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The Latest Technology in DVD Players Exposed

14/10/2011 5:20:28 PM

DVD players were one of the hottest items to have back in the late 90s. Add a DVD player to a large HDTV, hook up a home theatre system, and you can watch all sorts of movies that look and sound better than those old VHS tapes.

DVD players were one of the hottest items to have back in the late 90s. Add a DVD player to a large HDTV, hook up a home theatre system, and you can watch all sorts of movies that look and sound better than those old VHS tapes. So many people were so contented with the quality of the DVD format that it continues to live on even in an era where Blu-ray players are catching up in popularity.

It doesn’t look like DVD players are going anytime soon either because discs are inexpensive, the quality is still exceptional, and the players themselves are much cheaper compared to Blu-ray players. However, manufacturers are mainly focusing on the Blu-ray players when it comes to features and technologies. While DVD players get the short end of the stick, there are still some notable technologies that deserve to get exposed.


DVD Upscaling

DVD upscaling is perhaps the biggest and most significant technology that has hit DVD players. In fact, most Blu-ray players have this feature so those that don’t have many Blu-ray discs but more DVDs can still take advantage of this feature.

DVD titles released in Australia run in the standard 576i resolution. This should look fine in standard definition TVs but larger high-definition TVs are more abundant and affordable so people are finally tempted to upgrade. Getting a 30-inch HDTV should make any movie look a lot better but that won’t be the case if you will be watching DVDs as long as the resolution stays at 576i.

This is where the DVD upscaling technology comes into play and it works by upconverting the resolution to a higher resolution. Ideally, it should convert the DVD to the maximum 1080p resolution if your HDTV supports it. If you have a 720p TV, you should still be able to take advantage of the feature if it can also upconvert to 720p.

This technology makes use of complex mathematical calculations that effectively increases the overall number of pixels in such a way that the video better suits larger screens. Once the scaling is complete, the technology would then apply various enhancements to make the image look smoother. 

Enhancements may include deinterlacing, noise reduction, and colour improvements. If you compare the quality with actual HD video, you may notice some missing details in the upscaled video but the end result is usually the best that DVD has to offer.

DVD players that have DVD upscaling support often have an HDMI port so you can get an HDMI cable to connect the HDTV and DVD player so the TV can properly output those HD signals. 



Using HDMI cables to connect supported DVD players to HDTVs have another nice advantage. A proper connection lets you use your TV remote to control the DVD player so you can set your DVD player remote aside. HDMI-CEC is the generic name and some manufacturers may have another name for it. For instance, Samsung refers to this technology as Anynet+ and it expands this feature so you can control other portable devices like camcorders as well. 


Other Technologies

The other technologies really depend on the brand but they mainly focus on improving the audio and visual quality. Some DVD players may be able to handle the DivX HD format so you can watch your any titles that you may have downloaded online. 

It is also important to find a DVD player with progressive scan out support so the picture appears smoother and cleaner. But as long as you get a DVD player with upscaling support, you should be able to enjoy your DVDs to the fullest. The rest mainly depends on the quality of your HDTV and its settings.


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