My disapointment w\ Denon DVD-2900

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by JamesDH, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. JamesDH

    JamesDH Extra

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    I bought this player last week excited that there is finally an excellent quality player that has both DVD-A and SACD in one unit. From what I HAD read it was to be CUE free(chroma bug) and was going to be a fantastic player. Come to find out it is only partially CUE free and to say the least I'm extremely bummed out. The audio on this unit sounds so sweet too. It pains me to say that the video suffers greatly on some scenes on titles like Monsters Inc., even on my modest sony wega 27" using component cables. For example at the end of chapter 5 when Sully and Mike are on there way to work the folage on the trees in the background flickers and looses detail like crazy, not to mention the right fender on Mike's car. This otherwise fantastic player is marred by this one flaw and it makes me sick to my stomach. It cost me a pretty penny and I was expecting near perfection, but I guess I was asking too much. I will be taking it back tomorrow for a refund. Any thoughts on the situation would be appreciated.

    Add. Info Denon DVD-2900 Chroma, 3-2 Alt.bug
    Check out secrets DVD roundup at:

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-b...rch&articles=5

    And there are several threads going at the AVSForum
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    This is extremely disappointing. It seems as though Denon always promises a lot with its DVD players, but then they have a video flaw. Going back to the DVD-2800 and then the '3800 and '9000, there has been a lot of hype followed by disappointed owners. I had my moments with Denon a few months ago, as I was trying desparately to find a "good" '3800. It is frustrating.

    Denon Jeff has said over on AVS Forum that Denon engineers were given freedom to make the '2900 top-notch in every way. What happened? If Panasonic can make a chroma-bug-free player for $250, whey can't Denon do it for $1000?
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    James,

    Can you give us more details on the DVDA and Super Audio performance?
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    While it is not a Universal, the 1600 has marks equal to the RP-82 at Secrets. Of course if you require SACD playback, that will be of no help.

    BGL
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    James, is the picture quality really as breathlessly bad as you make it to be? Any other players in the house to compare it with?
     
  6. JamesDH

    JamesDH Extra

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    Lee - I was extremely impressed by the DVD-A and the SACD performance of this player. Even with regular CD's it sounded fantastic. Top notch all the way IMHO.

    Brian - I have been waiting for a universal player w good bass management and chroma free for a year and a half. I thought this was gonna be it. I know that the 1600 is a fantastic player and I was thinking about getting it, but I really want the SACD capabilities as well. I do not want to have to buy separate players.

    Jack - No, actually the picture quality is quite good on most DVDs'. Other than being a little soft the pic. quality is very good. It's when you play a disc that has the 3-2 Alt.bug that the pic. quality suffers noticably. Like I said I only have a sony 27" wega and I can see problems. The problem for me is that i spent 1k on this player and I want it to be near perfect in all departments. It just kind of irks me when there a players out there for a third of the money that have perfect picture quality on every disc. By the way this player has seamless layer changes as well.

    Thanks for the replies...
     
  7. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Jack - I agree with most of James latest comments on the picture quality (preceding post). I've had the unit since May 3 and I'm far from disapointed. I watched Monsters Inc thru the 2900/Pioneer PRO 630 HD, and to me, while there is some artifact's in those scenes, not even close to a deal breaker for me. The layer change that is non-existient on this player alone, to me, makes up for this issue. The "filmlike" video is just amazing, the audio is amazing, the build quality is tank - like. Part of me thinks that yea its costly, so people have a right to complain. However, its one fault, to me, is overcome by its strong positives, and it was worth the $850 I paid for it.

    But hey, I'm also a Outlaw 950 owner, who from the get go thought I had a great unit (even with the slight hiss, green button, and funky (not ugly) logo).[​IMG]
     
  8. Peter Loan

    Peter Loan Second Unit

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    I LOVE my Denon 2900. Then again, I don't own Monsters Inc. and don't base the performance of a DVD player on one aformentioned title. The video performance is sublime, easily the best that I've ever seen on my 16x9 HD set. I've owned the RP-82 and Denon 1600 and I actually prefer the 2900. The video from this unit looks silky smooth and has incredible richness and detail. It's unlike any DVD player I've ever tried, and I think I've owned a dozen or so players over the years.

    The audio performance is outstanding...DVD-A, SACD, and redbook audio all sound amazing. The SACD performance is slightly better than my Sony 222ES changer, and the redbook performance is superior to my Rotel RCD-951 player so I've sold off both pieces. Yep, this is the only DVD player that I know of that has no layer change pause whatsoever...not even a nanosecond.

    Yes, I wish it was perfect with no bugs whatsoever but this player's strengths greatly outweigh a single flaw...for me anyways. But call me crazy, I don't own Monsters Inc..
     
  9. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    I find the 2900's picture to be top notch, and I owned the Denon 1600 prior. The chroma issue seems to be isolated to a small percentage of animated DVDs, and even then, its a result if improper flagging on the DVD. Im not going to let a couple minor errors on a handful of DVDs effect my decision to own this machine. The $250 Panasonic may have less errors, but side by side comparisons to the Denon 1600 clearly show that the 2900 has the edge for image quality. As far as universal players go, this one is absolutely the best. Home Theater Hi Fi seems to agree with me. Its the highest rated universal player.
     
  10. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    Peter & Jeremy,

    You do realize that it's a lot more titles than just Monsters Inc.? Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all saying the player isn't any good, but you should at least be aware that it's hundreds and hundreds of top titles that have this issue. It's not just animated titles, it's *everything* Disney has produced in the last couple of years, live-action included. Other producers have also made discs with this issue as well, though Disney is the largest one.

    Also, for what it's worth, it's not improper flagging. It's not as common, but it's perfectly legal. And it's been around from the very beginning of DVD - one of the very first MPEG encoders used it. So there's really no excuse for Mitsubishi not handling it properly - they've had years to get it right. (Mitsubishi makes the MPEG decoder in the 2900.)

    Don
     
  11. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    Don - does Alien fall into the category? The opening ship sequence as the camera pans thru the ship, the white walls have horizontal boxes on them, and every player/TV I've owned has some difficulty. The 2900 does a good job, but there still is some shimmering.
     
  12. ArnaudP

    ArnaudP Stunt Coordinator

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    The 2900 is not worth the $850 for video only. However, the 2900 is an incredible Universal player for only $850. I spent a couple of hours yesterday just listening to some of my old CDs. They never sounded better. I would say that the audio side of this player is great. Also, I have had no problems getting great bass. No BM issues. Even my wife could not believe how good Eagles (Hotel California) sounded on DVD-A.
    I love the video on this player. It is a little soft but the amount of details is great. I watched Tears of the sun on Saturday night and the picture was simply amazing!
    I love Monsters Inc but I am not going to focus on a small problem that I can barely see. I did buy the 2900 and I really like it so far for both audio performance and video. Actually we watched A bug's life last night and I noticed details in both picture and audio that I had never noticed when using my RP91.
     
  13. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    David,

    I don't know if Alien has the alternating progressive flag issue, but I'll try to check it tonight if I can. My guess though is that it's just a combination of high-frequency patterns and edge enhancement. In other words, it's probably in the source.

    Don
     
  14. JamesDH

    JamesDH Extra

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    I would like to say that overall this is a fantastic player and I want to make sure that nobody thinks that I am bashing it. It is definitly the best universal player available. The bug issue IS minor and to most people it wouldn't make it a deal breaker. It's just that for a around a $1000 I was expecting a near perfection. Especially since you can get a progressive DVD player for as little as $250 that is chroma free like some of the excellent Panasonic players. Also I was surprised that this player had the bug because I figured since the 1600(Around $500) was bug free that this newer 2900 would be as well. As for Monsters Inc. it is not the ONLY title that has the 3-2 Alt. bug. There are many titles. It is not only animated titles. Off the top of my head a lot of Disney titles have the bug like Beauty and the Beast and I have also heard that Titanic has it as well. So in other word Monster Inc. isn't an isolated title with the 3-2 Alt. bug and I'm sure more will be coming out and a great deal of catalog titles will have it.
    If you do have Monsters Inc.(I just used this movie because it's a good example and it's easy to see the problem) you should check out the scene near the end of chapter 5. Mike and Sully are standing next to his red car. Pause and then zoom in on the cars right fender. Then step frame it and watch it go from a smooth fender to a fender with jagged edges. Then focus the zoom on some of the trees in the background with the fall colored folage. Step frame through that and watch as ever other frame is ugly and not detailed. You can totally see it just when your watching it normally as well. If you focus on the trees you see them flicker and losing detail and I only have a wimpy 27" Sony and can see it. It must be even more obvious to people with high quality TVs.

    I think I'll wait and see what happens in the next few
    months with regards to the successor the Denon DVD-3800. Maybe they will get it near 100% right....hopefully
     
  15. Luis S

    Luis S Supporting Actor

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    Blows my mind what makes or break a player in some peoples eyes.[​IMG] I have yet to notice this alt flag bug myself, and not a chance in hell would I go with some flimsy, slow, and inferior sounding player instead just cause it doesn't have it. Thats just nuts IMHO. The picture on this is phenomenal,the sound is superb, what more could you want?

    The perfect player? Hah! Good luck! Anybody want to bet me $20 that in 5 years we still wont have one? [​IMG] There is always an issue. 1600? Rp-82? Nice picture sure but both were slow, one was overpriced and the other had some quality issues. No thanks. Anyone sitting on the fence with regard to the 2900 owes it to themselves to give it a try. You may find (as I and many others have...) That this "bug" is greatly exaggerated.

    No offense to Don or the other Secrets guys,but numbers and tests don't mean much in the long run,its your own eyeballs that you need to rely on. Once you've seen it only then can you decide for yourself what to do. All the info and reviews are great for reference,but they shouldn't make your decision for you. It should just give you an idea what you might experience.

    Anyway off I go to enjoy this sweet machine!Im in so much trouble,I just cant stop buying SACD's or DVD-A to try out! Im going broke before I even get paid! [​IMG]

    Proud Denon 2900 owner,

    Luis S
     
  16. Rodon

    Rodon Second Unit

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    JamesDH, Sure took you a lot of work to find an error. Not sure If I would ever notice something like that had I not read about it and went searching through pauses and zoom ins.

    Sometimes we need to watch Monsters Inc again with a friend or kid who likes Monsters Inc because it is a funny movie and see if they notice the right side of a red bumper on a goofy looking Monster's car.


    Are we loosing site of why we have a HT yet?

    I wish the 2900 was 100% perfect too but can really expect that in sub $1000 price range when no one else has gotten all these pieces 100% right in even players costing 3X and 4X as much.

    Soon to be 2900 Proud owner - site unseen.
     
  17. Don Munsil

    Don Munsil Stunt Coordinator

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    Rodon,

    You really don't have to zoom in or do any of the above, though following James's suggestions will help you see the issue more clearly. I can see the flaw easily during normal playback from 12 feet away from an 80 inch screen, which is a normal viewing distance for front projection. If you're further away or have a smaller screen, it's probably not as visible, but that's largely because you're sitting too far away to see all the resolution.

    The more I work on this stuff the more I realize that most people could be watching much, much larger images, if it weren't for problems like the chroma bug, chroma delay, etc., that aren't readily visible at most people's normal viewing distance.

    People are still locked into the mindset that you should be at least 3-5X the screen height away from the screen, which is nuts. I just went to an IMAX film the other day and I was less than 1X the screen height away from the film. In a top-notch regular theater (like the Cinerama) I'm seldom more than 2X the screen height away from the screen. Can you sit just as close to a good 480p picture? Yes, you can.

    There are lots of image flaws that bother you more and more the more resolution you are able to squeeze out of your system, and the more you can deliver of that resolution to your eyes. Calibration, focus, brightness, screen size, seating distance and even expectations are all factors in that equation. If you've just upgraded from a 32" interlaced TV to a 65" HDTV, then it's going to look pretty darn good comparatively.

    However, all that said, I certainly can't disagree with the advice to look and decide for yourself. If you aren't bothered by the chroma bug, or can't see it, I'm not going to tell you to start. I will tell you that you can get a better picture than you're getting, though. [​IMG]

    Best,
    Don
     
  18. Luis S

    Luis S Supporting Actor

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    Not with anything that currently exists Don. [​IMG] At least not without sacrificing something else. Got $20 bucks your willing to part with? [​IMG]

    Luis S
     
  19. Rodon

    Rodon Second Unit

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    I went and watched Monsters Inc again just now on my Sony DVP-S550D old skool DVD Player. I have a 36" Wega non HD TV. I did not even notice the fuzzy frames. Then I paused and played it and noticed that every other frame was kinda fuzzy. by the car. They went back to where they were walking by the brick building (just before the car) and saw it again - Only when I stepped frame by frame. Hit play and could not see it at all. Maybe it is just me and my eyes. Does not bother me in the least. Now I do not have an 80" HD screen setup yet but someday I will have something nice like that. Maybe by then I will have a new player too so I guess I will be OK. If my Sony player looks ood then my Denon should look good as well I would think. More to come tomorrow.
     
  20. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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