Chapter 8: Accessories
Due to the emergence of HDMI, which can carry both digital video and audio signals, the requirement for cables might actually be reduced from the days when you needed component cables as well as optical/SPDIF cables. If you have a HDMI capable AV receiver (with HDMI audio support), then all you need is one HDMI cable to connect your player to your receiver (and another one from your receiver to your TV, but if you have the receiver, you most likely already have this connection up and running).
If you don't have a HDMI audio supporting amp/receiver, then you will still need to rely on an optical/SPDIF cable to carry the digital audio - you probably have one of these left over from your DVD player. If your receiver can accept HDMI video input, then a HDMI cable to the receiver (and one from the receiver to your TV) is required as well. Otherwise, you can just plug the HDMI cable straight to your TV.
But what if your TV's HDMI connector(s) are already used up? Other than buying yourself a new HDMI AV receiver, there are cheaper options you can try - HDMI switches. These perform a very simple function, they basically have multiple HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output, with a remote control or a button on the device to switch between the various HDMI inputs. This way, you can easily extend your TV's HDMI input(s) without having to spend a fortune. The following are some Amazon links to these HDMI switches. Note that you might want to ensure the switch is HDMI 1.3 compatible, for future-proofing (although if you need HDMI 1.3, it means you have an HDMI AV receiver, which has built in switches):
- The only cable you might need is HDMI, and your old optical/SPDIF cable from your DVD player
- Getting an AV receiver with HDMI support is recommended if your TV doesn't have enough HDMI inputs, however there are far cheaper options available in HDMI switches
Chapter 9: Conclusion
So there you have it. When I started writing this guide, I didn't really think it was going to be this long. Clearly, getting into HD movies is a bit more complicated than when people first started to get into DVDs, with so many new standards and formats to learn. But hopefully after reading this guide, you will have a good idea of what to expect and what you will need in order to enjoy HD in your home. Good luck with your purchasing.