Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) Players (including DivX, XviD Players)
DVD players have been on the market for a long time now, and they allow us to watch videos with decent quality. Their prices have dropped rapidly over the last few years, and they are now available for as low as USD 30. With the falling prices, manufacturers have embedded additional functions, such as the ability to play DivX and XviD files, show pictures, listen to MP3 music files, and even play media from USB thumb drives. With these additions and a considerably lower price tag, DVD players can be found in almost every home theater system.
Whether you plan to go out to buy a new DVD player or you're considering a first-time purchase, consider these additional options, because today or tomorrow you will probably find a movie that is encoded in a different format, which your DVD player may not be able to handle. I recommend that you go with a DVD player that has the following features:
- DivX, XviD Support
- USB Port
- TOSLINK and S/PDIF output
- Upscaling, if your budget permits
Recently, manufacturers have introduced DVD players that are advertised to be capable of increasing the quality of your DVDs to HD standard, which is called upscaling. In fact, this upscaling is no more than basic interpolation that increases the number of lines from 720x480 (NTSC) or 720x576 (PAL) to 1920x1080. At this point, although I personally do not like these types of manipulation, I must admit that some DVD players do this upscaling very nicely. I definitely suggest that you check out the models with upscaling capability. Ask the salesperson to insert a standard DVD into the player and connect it to a Full HD TV to see the output yourself. If you have time, ask the salesperson to put different DVDs into the device so you can further compare the output.