Gone are the days when we needed VHS players to watch movies.
After a shy introduction of LaserDisc, which diameter was around 30cm, early versions of DVD appeared... It took around 9 years, in 1999, when the DVD became the standard we now use.
As all electronic products, DVD players were very expensive in their introduction stage, and now, at the end of their lifecycle, their price dropped to around 100$ on average.
So what should you ask for when buying a new DVD player?
Here is a list of recommendations by order of priority:
1- It should play DVDs from all zones as known as multi-zone players
2- It should support all DVD types: that is DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW
3- It should support all CD types: that is CD, CD-RW
4- It should support the MP3 format so you can listen to this standard music format.
5- It should support the Jpeg picture format so you can see your photos on the TV.
6- It should support the Video-CD standard so it can play compressed movies.
7- It should have a DVD component output for higher quality videos (your TV should have the DVD component input to support it).
8- It should have a 5.1 surround audio output in order to benefit from movie like 3D effects.
How much to pay for such a player?
Well, not much. Don't go investing in some high end DVD player because it is at the end of its lifecycle.
New DVD formats appeared this year and will be available by the end of 2005. They are Blue-Ray discs and HD-DVD. These new DVD formats can store about 10 times more data, which means significantly better quality videos.
If you think you want a buy a DVD player to last more than 5 years, you will be wasting your money because you won't be using it more than 3 years from now.
Just buy a cheap DVD player for 100$ or less and save your money to invest in new ones in mid 2006.