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What Type of TV Do I Need To Use With a Blu-ray Disc Player or Recorder?

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Question: What Type of TV Do I Need To Use With a Blu-ray Disc Player or Recorder?
Answer: Although many Blu-ray Disc players (and Blu-ray Disc Recorders - If you they ever become available in your country - not likely in the U.S.) can be connected and used with any TV that has at least Composite video inputs (some newer players have eliminated this option), the only way to access high definition content and resolution is through either the HDMI (or DVI via an HDMI/DVI Adapter) connection, or possibly, Component Video connections (the component video option is in the process of being discontinued). In other words, you need an HDTV to see the benefits of Blu-ray.

Although, up until 2011, access to high definition resolution has been possible with the Component Video connections of a Blu-ray Disc player that has them, this is at the movie studios' discretion. From January 2011 going forward, discs may be encoded to allow access to high definition resolution only via the HDMI or DVI connection. The reason for this that although they allow owners of older, pre-HDMI, or DVI-HDTV-equipped, HDTVs to enjoy the benefits of Blu-ray in high definition, video signals traveling through component connections are more easily pirated than those that travel through the digitally copy-protected signal traveling through an HDMI or DVI connection.

Needless to say, the move to restrict the transfer of HD resolution via the component video connection is very controversial. For more details, read my post discussing the: "Analog Sunset" and the Image Constraint Token.

Also, beginning in late 2011 and going through 2012 and beyond, Composite video connections are also starting to be eliminated simply because there are fewer analog TVs in use.

To Summarize:

1. If your Blu-ray player has a composite video output - you can connect it to any TV that has a composite video input. However, you will not be able to access high-definition Blu-ray quality from Blu-ray discs, nor video upscaling when playing DVDs.

2. If your Blu-ray Disc player has a set of component video outputs, you can connect it to any TV has has a set of component video inputs. However, even if your TV is an HDTV, you may, or may not, be able to access high definition Blu-ray quality depending on when the Blu-ray player was manufactured and/or if the Blu-ray disc title you are playing is encoded not to output high definition when played via component video connections. Also, no matter when your Blu-ray disc player was made, you will not be able access video upscaling when playing standard DVDs if using component video connections.

3. If your TV has an HDMI input, use the HDMI output connection on your Blu-ray disc player for access to high definition video resolutions from Blu-ray discs, as well as DVD video upscaling from standard DVDs.

4. Another thing to point out is that if you also want access to 3D Blu-ray content, you will also need, in addition to a 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player, a 3D-enabled HDTV that is compatible with the 3D Blu-ray Disc standard. 3D is only available via HDMI connection.

For further reference, check out my complete photo look at they types of video and audio connections that might be found on a Blu-ray disc player.

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