There comes a time in everyone’s life, when they must make that one important purchase. Hours can fly by as you’re looking at a plethora of features and selling points, every brand known to man seems to have great aspects that shout ‘pick me! pick me!’. But buying a DVD player isn’t as straightforward as we’d like it to be; sometimes even the jargon doesn’t make it clear as to what you’re actually getting!
Fear not; to help make your decision an informed and confident one, here is a list of essential features that you should look for in your next DVD player.
Back to Basics
First of all, you might have noticed a new word on the market ‘Blu-ray’. While they have been around for years, they have never been as popular or affordable as they are now. Essentially, Blu-ray discs give you a higher quality of picture and sound than DVDs.
Only Blu-ray players will play Blu-ray discs, as well as normal DVDs. Unless you’re looking for an epic cinematic experience on your giant HDTV, a standard DVD player will be just fine.
Every DVD or Blu-ray player gets linked up to your TV with a standard scart lead. If you’d like a sharper picture and sound, look for a HDMI output; this is another type of cable that links your player to a high definition video socket.
Having trouble knowing whether you want Region 2, 4, multi-region or no region at all?
To put it simply, DVD regions were brought in so that Hollywood movie companies could control the release of films around the world. A Region 1 blockbuster released in America, a week before Japan, wouldn’t play on the Region 3 in Asia, so they couldn’t watch it before the film was released in their region.
The best bet is to go for an All-Region player, but simply ask a shop assistant, or use the internet, to quickly find out what region you’re in.
Our next essential feature is something that makes life much easier. In the same way that you’d want to save your place in a good novel, a DVD player with bookmarking will let you mark your favourite parts of a disc so you can quickly get back to them. Some will remember your bookmarks on multiple discs even when they’re not in the player!
Similar to bookmarking, ‘resume’ has become a standard feature to look for. Your disc will start playing from the point at which you stopped it, and took it out of the player.
This essential feature is for enthusiasts with an unquenchable thirst for technology.
Black-level control helps your DVD player boost the black tones on your screen, making those pitch-black thrill sequences even darker!
Surround-sound is perhaps the most deserving optional item on the list. Surround-sound tracks are on virtually all DVDs and Blu-ray, so if you want to take your viewing to the next level, then look after the listening.
While your speaker system will be bought separately, you need to find a player that has a compatible digital output to link up with your amplifier. Your player will either need a coaxial output, or an optical output, so ensure you get the right type.
When you’re comparing features, auto power-off is an absolute must. It’s a very simple feature, but saves a lot of power and helps keep your electricity bills low!. The title sums up this essential nicely; when your DVD player has been inactive for a set time, it will switch to standby, and then power off.
USB ports and SD card slots
Our final feature is all about sharing as the latest Blu-ray and DVD players often have USB ports and SD card slots. This essential feature is a fantastic way of sharing photos, videos and music with family and friends. These amazing connections can let you play music, plug in your digital camera, or your memory card full of magic moments, and share your experiences through your TV.
Keeping up with technology is near impossible, but sticking with your VHS box, just because you couldn’t decide on the right successor, won’t leave anyone better off. When choosing your next DVD player, decide what’s important to you, and look for which of these essential features will enhance your viewing experience. Visit the 3 Wise Monkeys – DVD Players website section for a wide range and variety for you to select from.
An article by Matt Scott, a self confessed technology lover and avoid writer about gadgets and technology in general.
Image credits: Danny Choo, and DeclanTM