question about DVD players

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Hi - I'm a bit new to all this but hopefully someone can help:

I have a HD tv that supports 1080i and only has component input. It does
not have any of those newer digital inputs like HDMI. I am in the market
for a new DVD player. My question is whether it is worth buying one of
those ones that say they can upconvert DVD pictures. Will I be able to
take advantage of this, or is my TV not compatible.

If not, then what DVD player should I buy for optimal audio and video
within a modest budget (something you can find at a local best
buy/circuit city). I have to figure that those $30 DVD players can't be
as good as the full fledged $100 counterparts, can they?

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