Is there a great movie on TV that you've been wanting to see? Is it scheduled to play while you're at work or out with friends? Take advantage of a combination digital video recorder (DVR) and DVD player, and save the movie for future viewing.
For those who have both DVDs and VHS tapes, a combination DVD player/VCR offers the convenience of playing both media formats. Some are even DVD recorder/VCR combos, so users can record DVDs from television shows as well. Most will even play CDs!
DVD Players Buyers Guide
Different types of DVD recorders or DVD players are sold to meet different needs. For example, single-disc DVD players are designed to play single CDs or DVDs. A multi-disc DVD player allows for the insertion of up to six discs at a time that can be played consecutively. For those who want to keep their entire library in their DVD players, mega-changer DVD players allow the storage and play of several hundred DVDs.
For DVD players that offer the best playback, invest in a progressive-scan DVD player. These offer almost the same video quality as high-definition playback. Those that feature 2:3 pulldown, or alternatively, players that allow 3:2 inverse pulldown provide minimal flicker and better video quality.
Portable DVD Players
Planning to take a car or airplane trip? Opt for a handy portable DVD player. For those who travel internationally on a frequent basis, region-free DVD players may be the best portable dvd player. If you travel with children, consider purchasing a set of dual portable DVD players. These bundles include two individual portable DVD players making it easier to entertain multiple children.
Region-free DVD players allow the play of DVDs with different video formats. This is necessary different countries use different recording formats (there are six main formats). Even with region-free play, however, some setups will still require a video format converter to play.
DVD Player Features
Different manufacturers offer DVD players with different features. Some are fairly common options, while others are more exclusive and are usually pricier. For example, the majority of DVD players sold today play CDs, but some shoppers will also want video players that offer MP3 support or even Super Audio CD, or SACD, support.
Another option many offer is the ability to deliver analog audio straight to their televisions or stereo speakers. In these cases, DVD players that include analog output, as well as digital-to-analog converters for reproducing the sound, are needed.
Some offer upgraded viewing features that allow users to quickly scan DVD footage, or cause it to play back at slow speed. Some also allow users to zoom in on certain images on the screen.
DVD Recorder Video and Audio Output
The type of input used by the home theater system will determine the kind of output a DVD player will need. This will also determine the kind of cable that's necessary.
For instance, component video cables are required for relaying good picture quality between the DVD player and the home theater system or TV. S-video cables will relay an intermediate video quality between the DVD player and theater system or TV. Standard RCA cables are used to transmit standard quality video. Even though this is the lowest quality video, the result will still be of higher quality than that offered by VHS.
The best kind of DVD player will offer the ability to relay video though optical outputs using a coaxial digital output or, alternatively, througha digital/fiber optic cable. The coaxial digital output will require a 75-ohm coaxial digital cable. The home theater system input or television system should be identical to the DVD player outputs.
Since DVDs offer a high-quality image that far surpasses VHS, a growing number of people have preferred to upgrade from VCRs to DVD recorders. DVD recorders also allow the recording of home movies with the use of a camcorder. Both movies and television shows can be recorded. Since movie pirating is an ever-prevalent problem, newer recorders have copyright protection that limits the number of recordings of a single movie or show that can be made.
Today, four kinds of DVD recorders are sold. A basic DVD recorder allows the user to record a program directly onto a DVD. Some also feature a hard drive, which allows video storage, so that the user can select what should be discarded or recorded.
DVD VCR Recorders
A dual-deck recorder offers the user the option of recording to either VHS tapes or DVD s. Some DVD recorders even include a digital video recorder, or DVR, which allows video feed to be recorded, played back, and then copied to a DVD if desired.
The majority of DVD players can support DVD+R as well as DVD-R formats. These discs are cost relatively little, but can be used to record a single time. Newer ones usually support DVD-RW or DVD+RW or both. These allow recordings to be made and then "written over" with a new recording.
The most high-tech DVD format is the DVD-RAM. This allows users to edit video directly on the disc, as well as to play the video feed back during the recording process. Recently, however, the advent of high definition has affected the video world once again.
Blu-ray DVD Recorders
Many video experts and movie buffs are turning to the higher quality pictures offered by Blu-ray Disc or HD-DVD. These discs also offer a much greater storage capacity. Buyers have spoken, though, and current trends indicate that HD-DVD is likely to share the same fate as Beta - the former alternative to VHS.
Don't miss the next movie of the week if you're working over, and don't stay home just to see your soap opera - go have a good time with your friends and record it instead with a high-quality DVD player. It will be right there waiting for you when you get home, and you won't have to settle for the grainy images you'll get with a re-used VHS tape.