by Staff Writer
You probably already know that Blu-ray is the latest technology for high-definition home theater. With a Blu-ray player, you can experience the best picture and sound that home video has to offer. Of course, there are a few facts about Blu-ray disc players and Blu-ray movies that you may want to know to be sure that you get the best entertainment possible.
Do I need a high-definition TV to use a Blu-ray player?
No. Nearly all Blu-ray players have a variety of video outputs, like HDMI, component, S-Video and RCA ports. Keep in mind, however, that without a high-definition TV, you won't get the 1080p resolution that Blu-ray players are capable of. If you use a component connection, you can still get video quality as good as any progressive-scan DVD player.
What's the difference between progressive scan and interlaced video?
Video signals are sent from your Blu-ray player to your television as either progressive scan or interlaced. This is where the "p" and "i" in the 1080p and 1080i of HDTV descriptions comes from. An interlaced picture essentially draws every other line of the picture and fills in the rest of the lines to create the full picture. This process occurs dozens of times a second. Progressive scan, on the other hand, scans the entire picture at once; this gives the picture a cleaner, smoother quality. Your Blu-ray player is capable of sending both types of video; depending on the type of TV it's connected to.
Does it make a difference if my high-definition TV is LCD, Plasma, OLED or some other technology?
Regardless of what HDTV type you have, you can connect your Blu-ray player and experience fantastic 1080p quality with either HDMI or DVI cables. If you connect your Blu-ray player to your TV with other video cables, you'll still get great quality -- just not as detailed as connecting your Blu-ray player with advanced cables, like HDMI.
Do Blu-ray discs have region codes like DVDs do?
They do. Keep in mind that a region-encoded Blu-ray disc will only work in a player of the same region. However, a very large number of Blu-ray discs are being released without a region encoding, which means that you can use them regardless of where you purchased your Blu-ray player. Blu-ray players and Blu-ray movies are encoded for three different regions:
Region A covers East Asia (not including Mainland China or Mongolia), Southeast Asia and North and South America.
Region B covers Africa, Southwest Asia, Europe (except Russia) and Oceania.
Region C covers Central Asia, Mainland China and Mongolia, South Asia and central Eurasia (including Russia).
Do Blu-ray discs suffer from the "rot" like DVDs and CDs?
Not as much. Great strides have been made over the past few decades to develop materials and coatings that protect optical discs from the inevitable decay. Rest assured, your Blu-ray discs are coated to keep any "optical rot" conditions at bay for as long as possible, and the Blu-ray movies will last even longer than your DVDs.