Purchasing a Blu-ray Disc Player which is currently available on the market, and when you connect the Blu-ray Disc Player to your Home Theatre System / HDTV or Video projector, and turn both units on and set the HDTV to the input you have the Blu-ray Disc Player connected to and the Blu-ray Disc Player will automatically adjust to the native resolution capabilities of your Home Theatre System /HDTV or Video projector. What this means is that, a Blu-ray Disc Player knows what it is connected to and what type of connection you are using (HDMI, DVI, or Component). If it does not sense a 1080p input, it will set itself to whatever the native resolution of the TV set is, it can be 1080i, 720p, or others. Subsequently, you can still go into the Blu-ray Disc Player setup menu and make any additional changes of your choice; it can be 1080p, 1080i or 720p for HD viewing.
Likewise, the maximum resolution that a Blu-ray disc player can output via Component (red, green, blue) is 1080i, but currently that has now changed for all Blu-ray Disc players made after January 1, 2013.
Furthermore, S-Video or Composite can only pass 480i resolution, regardless which of these are used to connect to a TV with 1080p native pixel resolution.
Above and beyond, if you are using HDMI, DVI or Component video connections, and you have an HDTV or video projector with 720p native resolution, instead of 1080i or 1080p, I have discovered that if you manually set the Blu-ray Disc player to 1080i, the image looks slightly better. This may be due to the fact that the Blu-ray Discs themselves are mastered at 1080p, and it appears that is easier for the Blu-ray disc player to scale down to output a 1080i signal than a 720p signal, since 1080i is closer to 1080p than 720p. Of course, the other explanation is that some Blu-ray Disc Players may just not have very good built-in 720p scaling capability. Please check your user manual of your brand if you suspect any variations to the above information.
NOTE: By the end of 2013, all analog video connections (composite, S-video, and Component) will be eliminated as connection options on all new Blu-ray Disc players manufactured for countries who have switched 100% to Digital TV signals. Some manufacturers have already started this process during mid-2012. Analog “audio connections” are not affected; they will still be able to be included, at each manufacturer’s discretion.
If you have a “Home Theater” receiver that has HDMI inputs and the receiver has Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. Please check the symbols (TrueHD) on your receiver or the user manual for more details. Your “Home Theater” receiver would be able to accept either an un-decoded or fully decoded uncompressed digital audio signal from the Blu-ray Disc player via the HDMI connection. This is the preferred connection to use.
However, if you have an older “Home Theater” receiver that does not have HDMI inputs, or one that has HDMI inputs that only pass through video and audio to your TV, then it would be best to use the traditional method of connecting the digital audio outputs (either optical or coaxial) of the player to your AV receiver. Using this connection you would be able to access all un-decoded audio signals from the Blu-ray Disc player except for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, or multi-channel un-compressed audio. Alternatively, if you have a set of 5.1 or 7.1 channel direct analog inputs on your receiver and your Blu-ray Disc player has a set of 5.1 or 7.1 channel analog outputs, this is a better option than using the standard digital audio (optical or coaxial) connection option as the 5.1 channel analog outputs of the Blu-ray disc player can decode the surround sound signal internally and pass it to your “Home Theater” receiver as a fully-decoded or uncompressed audio signal that would be the same quality as using the HDMI connection option for audio. The downside is that instead of connecting one cable to your receiver for audio, you would have to connect five or seven audio connections to get the audio from your Blu-ray Disc player to your “Home Theater” receiver. I prefer to do it this way because I find the audio is warmer with my 7.1 “Home Theatre” system.
If you have purchase a 3D Blu-ray Disc player that has two HDMI outputs then you can connect one HDMI output to the TV for the video and the second HDMI output to the non-3D compliant “Home Theater” receiver for the audio. The options are there for you. This will provide access to all available surround sound audio formats that are employed by the Blu-ray Disc and DVD formats, as well as all audio from CD’s, SACD and other broadcast content.
Avoid using the composite video output if you have an HDTV as it will only output video in standard 480i resolution. Also, while component video connections may output up to 1080i resolution for Blu-ray disc playback, they can only output up to 480p for DVDs. The HDMI output connection is required for viewing Blu-ray in 1080p and standard DVDs in upscaled 720p/1080i or 1080p.
Note: when using the Ethernet (LAN) port. This allows connection to a high-speed internet router for access Profile 2.0 (BD-Live) content associated with some Blu-ray Discs, internet streaming content from services, such as Netflix, as well as allowing direct download of firmware updates.