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"With the increasing popularity of DVDs, prices have been dropping incredibly."

With the increasing popularity of DVDs, prices have been dropping incredibly. Now, it's not hard to find DVDs at the same cost, or cheaper, than VHS tapes. The only item left is a DVD-Drive itself. While the price ranges greatly with the speed of the drive, any 2x-dvd drive is plenty for acceptable movie playback. The price for the drive itself can get as low as $45. That is less than a third of a good quality standalone player.

Any computer at 400mhz or higher is set for optimal software DVD playback. Fortunately, those with slower computers can buy an add-on DVD decoder for roughly $50, that will allow anything with a 133mhz or greater to play DVD's efficiently.

Software decoders are often full of useful features such as surround sound decoding, de-interlacing, and even screenshots. Software decoders often have better image quality than Hardware, due to the necessity of a passthrough cable when using a hardware decoder. For software decoding, nothing beats WinDVD , or PowerDVD . In the hardware field, the king is the Hollywood Magic line of products. Compatible with almost all hardware, and equipped extremely high quality TV output, with a reasonable $50 price tag, there is nothing better.

Computer Setup: $45 - $150
Retail Setup: $179 - $400
Saved: $134 - $355

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