What is an HD Media Player and why do I need one?

What is an HD Media Player?

We all want to consume our entertainment on our own terms now. Instead of having the evening’s viewing dictated by the TV schedules, people are using DVRs (Digital Video Recorders), Sky+, Netflix, iPlayer and DVDs and Blurays to watch and listen to content how and when they want to. An HD (High Definition) media player is another device to help you take control of what you watch and how. Typically they will be small standalone boxes which plug into your TV and sound system if necessary, and play the full range of standard and high definition digital file formats from a storage device. Combined with either USB or networked storage, they can allow you to access your own digital archive of DVDs or home videos in a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use way, at the best possible quality.

Why do I need one?

Some newer televisions are starting to provide some media player and network streaming capabilities, but at present the best way of providing a quality experience is by using a dedicated player.  The main reasons for this are:

  • Flexibility – most players play a wide range of file formats; you are unlikely to find one a current player will not play.
  • Upgradeable – many companies provide firmware updates to fix bug or add new features.
  • Size – players are generally compact and unobtrusive.
  • Cost – players are much cheaper than buying a new TV set and can extend the functionality of an existing TV.

Please watch out for an upcoming post about the key essential features you should look for in an HD media player, and make sure to check out our reviews section for detailed information on the best devices.

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