Question: What Type of TV Do I Need To Use With a Blu-ray or HD-DVD Player or Recorder?
NOTICE: HD-DVD is now officially discontinued. However, information on HD-DVD, and its comparison to Blu-ray, is still contained in this article for historical purposes, as well as the fact that there are still many HD-DVD player owners, and HD-DVD players and discs will continue to be sold and traded on the secondary market for some time.
Answer: All HD-DVD players can be connected and used with any TV that has at least composite video inputs, and most Blu-ray Disc players can also be connected to most TVs that have composite video inputs. However, beginning in 2012 both composite and component video outputs are slowly being eliminated from Blu-ray Disc players. After December 31st 2013, it is expected that Blu-ray Disc players will no longer come with either composite or component video outputs. For more information, read a more detailed article that discusses connection options specific to Blu-ray Disc players.
For HD-DVD players, you can access high definition content and resolution through either the HDMI or Component Video connections. However, you can only access high definition via both HDMI or Component Video on Blu-ray Disc players manufactured before January 1st 2011. After that date, access to high definition resolution via component video connections is at the movie studios' discretion, and, as mentioned above, component video connections will be eliminated entirely from Blu-ray Disc players after 2013.
The reason for this is that although the Component Video connections allow owners of older, pre-HDMI, or DVI-HDTV-equipped, HDTVs to enjoy the benefits of Blu-ray and HD-DVD, video signals traveling through component connections are more easily pirated that than those the travel through the digitally copy-protected signal traveling through an HDMI connection. Since HD-DVD is now discontinued that is no longer an issue for that format, but the movie studios and related content providers have successfully required Blu-ray disc player manufacturers to reduce any potential video piracy issues on Blu-ray Disc players sold in North American market.
However, also at play is the general transition from analog to digital video, and with fewer analog TVs and HDTVs that do not have HDMI connections in use, the need for either or both composite and component video connection options on a Blu-ray disc player is less and less. It is interesting to note these connection changes are not being aggressively pursued for cable/satellite boxes, network media players/streamers, or game consoles. However, as time goes on, you will see fewer analog connections on those devices as well.
To sum it up - If you want to access high definition video from a source device, whether Blu-ray Disc player, HD-DVD player, or other source device, you best best is using HDMI. You really need an HDTV to see the benefits of either Blu-ray or HD-DVD.