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With all the new developments in audio-visual equipment on the market, it is hard to keep up with it all. However, there are some basics you should be aware of when looking for certain items, like your home theater DVD player. The first question you may be asking is "Why do I need DVDs and a DVD player at all? My VHS works just fine." Well, the reasons are many. A home theater DVD: - has a much sharper and clearer picture than video cassettes - has superior sound quality to any VHS tape - is less prone to having background noise - allows you to see movies in "wide screen" or "full screen" - allows you to watch movies in multiple languages or with subtitles - has "extras", like bloopers, movie trailers and sometimes interviews - can be used as a CD player as well (make sure it is CDR/CDRW compatible) Once you've decide to purchase a home theater DVD player, you will need to educate yourself on what type of player you need for your specific home theater system. What follows will give you an outline of what to look for when you go to purchase your new player. Here are some things you should look for in a quality DVD player: AUDIO OUTPUTS Every home theater DVD will have analog stereo outputs. This just means that it has the capability of being hooked into any two-channel amplifier. However, with the increased use of "Dolby Digital Surround Sound", many of the newest, most cutting edge players will have six extra audio outputs. This will allow for the decoded 5.1 signal associated with Dolby Digital. There are a couple of ways that the audio signal can get to your home theater receiver. Most have a digital connection, which can be accomplished through a coaxial or an optical connection. Your newest home theater DVD players and receivers oftentimes have both connections, but it never

hurts to look and make sure you are getting just what you need. VIDEO OUTPUTS Most home theater DVD players have several video output connections that you can choose from. The one most commonly found is composite output. Most of the televisions available today have composite input and are therefore compatible with such a player. If you are looking for a better picture, be sure to look for a television and DVD player with S-Video. This is considered a step up from composite. If you are using a television you currently own with your new DVD player and it has S-Video, be sure to use this connection. There are two higher quality outputs available: component and rgb. If you are buying a whole home theater system all at once, including a home theater DVD player and possibly a home theater LCD flat panel television, you will want to look for equipment that will be compatible and work together as an audio-visual unit. Look for outputs on the player and inputs on the television. ZONING CONSIDERATIONS The entire world is divided into "zones". The US can be found in "zone 1", the UK can be found is "zone 2", Southeast and East Asia can be found in "zone 3", etc. Not all DVDs purchased can be played on all home theater DVD players, if you get one created for a specific zone. When buying a new home DVD theater system, what you should look carefully for is a player that will play movies from any zone. Most on the market today have been modified so that they will play any and all DVDs, not matter what zone they were created for. The actual sound and picture quality between DVD players can vary. Visit a local audio video retailer to listen and view the quality and features of the players available. It is also a good idea to read product reviews for various models of home theater DVD players before you buy, to see which brands and models are getting the better ratings and why. All DVD players are not the same but the ultimate result is - a dynamic, exciting new feature to your home theater system. ~Ben Anton, 2007

Ben Anton lives in the Northwest. Learn more about better home theater equipment placement and design at Ronny's home theater DVD player, video display, and speaker online retail site.

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Choosing a Home Theater DVD Player For Your Home Theater  

AUDIO OUTPUTS There are a couple of ways that the audio signal can get to your home theater receiver. Most have a digital connection, which...