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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Home Entertainment

Samsung DVD-HD870: See your DVDs in pseudo high definition

If you have a large DVD collection and a high-definition television, you can squeeze a bit more quality out of them using an upscaling DVD player. Happily, Samsung has one it'd like you to buy

The Samsung DVD-HD870 is designed to do one thing -- breathe new life into your DVD collection and make your standard-definition discs look like high-definition ones, using upscaling.

Upscaling offers wildly varying results -- no DVD player can create information that isn't on the disc -- but when a DVD is properly produced, using a decent bit rate, there's enough information to make the picture look decent on a hi-def TV. The main advantage to upscaling DVD players, when they have HDMI out, is that they offer a higher quality, digital route to get your DVDs on to your HD television.

That said, the HD870 is a pretty little thing. It's well built and offers handy features such as DivX playback and both optical and coaxial digital audio out. The HD870 also has component and HDMI outputs, for getting those upscaled pictures on to your hi-def TV.

The DVD-HD870 costs about £50 online, and is a nice antidote to all this HD DVD versus Blu-ray nonsense. After all, there's no shortage of DVD movies and most people already have a bundle of discs sitting on a shelf, just waiting to be upscaled. Plus, at this price it only costs about the same as two Blu-ray movies. Expect a full review soon. -Ian Morris

Update: We now have a full review of the Samsung DVD-HD870 live in our Reviews channel.