Many people erroneously assume that an HDTV automatically makes everything look better: TV, movies, their living rooms. The reality, of course, is that without high-definition video sources, images can look rather disappointing. A typical DVD player, for instance, produces only 480 horizontal lines of video; HDTVs are optimized for 720 or 1080 lines, which is why your DVD of The Matrix looks like poop.
One option is to spring for an HD DVD or Blu-ray player, but they're expensive, and there's that whole format-war thing. Bleh. A better option, at least short term, is an upconverting DVD player, which makes all your standard DVDs look a helluva lot better courtesy of some pixel-scaling wizardry.
Buy.com has the Coby DVD-283 upconverting DVD player for $34.99, shipping included. The player includes an HDMI output, so it's ideally suited for modern HDTVs. Granted, Coby is, um, well, let's just say the brand isn't spoken in the same breath as Sony or Toshiba. But for 35 bucks, how can you go wrong? This is a cheap and effective stop-gap solution while you wait for the HD DVD and Blu-ray camps to make peace.