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High Definition DVD's

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By Joel Craig, NEWS 9

There was a time not long ago that owning a DVD player and some DVD movies was the cream of the crop when it came to home entertainment. Now there's a format war, and it's up to you to decide.

Today's DVD players don't produce a high definition picture to go along with that new HDTV you might have purchased. They will work with the HDTVs but they won't be in HD.

To get high definition from a DVD you'll need either a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player. Yes, I'm afraid there are two competing technologies. This isn't anything new for the electronics industry.

The most famous format war was VHS and Betamax. Both were video cassettes and both had their own strong points but VHS evidentially won. Go figure, I had a Beta machine.

Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD can produce a high definition picture, but they aren't compatible and some of the machines won't play today's DVDs.

To make things harder most of the movie studios have aligned with one type or the other. So movies that are on Blu-ray disc probably won't be available in HD-DVD and visa versa.

So which to buy? At this time my advice is neither! To get high definition movies you'll have to buy them in either one format or the other and the movies currently are more expensive than regular DVDs and the players aren't exactly cheap either. Then there's the question of which one will eventually die off.

You'll find your current DVDs will look a lot better on a HDTV, especially if you use the S-video output or the even better component output from the DVD player to connect to your TV.

But while waiting for the winner in this new format war, if you want something that will make your current DVDs look even better on your HDTV get an "up-convert" DVD player.

These players output a near HD picture by electronically enhancing the picture from your current DVDs.

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