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(Not the*) first 1080p DVD player

(Not the*) first 1080p DVD player

*Update: Thanks to a vigilant reader and the fine folks at avsforum, I stand corrected. Apparently the $225 NeuNeo HVD2081 can output 1080p via component-video, and more than just those high-end Mitsubishis can accept it. One example is the Samsung LTP468W, according to the company's website.

I'm sure the capability to output 1080p resolution will be available next year in a $99 CyberHome DVD player from Wal-Mart, but one of today's only players that can do so costs $6,500. The Classè CDP-300 upconverts DVD's 480p resolution to numerous others, including that holy grail of res, 1080p. Before you rush out to buy three of them, remember that it does 1080p only via the HDMI output and that no current or announced 1080p-capable HDTV can even accept a 1080p signal via HDMI. (In case you're wondering, the only next-gen 1080p microdisplays I know of that can handle 1080p at all are the Mitsubishi WD-62927/73927, available next September, and they take 1080p via VGA only.) Also, while upconversion to higher resolutions inside the DVD player is generally a good thing (the Sony DVP-NS975V review has details), it's no substitute for true HD resolution at the source. To get that from a 5-inch disc, you'll have to wait for Blu-ray/HD-DVD.

"What's up with the little TV on the front?" you ask? It's an LCD touch screen that conjures up the major controls as well as offering a video preview, so users don't have to turn on their 65-inch plasmas to navigate DVD-Audio (or video) discs. Thanks to the high cost of LCD touch screens, those same users can rest assured that next year's CyberHome won't have a screen.