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DVD Player Shopping Guide

In the market for a new DVD player? Whether you can't decide between a standard DVD Player and a high-performance Blu-Ray DVD player; or you don't know what brand to buy out of Sony, Panasonic, Samsung or LG, Dealio is here to help.

This easy to read, step-by-step guide is designed to help you eliminate the frustration that comes with purchasing a new electronic device by explaining all the bells and whistles of DVD players. This guide will also help you compare DVD player prices to ensure you find the best DVD player that fits within your budget.

DVD Player Features

The first step is to understand the array of different feature options that are available. Once you understand the features that are important to you, shopping for the best DVD player to suit your specific needs will be much easier.

(1) Scan type

The scan type is an extremely important consideration because it determines how the picture is generated onto your TV. There are two different scan types you should be aware of:

  • Interlaced Scan — generates a picture onto your TV by making two separate passes.
  • Progressive Scan — draws a picture in one single pass.

Without being technical, a Progressive Scan usually produces a higher quality picture.

(2) Video outputs

DVD players can come in Composite, S-Video, and Component outputs. While most DVD players include Composite output, S-Video provides a higher resolution picture. The best DVD home player systems include Component output, which can deliver HFTV resolution and the best possible color reproduction possible.

(3) Supported formats

DVD players can play more than just DVDs. If you are interested in playing music too, most DVD players support CD, and CD-R formats. As you move up the ladder, some DVD players support MP3-encoded music on CD-R disks. The best DVD players are capable of playing back any of the following audio and video format discs, including CD-RW, CD, DVD+RW, DVD+R, VCD, SVCD, Picture CD, and DVD Video.

(4) Remote control

The remote control is the most important connection between you and your DVD player. Since there will be instances where you will operate the remote in dark conditions, you may want to opt for a remote that includes a backlight.

Before making a purchase, you should be well aware of the three types of remotes on the market:

  • Basic: This type of remote performs simple functions, such as power on/off, channel navigation, and volume control. Expect a basic remote to control only the elements of a DVD player that you can set up.
  • Advanced: These types of remotes perform the same functions as a basic remote, but they also include the ability to control many devices of the same brand. For example, if you own a JVC DVD player, your remote control will also be able to control your JVC TV.
  • Universal: Some of the best DVD players come with a universal remote, which can perform the same functions as an advanced remote, but also include the ability to control devices of different brands through a "learning capability".

(5) Audio DAC

Audio DAC is the rate that your DVD player converts digital audio into analog signals. The higher the Audio DAC number, the better the sound quality will be. Any DVD player with a 24-bit rate will provide excellent sounding audio.

(6) Video DAC

Video DAC is the rate that your DVD player converts digital video into analog signals. The higher the Audio DAC number, the better the sound quality will be. Any DVD player with a 10-bit rate will provide an excellent picture.

(7) Parental Control

Most DVD players have parental controls, which allow you to set a password to restrict access to certain types of programming. If this is an important consideration, make sure your DVD player has this feature.

(8) Disc Capacity

Although a small consideration, the best DVD players are capable of holding up to 300 DVDs at once. Most models have a disc capacity of between 1 and 5, while the higher end models have a greater capacity.