Denon recently announced two new additions to its Blu-ray lineup: the $799 DBP-2011UDCI and the $399 DBP-1611UD. Both models are universal disc players, and both are 3D-ready. We have not performed a hands-on review of the DBP-1611UD, but here is an overview of its features. This Profile 2.0 player supports BD-Live Web functionality and BonusView/picture-in-picture playback, and it offers both onboard decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. In this year's models, Denon has added a limited Web platform that includes YouTube and Netflix. The DBP-1611UD is also DLNA-compliant, so you can stream media content from a connected PC or DLNA server. A firmware update will be required to add 3D functionality and YouTube access; that update is currently slated for sometime this fall.
In terms of video connections, the DBP-1611UD offers HDMI, component video and composite video outputs (no S-video). This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI, and it includes a Source Direct mode that allows it to output all discs at their native resolution. This model does not use the higher-end Anchor Bay video processor employed in the step-up DBP-2011UDCI, but the setup menu still offers a thorough array of picture adjustments, including contrast, brightness, gamma correction, sharpness, hue, chroma level and multiple noise-reduction options.
Audio outputs include HDMI, coaxial digital (no optical) and 2-channel analog. The player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs. The DBP-1611UD has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. A Pure Direct mode shuts down unneeded video circuitry to achieve higher-quality audio. The 2-channel analog output uses Burr-Brown PCM-1781 24-bit/192-kHz D/A converters, and it offers a stereo mixdown for multichannel SACDs.
As a universal disc player, the DBP-1611UD supports a variety of formats: BD, DVD-Video, SACD, DVD-Audio, CD audio, AVCHD, MPEG, AVI, WMV, WMA, MP3, AAC, JPEG and Divx Plus HD. You can add the player to your home network using the back-panel Ethernet port; this model is not WiFi-ready. The DBP-1611UD offers 1 GB of onboard storage for BD-Live content; a front-panel USB port is provided for additional storage, as well as media playback. It lacks the RS-232 port that you'll find on the DBP-2011UDCI, but it does have a remote control input/output.
Read The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion on Page 2
• The DBP-1611UD is 3D-ready.
• The DBP-1611UD lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it's not
the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• The player doesn't support wireless connectivity to your home
network, and its Web platform is limited, compared with the competition.
With an MSRP of $399, the DBP-1611UD is the least expensive Blu-ray
player in Denon's repertoire, yet it offers most of the big-ticket
features--including video-on-demand, YouTube, DLNA streaming, and
3D-readiness. If all you're looking for is a Blu-ray player, you can
find other models that offer those features for less money. But, if
you'd also like a player that can handle your higher-end audio discs,
the DBP-1611UD is up to the task. Denon has priced this model to
compete with Oppo's less-expensive universal players, which don't offer
Netflix or 3D functionality. Basically, if you want a player that can
do almost everything and doesn't cost a fortune, the DBP-1611UD
deserves a serious look.