Avi Greengart is an expert on the convergence of technology and entertainment. Avi understands TV, video, audio, computing, and wireless, how all these are coming together, and which technologies are likely to survive long enough to make a difference in your life. In his weekly column, Avi answers your questions, does your product research, and provides free advice.
DVD Player Basics
I need a DVD player. Which one should I buy?
AskAvi responds: (August, 2001)
There are two basic issues to consider - what kind of TV you have, and how many discs should the player be able to hold. First, let's talk televisions:
All the players listed above have a single drawer that holds a single DVD. The other question you're faced with when buying a DVD player is whether you want a single disc player, a dual disc player (Toshiba sells a few of these), a carousel player (5 - 6 discs), or a mega-changer (300-400 discs). This boils down to personal preference vs. cost. While having two discs in the player is nice for 2 disc special edition DVDs, the real reason to buy a carousel is to double as an audio CD player. If you have the money and want to store all your CDs and DVDs in the player itself, get a DVD mega-changer - but keep in mind that switching from disc to disc can be slow, and setting up the changer to list the names of the discs can take an entire weekend.
Note that the laser in DVD players is set to a different wavelength than CD players. While all DVD players can play CDs with no problem, it's possible that owning a dedicated CD player - or a DVD player that contains separate lasers for DVD and CD - may make an audible difference if everything else in your listening chain (room, speakers, amplifiers) is of sufficiently high quality. Personally, my single-laser DVD player does double duty as a CD player, and it sounds fine.
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© 2001, 2002 Avi Greengart