Forget the fuzzy pictures VHS offers. Most movie viewers can appreciate the increased clarity offered by DVDs, but nothing parallels the experience of watching your favorite movie or program in HD. Be warned, though; once you try it, you'll never want to go back to watching standard definition video again.
Most of the major movie studios, including Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, and Paramount, have quickly caught on to the concept that their fans prefer movies in high-definition. Movie buffs can load their favorite Pioneer, Toshiba, or Samsung HD-DVD players with their choice of new releases or classics and sit back and watch the video footage unroll in 1080p.
For the uninformed, or those who just want to know, high-definition offers more than twice the resolution of standard-quality pictures. Standard video footage is filmed in 480p resolution. Just how clear is HD video? Those who were wondering about the colors on their favorite NBA player's tattoo can see them up close and clear in 1080p resolution.
Decide which type of HD-DVD player will work best with your home theater or movie playback system. Avid gamers usually turn to the versatile Xbox360, which allows them to buy a simple add-on that converts their gaming console to allow HD DVD movie playback as well.
Not everyone enjoys gaming, though, or has a family member who does. In this situation, a standalone HD-DVD player may be the best option. These are sleek and attractive, designed to match perfectly with the appearance of a home theater system. Most of these systems will also support the playback of MP3 music files or JPG photos copied onto a CD, DVD, CD-R, or CD-RW.
One consideration when adding HD-DVD players to an already established home theater system is whether or not the system's A/V receiver is set up to support HDMI. If it doesn't, or does not have open inputs as well as outputs, this may not be a practical option.
In addition to HDMI, most HD-DVD players feature composite outputs in addition to S-video, analog surround, component, and digital audio optical and coaxial outputs. Different cables or outputs may be required for connection with certain home entertainment systems, so be sure to read carefully and purchase everything that is necessary to connect the players with the system.
Another handy option is to invest in a PC that also contains an HD-DVD player. The best option is to purchase a desktop PC that also contains an HD-DVD burner; these will also help maximize storage capacity. Although a standard DVD is capable of holding 4.7 GB of data, an HD-DVD can hold as much as 30 GB.
Whichever of these you choose, you'll enjoy the quality picture resolution and audio quality of an HD-DVD player. Just don't be too disappointed if you go over to a friend's house to watch a movie, though - once you've experienced HD, you'll never look at another movie the same way again!