We are well into the second year of the biggest format war to hit the consumer electronics business since VHS and BETA. That said, it means manufacturers are working extra hard to outdo each other in quality and innovation, not to mention price. HD DVD and Blu-Ray are the two new high definition next generation disc formats that are poised to replace the standard DVD. They both offer visual and audible enhancements over the old fashioned DVDs. The first HD DVD players were launched last year by Toshiba and RCA, while Samsung launched the first Blu-ray player, followed by several other manufacturers including Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer.
Both high definition disc formats can play standard DVDs, in fact, they also use internal video processing to upconvert the 480p standard resolution to HDTV resolution when connected with an HDMI cable. However, except for a limited number of hybrid discs, standard DVD players cannot play the new disc formats.
In order to get the most out of an HD DVD or Blu-ray player, you need an HDTV with an HDMI input. If your HDTV has a DVI input, you can usually use the HDMI from the player with the use of an adapter; however, some DVI inputs don’t support the HDCP copy protection protocol, which is required for HD DVD and Blu-ray. If your HDTV only features component inputs (which probably describes most HDTVs currently in homes) then you can use that ... for now.