|16:9 Aspect Ratio or Widescreen
||Aspect ratio refers to the width and height of your TV screen. Many films are offered in their original aspect ratio (16:9). You can tell your player what type of TV you have and it will play back the movie accordingly. If you have a normal 4:3 set, you can watch movies in the standard aspect ratio or letterboxed. (black bars found on the top and bottom of the screen). If you have a new widescreen (16:9) set, it will automatically display the movie letterboxed or ananmorphically (which fills the screen with a widescreen image).
|Audio/Video Inputs and Outputs
||These are your connections to other components. Video outputs (and their audio counterparts) are desirable because they allow you more versatility in signal switching of multiple VCR and DVD players. Depending on how you hook up your A/V system, either the TV or your A/V receiver can be used for video switching.
||These numbers are recorded on the discs and are used to indicate sections or chapters (similar to track numbers on CDs). A symphony with four movements will have four tracks; movies are similarly divided into distinct sections.
|Component Video Inputs and Outputs
||Also called Color Difference or ColorStream, this is the latest (and best) video input/output to date. While similar to RGB (red/green/blue) connections, it separates the luminance and chrominance even further, providing images superior to S-VHS images. Most step-up DVD players now include component video outputs, which will also be included on most HDTV set-top boxes. Many TV manufacturers are now including these inputs on their mid- to upper-line TVs. These inputs provide resolution of 500 lines or better.
|Dolby Digital (built-in)
||This means that the player has a Dolby Digital decoder built into it. This is the next step beyond Dolby Pro Logic, offering 5.1 channels of sound. In the Dolby Pro Logic mode, sound comes from the front left and right speakers, the center speaker, and the rear speakers (which are mono). Using Dolby Digital, the rear channel is now stereo and a separate channel (the .1 in 5.1) is included for the subwoofer. This lets the director and sound engineer localize sound to a specific area or speaker. In other words, you are getting full stereo surround.
|Parental Lock-Out or Channel Block
||All DVD players let you control what your children watch. By accessing the on-screen menu system, you can set specific viewing levels for the player. You can override these controls by punching in a special code (that you as the parent devise). These controls are designed to help parents manage their children's viewing time.
|S-video Inputs and Outputs
||Many components now include S-video jacks. S-video separates the luminance (Y) and chrominance (C) signals. It offers better picture quality than standard video inputs while increasing resolution. It helps color reproduction and helps reduce jitter at scene transitions. On some televisions, you will find as many S-video jacks as you have video inputs. To get the most out of your video source, you must use an S-video jack for the highest resolution.
||Many models now feature pre-programmed universal remotes with the ability to control a TV and cable box. Some even control satellite systems.