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DENON DVD-2800, £750

 

Progressive Scan, in case you're not keeping up with developments, eliminates flicker and gives the picture a smoother more filmic quality, when viewed on a suitable TV monitor or projector, preferably a large one! The evidence is compelling, it's the only way to go when viewing NTSC material and the Denon DVD-2800 is flavour of the month in the US as it brings high-end progressive scan processing down to an affordable price.

 

This side of the pond the worth of progressive scan in general and the DVD-2800 in particular is not quite so clear-cut. Progressive scan displays are still thin on the ground and in order to get the full benefit you would have to buy one that has been modded or get the player chipped and invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee, or stick with a legit Region 2 model and confine your PS viewing to Region free titles.

 

If you're okay with all that then the 2800 looks like a good deal. It uses the acclaimed Silicon Image 'PureProgressive' processing chipset, widely reckoned to give the best results, free of the subtle artefacts, jagged edges and colour errors that sharp-eyed aficionados fret about.   

 

It's a fair size but the champagne gold livery and neat control layout means it looks like high end kit, that and the fact that it's almost totally devoid of frills, the exceptions being a 3D pseudo surround mode MP3 replay and a comprehensive set of picture controls with 5 user memories. The only let down is a remote handset that looks like it belongs to a cheapo VCR.

 

Whilst progressive scan is the main selling point picture quality on a regular TV – using an S-Video or RGB connection – is very good indeed! With a little fiddling of the picture controls it's possible to get a near perfect contrast balance so that details in darker scenes  -- the subway fight in The Matrix for example -- emerge from the background and shadows whilst highly saturated colours appear to have added depth and brightly lit scenes loose none of their vibrancy. The analogue stereo output is good too, very little background noise; Dolby Surround soundtracks are clean, especially big set-piece effects and explosions. The bitstream output is glitch free and MP3 replay is a useful and unexpected bonus.

 

The 2800 has already caused quite a stir in the US and there's little doubt that UK enthusiasts will already have it shortlisted but unless you have, or plan to get a progressive scan display and are aware of the region coding issues it looks a tad pricey and similarly proficient players can be found for quite a bit less.

 

Verdict

 

Denon (01753) 888447

 

Ratings

Overall              4

Picture Quality            5

Sound Quality            4

Features                       3

Ease of Use                  4

Build Quality                  5

Value for Money            4

 

Pros

Top-notch progressive scan and above average picture quality on conventional video outputs

 

Cons

Limited application for progressive scan in UK Region 2, horrible remote control handset

 

Rival Buys

Pioneer DV-939A, £1100

Toshiba SD-900EE, £1300

 

 

Quote

'With a little fiddling of the picture controls it's possible to get a near perfect contrast balance'

 

DVD BUYERS GUIDE XTRA INFO

 

DENONS DVD-2800

£                                  £750

VERDICT                      4

STATUS                       

COMMENTS            Top notch progressive scan at an affordable price

TYPE                            DVD

5.1 OUT                        N

OUTPUT                       Dig

COMP’NT VID            Y

SCARTS                       1

ISSUE                          98

 

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Ó R. Maybury 2001, 2409

 

 

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