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How to Choose the right DVD Player?

Posted by Vivek on November 23, 2007

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Yesterday we gave you a brief list of brands that sell DVD players in India. We promised you that the next post would have a list of features which would help you choose a player appropriately. So let us go right into it.

Video output

The first and the foremost quality that is associated with a DVD player is “Picture” quality.  This is directly related to the type of video output that you are using from your DVD player.

There are about 4 types of video output signals that exist. Atleast one of these would be present in any player. Some models may have two, three or all four of them. They are:

(in the order of clarity – least to most)

  • Composite output – denoted by a yellow color socket (see picture below)
  • S-Video Output
  • Component Output – denoted by three sockets , blue red and green (see picture)
  • HDMI Output

What is the most important aspect here is that your television should also support the type of output that your DVD player is sending out.

Please check this before purchasing the player.

dvd player rear

Image Courtesy : about.com

Most common CRT televisions have only “composite video input”. Slightly higher end versions have “s-video” inputs and the larger CRT televisions like 29″ models even have “component” video inputs.

Latest plasma and LCD televisions will have the HDMI ports as well. If you have all of these present in your system, choose the one which is the best to appreciate smooth, rich and vivid picture quality.

Audio output

The next important aspect is the audio quality that is produced by your player. Just like video output, there are some formats available in DVD players by which you can connect your television or home theatre to the DVD player.

  • Stereo sound – Denoted as “L” and “R” (white and red sockets) at the rear of the player
  • Surround sound – Here you can see 6 sockets with markings. 
    • Front Left
    • Front Right
    • Center Channel
    • Rear Left
    • Rear Right
    • Sub Woofer
  • Coaxial digital output
  • Optical digital output

audio sockets

Image Courtesy : barrel-of-monkeys.com

If you are having just a television to be connected to the DVD player, only the stereo connection should be used. Just connect the left and right sockets to the appropriate colored sockets in your television set. In case your TV has more than one pair, make sure it is connected to the same channel source as is your video output. Some televisions have AV1 and AV2 channels.

If you plan to use a 5.1 channel amplifier, then you can connect all channel outputs individually to the respective sockets on the amplifier and use the supplied speakers to enjoy your movies/music.

If you amplifier/home theatre supports coaxial cable input or optical cable inputs , use them instead as they prevent cable mess. The audio signal is transferred in an encoded manner and the receiving home theatre equipment has the intelligence to decode it.


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Region Code Setting

Every DVD player has a region code setting. Make sure you are aware of what your player’s code is. You have to purchase DVD which have the same region coding. Else the disc will fail to play back on your player.

region codes

 DVD Regions

Images Courtesy : kfccinema.com

Playback Options

Most players in the market are designed only to play VCD and DVD discs.

Advance players can play MP3 and WMA discs. If you would like to  have these audio playback features, make sure you check for them.

Divx Support

Divx is a popular format for video compression. It is based on MPEG-4 like standards and promises high compression rates. This means you can store more movies on a single DVD disk without compromise on quality. If you have such content and would like to play the same on your player, make sure it can support Divx playback.

You can check some of the players here – – > http://www.divx.com/products/

Other features to look for

Some of the other things you may want to check before buying a player are:

karaoke & remote

Image Courtesy : Overstock.com

  • Support for remote control – 90% of the players have a remote control
  • Display – Most players have a digital display to show time elapsed and other such details
  • Karaoke – If you have karaoke ready tracks, you may want this option. Here you can plug in your microphone and sing along with the video !

Advanced Options

  • Some players allow you to playback CDs with pictures on them. You can watch a slideshow with MP3 music playing in the background.
  • Advanced modern players have USB connectivity. This would help you to connect your digital camera or flash drive on the dvd player and listen to music, watch pictures or even movies on your TV screen.
  • Memory card slot – This is similar to the USB option, only that you can insert a  specified memory card into the player.

 We hope you found this article informative and make the right choice for your player.

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One Response to “How to Choose the right DVD Player?”

  1. Karthik said

    I think in today’s scenario, two other factors play an equally important role if not more important.

    1) Divx and Xvid playability!! Thank God my player does support these formats.
    2) Of late, the USB port is another thing, tech savvy people are looking for. Atleast you need not take the trouble of burning things onto discs!!

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