
Will you be watching rent-a-DVD or pre-recorded CDs on your DVD player on your current CRT TV? If so, a basic player will do, as it will provide sufficient audio-video quality for your CRT TV. Besides today, even the basic systems can play multiple formats, have remote controls and allows you to skip, select and repeat scenes and titles. Also, if you have budget constraints then the basic DVD player will suit you just fine – adequate quality at affordable prices. The most basic, entry-level DVD player will cost you just Rs 2,800.
You will need a slightly mid-range DVD player if you intend to hook it up with you LCD or plasma or even your widescreen TV as you will need the larger than life sound and video quality to match your screen. These players will have additional features like multi-disc playing and have enhanced sound systems, which means they can even replace your audio systems. Given that even the basic player can play multiple formats, this one too will, also at this range you might find player with the new rage in video formats -DivX.
For those of you who want the ultimate theatre experience, you will need a player as part of a complete system. You will need a high-end player, especially if you are looking at high-definition content on HD screens.
Also for those constant on-the-move people, portable DVD players are also available.
DVD PLAYER PRICE AND BUDGET
Depending on the kind of player you want, you can work out a rough budget. DVD players typically range from Rs 2,800 to Rs 2,30,000. The size and features affect the price.
NUMBER OF DISCS
The number of discs that the DVD player is capable of holding at one time. Having a larger number of discs allows you to play more than one disc, one after the other, without having to physically replace the disc.
All DVD players can play Standard Audio CDs and Video CDs. This increases the functionality of your DVD player and you need not buy a separate VCD/CD player.
You need to check if your DVD player is MP3 Compatible (That means it will be able to recognize MP3 format audio CDs and play it). MP3 format CDs can store a larger number of music tracks as compared to standard CDs (About 10 times as much). This will increase the functionality of your DVD player and you need not buy a separate MP3 player. Today most DVD players are MP3 compatible and an increasing number are WMA compatible as well. Then you also have DVD players now that are DivX compatible
AUDIO AND VIDEO FEATURES
Zoom in function
You can zoom in and enlarge the frame or the picture in steps during normal or slow motion playback. Enables you to take a super-close look at the on-screen action.
Plays multi-channel Dolby Digital encoded DVDs and CDs and decodes digital TV broadcasts that feature digital surround sound. It enables you to enjoy the Dolby digital sound experience.
Dolby digital EX
Dolby Digital EX is based on standard Dolby Digital technology, but includes an extra back surround channel, making it a 6.1 format. Enables you to enjoy the digital sound experience through a couple of extra surround speakers standard left and right surround channels.
USB port as interface
This is a small flat slot. It is a serial bus standard to interface devices. This will enable you to listen to music files from an MP3 player or view JPEG images from a digital camera. Also used to stream DivX video to TV.
The memory slot allows you to record images directly from these memory cards to DVD-R/-RW as a DVD slide show including background music recorder.
Headphone jacks allow you to listen to audio output through standard stereo headphones. Allows you to listen to music without disturbing others.
This function turns the DVD off after the pre-set time has lapsed. You can use this if you are afraid of sleeping in the middle of a movie. Helps save on your electricity bills.
Most players have a digital display to show time elapsed and other such details.
If you have karaoke ready tracks, you may want this option. Here you can plug in your microphone and sing along with the video !