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I have an Upconverting DVD Player - Am I Seeing High Definition?

Last Updated on Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 12:10 PM

There are many DVD players available now that offer the ability to upconvert DVDs to the HD resolutions of 1280x720 and 1920x1080 through HDMI connections, and some ads are labeling such players as "HD" -- which they are not.

What you are seeing is a standard resolution DVD converted to the higher resolutions of high definition. But, just as you cannot take a wallet-sized photograph and blow it up and expect to have a high quality image, you are not going to get picture quality that matches true high definition images possible from the HD DVD and Blu-ray formats, or even from HD channels available on over-the-air, cable, and satellite broadcasts.

The only way to get true high definition quality when watching a movie on a disc is to play an HD DVD in an HD DVD player or a Blu-ray disc in a Blu-ray player, connected with either their component or HDMI connections.

That's not to say that an upconverted image won't look better than the non-upconverted one. It just matters whether the player can do a better job of upconverting the image than your TV could. All such players and TVs will differ in their performance in this regard.

If you are going to pay $100 or more for an upconverting player, we recommend that you consider buying the entry-level HD DVD player, the Toshiba HD-A3, which can be found for around $200. It will not only upconvert standard resolution DVDs to the HD resolutions like other upconverting players (still not true HD), but it will also play all HD DVDs so you can enjoy the real increase in picture quality that the format can provide!

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