Christine Tham Reviews the Denon 2900!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Lee Scoggins, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  2. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    One of the most informative reviews I have read,thanks.
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I was surprised that SGHT didn't like the video or the CD quality.
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    good link Lee [​IMG]
     
  5. Mike Sloan

    Mike Sloan Second Unit

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    I won't consider this player now....after reading it's "lackluster" performance with multi-channel audio performance....oh [email protected]#$%
     
  6. RickLe

    RickLe Stunt Coordinator

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    Did she say msrp $1,999? I believe it's $999. I've been looking at this player for a long time but just can't get myself to drop a grand on it.
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  8. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I've compared the 2900 directly to the 3800 and have decided to send the 2900 back. I'm primarily concerned with video quality and the 3800 produces a sharper, more detailed image in my system (ISF'd Hitachi 57SWX20B) than its new sibling. The 2900 was noticably softer. Both players were sending 480p via high quality component cables to the TV, and were calibrated on separate inputs. I did NOT compare audio performance. I'm disappointed that the new Denon didn't quite stack up in the video dpeartment, as it's SACD capability would have allowed me to get rid of my stand-alone SACD player. Maybe I'll take the 3900 for a test drive when it's released.

    As for the MSRP discrepency, I believe Christine is in Australia - check out the SCART socket on her test machine.
     
  9. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  10. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    There is NOTHING wrong with the multi-channel audio performance on the 2900 I heard imho. To me this is it's major strong point. To each his (or her) own I guess.

    Reg
     
  11. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Interesting too that this extensive review does not mention a softness to the video/picture. Did I not read it was reviewed as sharper than the 3800??

    Mike Sloan - I think you would benefit from testing a player like this in your home/on your system. Why write it off based on a review??
     
  12. Bryant Trew

    Bryant Trew Second Unit

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    I think folks need to keep in mind that this player only costs $850 on the street. I'll settle for less than flawless audio performance while:

    a) There is no true standard for outputting a digital signal.

    b) "Flawless players" cost 3x the cost.

    C) The SACD and DVDA libraries aren't THAT great yet.

    d) I can still run CD audio to my high end processor.

    The video quality is a welcome stop-gap for HD-DVD. I mean, DVD has never looked so good... Be happy you can get this much technology at such a low price.
     
  13. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Quotes from the review:

    "On both these titles I could not notice any differences in picture quality switching between the DVD-2900 and my Panasonic DVD-RP82. Picture "sharpness", detail levels, and color saturation were pretty much identical, as well as the presence/absence of MPEG compression artifacts. This is excellent, because I've always been annoyed at how the picture quality on the DVD-3800 and DVD-A1 always seemed slightly "softer" in comparison to the DVD-RP82".

    "So, overall (apart from the slight chroma upsampling error and slightly jerky pans), the DVD-2900 provided the best video quality I have seen to date in a set-top DVD player'.

    Interesting that so many users are commenting on the softer picture, and the decision to "roll off" at xx frequency in the 2900, yet in what seems like the most comprehensive test/and review to date of the 2900 (the recent Secrets review/or joke - not sure, devoted 95% of time to features - which we can all read at Denon.com, and a couple of sentences to the video - and compared the video to the Sony 999 which performed miserable at Secrets??), this reviewer favors it over the highly acclaimed Pany RP 82 - the Secrets king!!

    I've had this player since day 1 and with my Elite 630, have very little to complain about. The "softness" I see against my Pioneer 525 is made up for in the great "detail" the 2900 exhibits. This, with a zero layer change = a solid player.

    Audio - I briefly listened to SACD (only one 5.1 hookup on the Outlaw 950 - used more often with mu Sony 222es for changer ability) with the 2900, and liked it a lot. No better than the 222es, but Beck Sea Changes and Willie Nelson Stardust - 2 SCAD's I think are very well done, sounded really good through the 2900.

    Recommend anyone on fence to do like Doug did - bring one home for an in home audition, make a decision based on it

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    I own this player but I never owned the Sony SACD player referenced in the article,however for 3 times the money and no DVD-V/A capability,it better excell on CD's and SACDs,which this player solely focuses on.She would have "served" the readers better with a more in line comparison to players that is in that price bracket. I assume that the Sony is her "reference" player that all others compared,and that's very common for reviewers,however most disclose if there is a huge price difference between them,for better perspective.
    She also call the 2900's MC performance "mediocre" in one sentence,and "slightly dissapointing" in the other.
    So which is it?
    Other than that, it is indeed very thorough,and informative review.

    Oh the US version has 16mgs of Ram not 8. The 9000 has 8.

    Edit: I almost forgott I totally agree with her on the operational quirks regarding DVD-A playback,and navigational [mis]functions,this is the only true "beef" I have with this player,which I mentioned in my review thread a few moths back,but not many people reported on since then,well she did.
     
  15. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Despite the excellent work done by the folks at Secrets, measurements and hard specs are only part of the story, albiet an important part. I agree with you 100% - the ONLY way to determine whether or not a player is right for you is to bring it home and plug it into YOUR system. Use the Secrets ratings as a guide, not a bible.
     
  16. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    WOW,did I miss something?The way I read it the 2900 was considered by the reviewer to be a great multi player,regardless it is by me and many others.I guess we all read/hear what we want.
     
  17. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Doug - did not mean to come off as defensive. I like the 2900 a lot in my system, and do not pay much attention to these comments. Just an observation - I do lots of that being an ex auditor[​IMG]
     
  18. David Hicks

    David Hicks Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually have the Denon 2900 and the Integra 8.3 in my store at the moment. The audio quality of the Denon seems slightly better (although not by much). The video, however, is a totally different story. The Integra provides a substantially better picture than the Denon.

    It's a bit tougher to find, but for those looking for a universal player...the Integra deserves a serious look!
     
  19. Sach

    Sach Stunt Coordinator

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    and now here is what the same reviewer says about DVD 3800 -

    "Using the same technique (but on different remotes), I was also able to compare video quality to my reference player, the Panasonic DVD-RP82.

    Like its sister the DVD-A1, the overall picture quality of the DVD-3800 is slightly soft, especially compared to the Panasonic DVD-RP82. However, in return for the softness, the DVD-3800 offers less visible artefacts such as ringing or shimmering. It also presents more detail than is visible via the RP82 or even via my home theatre PC running PowerDVD.

    For example, the RP82 displays moire patterns around Daryl's tie (worn by Freddy) in the R4 edition of Double Take around 20:52-21:37 . This same scene on the HTPC does not show any moire patterns. However, the tie pattern detail has also been smoothened out, making the tie look somewhat bland. On the DVD-3800, the tie pattern is clearly resolved down to the finest detail with minimal moire effects.

    The DVD-3800 is also noticeably smoother in fast pans than the RP82, which displays noticeable judder during the first few minutes of Andrea Bocelli's Cieli Di Toscana (where we get to see the shops and alleys of the West End district of London panning across the screen from the perspective of the side window of a moving car). This is a real torture test for an MPEG decoder, as the entire scene is a relatively fast pan from right to left. On the DVD-3800, I got a much smoother (though not completely smooth) pan and a more detailed set of frames."

    http://www.michaeldvd.com.au/Hardwar...Denon3800.html
     
  20. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    The 3800 image SHOULD come out as sharper than both the 2900 and RP-82, "all other things being equal".

    The analog video channel bandwidth gently and quite linearly rises slowly above zero for the 3800 way out to 10MHz, ensuring that progressive output remains sharp, like interlaced appears (smaller bandwith than progressive) on most DVD players that may even appear soft in progressive.

    Denon may have designed the 3800 intentionally this way to ensure sharp progressive output - I'm not sure.

    Look at the video channel bandwidth curves in the Secrets Shootout results for the three players in their commentary sections. The RP82 is about flat - maybe "perfect" to some viewers - but no perceived sharpness guarantee for all viewers and on all displays. The 2900 rolls-off - causing a softer (than RP82 and 3800) picture, as most report.

    Hence, the 3800, when carefully setup and optimized on "most" displays should have the sharper progressive image, ultimately, in accordance with how it was designed.

    I am "suspect" of this viewers comments on the 3800 appearing softer than the 2900 ..... this shouldn't be the case engineering-wise if both players were optimized to perform the best they could be specifically on the reviewer's particular display. [​IMG]
     

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