Essential HDTV accessories

An HDTV is just a TV with a pretty picture until you add a few important accoutrements. The dozen add-ons shown here will greatly enhance your HDTV watching experience.

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Blu-ray Disc Player: Philips BDP7200/37


If you own an HDTV — and especially if you own a 1080p-capable set — you'll really enjoy watching video from a Blu-ray Disc player such as the Philips BDP7200/37
Pay especially close attention to competing players' audio and video output capabilities. As I mentioned in connection with home-theatre receivers (see slide one), you’ll get optimum audio quality if you let your best piece of equipment — usually your receiver — perform the Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio decoding (the high-definition audio formats used on Blu-ray Disc recordings). But doing so requires that your Blu-ray Disc player be able to output in Bitstream format. If it outputs only in PCM format, either the player itself is doing the decoding or the player can't decode those formats at all. That’s not horrible — you won’t hold your ears in pain — but if you’ve read this far, you’re striving for perfection, right?

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