Best DVD player in the sub $700.00 price range?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by greggor, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Thats my budget and am considering the Denon 2900. Any other viable players I should consider at thw same price point? I have read some negative reviews on audio review.com, which concerns me a little, so I am exploring all available options. The above price is my limit so please only offer players that fit the above criteria. Thanks for the help.

    Greg
     
  2. Steven_Lazarus

    Steven_Lazarus Stunt Coordinator

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    The Denon-2910 should be out soon and fits your price range, DVD/SACD and upscaling capability all in one beautiful package[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It's either the 2910 or if my patience wears thin enough I'm going with the 3910 and eating the cost[​IMG]

    By the way, if you search long enough your bound to find people who have something negative to say about everything, but I'd be willing to bet there are 500 happy Denon 2900 owners to every 1 unhappy owner.
    Denon DVD-2910:
    Progressive Scan/Scaling DVD Player • Powered by the latest DCDi by Faroudja FLI-2310 Decoding Engine - Finest available processing for film, video, graphics or mixed-mode content • Adjustable Chroma Delay and Level, White/Black Levels, CCS On/Off controls • New ESS Vibrato "Chroma Bug Free" MPEG/DVD-Audio Decoder • Sony CXD-2753 Second Generation DSD Decoder • Dual, discrete, Analog Devices ADV-7310 - 216 MHz, 4:4:4, 12 bit Video D/A Conversion system featuring Noise Shaped Video processing (1 chip each Progressive and Interlace) • 8x Oversampling Progressive and 16x Interlace output • Wideband relay switched component video outputs • Variable Black Level (Setup): 0 and 7.5 IRE • Passes below-black (PLUGE) on progressive and interlace outputs • (1) DVI-D (HDCP) and (1) HDMI Multi-Channel Audio (SiL9300) Compatible, outputs with selectable 480p/720p/1080i output • (1) each - Component Video, Composite and "S" outputs • 2X DVD read speed; 4X CD/CD-R/CD-RW read speed; with 8MB drive buffer memory • Built-in Dolby Digital, dts, DVD-Audio and SACD decoders with 5.1 analog outputs • Burr-Brown 24-bit, 192-kHz DSD-1791 Audio DACs that decode PCM and DSD signals discretely with no cross-conversion of DSD • Full Digital Bass Management for DVD-Audio, featuring Analog Devices Melody 32-bit processor; 80Hz crossover with 12dB high and 24dB low pass slopes; Adjustable delay time(0-15ms)and Channel Levels • Full Digital Bass Management for SACD; 80Hz crossover with 6/12dB slopes on all channels; Adjustable channel levels • Bass Management avaialble for all formats on the HDMI output • MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA 9) Playback • Plays Audio/Video CDs; DVD-Audio/Video; Super Audio CD; DVD +/-R/RW(conditional); Audio CD-R; Audio CD-RW; Decoders for MP3 (128kbps or greater recommended) and WMA-8 (64 ~ 160kbps) CD-R/RW & DVD +/-R/RW discs • JPEG photo file viewer, Kodak Picture and Fujicolor CD compatible • HDCD decoding • 24/96 compatible digital outputs - optical and coaxial • Anamorphic Scaling for 4:3/16:9 Sets • 4:3 Squeeze and Zoom Controls, including DVI/HDMI outputs • Pure Direct Modes to defeat unneeded portions of player for the ultimate in audio performance • SRS TruSurround • Remote in/out ports • GloKey remote control • Dimensions: 17.1"w x 4.0"h x 12.5"d • SRP $679
     
  3. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Any other suggestions? I really like the features of the 2900, but realiability is a major concern. In the past few years I've had three DVD players fail on me. All were from different manufacturers.
     
  4. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I'll tell ya: Buy the 2900 from Crutchfields for $699 new. That way, you have their awesome return and exchange policy and great customer service to back you up. You WILL get a perfect 2900 come hell or high water with them and I think it'll be worth it.

    I still think the 2900 is a better unit than the new 2910 (which is based off the 2200.) I don't see a better player under $700 right now or anytime soon that's going to beat the 2900.
     
  5. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member

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    I agree with Eric. If you don't need or want DVI/HDMI or IEEE 1394 then the 2900 can't be beat right now. A machine with the Silicon Image SiL504 deinterlacer, undetectable layer change, a great audio section for the money, DVDDVD-ACDSACD, and rock-solid build quality for a clearance price of $700 brand spanking new at Crutchfield is an awesome value. You can even make it multi-region with a readily available firmware update. As far as reliabilty goes, the 2900 is probably the least problematic of the mid to upper tier Denon offerings.

    If both video AND audio performance are a concern then I don't think the 2910 is a very good choice. The audio quality of the 3910 is superior to the 2900, but at almost twice the cost.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If you don't mind used, there are about 8 2900s on Audiogon right now for about $500.
     
  7. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    If those check out, for sure the 2900 is IMPOSSIBLE to beat at $500. Hands down.
     
  8. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    i wouldnt worry about reliability with those denon players. in the store i work at, we almost exclusively use denons for demo players, because they can run all day, every day, and not lock up or break. this happened by coincedence too. it turns out we just ended up replacing all other brands when they broke to denon, and now we just have all denons playing.
     
  9. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member

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    Crutchfield also has some 2900s in their "Scratch and Dent" store for $594.99 with free shipping and their great guarantee. They tend to go quickly.
     
  10. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    I'm sold, just ordered my 2900 from crutchfield for 699. I live overseas so it will probably be a few eeks before it arrives.

    So far (since 1998) I have gone through two sony's, 1 JVC, and 1 panasonic. The Sony's were the worst the first one failed after just two years, and the second one failed after just one year. My JVC just failed after only two years of use. The panny works sometimes and i've had it for about a year. None of these players were entry level models. I'm exepxting alot out of this Denon! Thanks for the help.


    Greg
     
  11. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    And, even though you're at a distance, you have 30 days with Crutchfields to make a no questions asked, full return if you had to. Lifetime tech support, great customer service.

    I may be following in your footsteps on this soon myself...
     
  12. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    crutchfield normally has bloated prices on every piece of electronic, though.[​IMG] Quit vouging for those wigs![​IMG]
     
  13. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Have you ever actually done business with them? There are some nice intangibles and customer service they offer that I haven't seen done anywhere close by anyone else. Truly outstanding customer service and lifetime tech support.

    Since you live about 3 hours north of me, I'm sure you can appreciate a buying situation that doesn't involved the asinine 7 percent sales tax we Ohioans have to pay. (Our local and state taxes are atrocious, amongst the highest in the entire country, but that's a different topic.)

    So, knock 7 percent off plus no shipping and that's not half bad. I think you might be a bit harsh here, although I do understand and agree with your basic sentiment.

    I've bought a couple of minor things from them in the past. I know better than to buy a big item from them for the obvious reason that I'm not going to pay MSRP.


    In this specific case, though, $699, free shipping, no tax, lifetime tech support, 30 days no questions asked return is pretty damn hard to beat. Good luck.

    At least give credit where it's due on that.

    I haven't seen that anywhere else. My local dealer here at Classic Stereo is still sitting on $999 with a crap eating grin on his face. I bet they never sell any merchandise there. Lord knows they're never getting my business. We need a Tweeter, Best Buy, and Circuit City to all move into near my area desperately, because I'll have to either depend on the Internet or drive to Ft. Wayne to get any decent electronics deals at all.

    So, if I were going to buy the Denon 2900, I would have to say Crutchfields wins. I may very well do it.

    Beyond that, I understand where you're coming from.

    Here's a typical Crutchfields moment that I've had:

    They stubbornly sit on MSRP and won't even price match a 100 percent legit white market deal when you bring it to them. At least I haven't seen that. Best case scenario, they'll knock 10 percent off...if you buy more than one thing! LOL... Give me a break...

    Just here recently, I chatted live with them about the 3910 and the Onkyo 1000. Politely, I took them to the rails on considering a discount or a price match and made a pretty good argument about being competitive under strict circumstances. I even asked to speak to the manager or whomever. Didn't do any damned good.

    I said to them, "Look, I can drive an hour and even if I pay 6 percent sales tax, they're probably going to lop $300 off the price to help me out. It's still going to be worlds cheaper than paying your prices. I'll give you their name and number and you can check the Denon or Onkyo websites yourself to see if they check out as authorized.

    I KNOW all you guys do is charge MSRP. ANY good salesman has legal wiggle room on that price."

    I've even had their guys tell me, "I'd be a fool to tell you not to take that deal," when I've told them about other prices from LEGIT dealers. Can you imagine? They'd rather forfeit business at that rate? I'd be dead in a day if I ran a business like that!

    Their response to all this, on both the $1299 Denon 3910 and $1999 Onkyo 1000 was they would take $40 off. That's it. Period. LMAO, what's $40 on $1300 or 2 grand? Unbelievable...

    So, yes, normally, with new hardware especially: That does suck, yes. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And don't even get me started on their scratch and dent prices. That's obscene outright.
     
  14. Steven_Lazarus

    Steven_Lazarus Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric,
    You seem pretty loyal to the 2900, have you had a chance to check out the 1080i picture quality on the 2910 compared to that of the 2900??? just wondering....my 2910 will be here by weeks end and I'm really looking forward to comparing it to the Zenith DVB-318 for upscaled PQ. And of course testing out the SACD aspect for the first time. I have ordered one SACD, Areosmith's "Toys In The Attic", well not really ordered, to be more accurate "WON" on Ebay, any other SACD recommendations for POP/Rock SACD's...any good sites you recommend taking a look at or ordering from?? I'm stationed in Italy so getting SACD's over here is impossible. Thanks for any feedback.....
     
  15. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    The 2910 is an excellent machine with great PQ. I think the original poster, before I had to address elMalloc's troll post, was interested more in 480p progressive. At that rate, the 2900 at its current price, probably is the best answer. It's pretty much the ONLY answer in that price range right now. Denon has a spotty track record, with defective units and bugs left and right, but the 2900 has faired rather solidly and the test of time has done well for it. It's a proven commodity by now.

    If we start getting into upscaling players and so forth, then that opens the door to all sorts of things.

    DVI and HDMI aside, though, if you read around, you'll find out that the 2900 is still a better overall machine though. The 2910 is the successor to the 2200. Certainly not bad at all, but it's just something to be mindful of.

    I'm not really loyal to anything. It's actually a complete lack of choice. The 2900 sits in that middle ground pretty much by itself right now under $700, the 2910 excepting. I hope the Yamaha s2500 comes out strong and we start getting some more competition in that price range.

    As it stands, you either can buy $200-$300 or under that even, or suddenly you're breaking a grand.

    The 2910 will have better PQ over DVI or HDMI vs the Zenith under any circumstance. I'll gurantee it.

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-bin/shootout.cgi

    You may find that useful if you've never looked at it before.

    All of these companies have outlets in Europe. You'd pay a mint to buy something overseas to have it shipped to you.

    I'd say go to a specific manufacterer's website, hit Europe, and then look for a dealer that way. Good luck!
     
  16. Steven_Lazarus

    Steven_Lazarus Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the link Eric,
    Yeah I've read through that whole shootout numerous times and thus is why I've chosen to go with the Denon 2910. I appreciate your advice about going through a European dealer but like I said my 2910 is already on the way and I should have it on Thursday to play with [​IMG]
    I was flip-flopping between the 2900, 3910 and 2910 for a week and decided to go with the 2910.

    Reason 1: because from what I've been able to dig up and read, the only real separating factor between the 3910 & 2910 is more on the audio side and I'm going to be using the unit for entertainment geared more for DVD/movies.

    Reason 2: Upscaling capability 1080i via DVI

    Reason 3: I only have 1 SACD and it's in the mail somewhere [​IMG] But I can't wait to listen to it regardless !!!! even though I'm half deaf from the good ol' days of blasting "License to Ill" and the 4 JL Audio 10W6's I had in the trunk...

    4. Of course price; even though I would have taken a week of the cold shoulder and hugging my pillow for affection to get the 3910. It just doesn't seem to make sense for me and my needs. I would have had 8 more pounds to pick up for the money however! [​IMG]
    Have you, or do you know anyone that has had the opportunity to compare the PQ between the 2910 and 3910??
     
  17. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    The waiting is starting to kill me. The more I read on the 2900 the more anxious I become for its arrival. Thanks for the sales pitch guys, I think i've finally bought a great DVD player. As far as purchasing it from crutchfield goes, I personally think that generally they do have over inflated prices. However, as with any purchase there are always exceptions to every rule. In this particular case Crutchfield is offering what appears to be a great player for an extremely competitive price. I always prefer to buy from an authorized dealer with an outstanding reputation for customer service, and in this case I really couldn't go wrong by buying from crutchfield. Too bad I have to wait for it to arrive though.

    Greg
     
  18. Steven_Lazarus

    Steven_Lazarus Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Greg,
    Who are you attached to over there in Japan??? and what did Crutchfield charge you for shipping? I just had the 2910 "Military Expressed" to me here in Italy (Navy Corpsman), shipping was $47 but it was shipped on Tuesday and will get here tonight sometime, I'll pick it up in the morning since I live around 45 minutes from base and don't want to wait around. But in my opinion the $47 USPS Express mail is the the best way to go on high value items, decreases the time spent in the cargo bay of transport aircraft and protects it from the PC clerks with hands of stone [​IMG]
    .. I'm assuming you had it sent priority service so you should get it in 5-10 days correct??
     
  19. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

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    Steve I buy high dollar items from the states all the time and they usually arrive within two weeks of being shipped. Crutchfield offered free shipping even though it was to an FPO address. Its pretty expensive to ship items to Japan via UPS or Fedex so I just rely on the good old USPS.

    About what I do here in Japan....I'm an airframer (AM1) attached to the Navy's first forward deployed Super Hornet squadron. I came over here accompanied on three year orders. Its been fun but I can't wait to get back to the states.

    Greg
     
  20. Steven_Lazarus

    Steven_Lazarus Stunt Coordinator

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    Just out of curiosity,
    Does Japan run they're electricity at 220 or 110? do you ever purchase electronics out in town over there, or is there a major difference in product price and compatibility issues? Just wondering since Denon products are manufactured over there if there was a possibility for you to pick stuff up out in town at cheaper prices than in the States....
    I think we are both looking looking forward to getting back to the states (three year tour for me as well), after a year or so the novelty of living in another country kind of fades, 16 more months for me [​IMG]
     

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