Marantz has long been a respected name in the audio community. Since the inception of DVD, Marantz has been an innovator in cutting-edge technology. For the last couple of years, it has produced universal DVD players--those models that play back both multi-channel DVD-Audio and SACD.
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Being the innovator that Marantz is, it has now gone one step beyond by offering one of a handful of DVI-enabled DVD players. DVI is considered a step up from component video, as it keeps the video signal in the digital domain. The digital signal is uncompressed, making it as robust as possible and producing some of the best images available from a DVD player.
Unique Features - The Marantz DV8400i is a truly awesome top-of-the line progressive scan DVD-Audio/SACD player that offers cutting edge technology. While it's not inexpensive at $1,599, it's certainly a next generation model, and can definitely be called a universal DVD player. The DV8400 includes a whopping 108MHz, 12 bit video DAC processing and progressive scan, which faithfully reproduces the original film frames using 3/2 and 2/2 pull-down telecine technology and displays them progressively. The player features full-resolution 4:4:4 video up-sampling, which uses 16 video parameter adjustments. The DV8400 is THX Select certified and also features factory display settings, so you can optimizes the player to the display device you are using. There is also an upgraded graphic user interface for easy setup navigation.
On the audio side, this player offers 192kHz, 24 bit DAC audio processing, enabling it to reproduce next generation multi-channel sound, such as DVD-Audio and SACD. Most companies today are in either one camp or the other. Happily, Marantz offers a player with multi-channel playback capability of both formats. These signals are passed thorough six analog outputs--all corresponding to surround cardinal points. If it's hard for you to choose between CDs and DVDs with either SACD or DVD-A sound tracks (as there are exceptional recordings by numerous artists available in both formats), you'll need a universal player that plays back all formats. The DV8400 comes to the rescue in a big way.
All Dolby Digital and DTS signals are passed via TosLink optical and/or digital coaxial outputs. The DV8400 plays back DVD-Audio, multi-channel and two-channel SACD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RW, and VCD. This model also includes built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders, plus bass management for SACD. Video images are passed by composite, S-Video, component video, or DVI (Digital Visual Interface) with HDCP (for copy protection). To obtain the best possible signals, DVI must be employed. It's clearly a player for all seasons.
Installation/Setup/Ease of Use - Installation was straightforward. A Tributaries DVI cable was used to tether the DV8400 to a RCA Scenium HDLP5OW151. Since the set only has one DVI input and I also have a DirecTV satellite box with DVI, I used Gefen, Inc.'s new HDTV switcher. It accepts two DVI connectors and allows you to switch back and forth between signal sources without any signal loss. It does work! This is especially helpful if you have more than one component in your rack that features a DVI output.
There is a toggle switch on the back of the DV8400 called the DVI V.Level switch. It is factory set on normal. If excessive blackness enters into a displayed image, switch to expand and it should alleviate the problem. Since I have a full-blown home theater system, I used the digital optical output to port both Dolby Digital and DTS sounds to my A/V receiver (Pioneer Elite), and I connected the individual analog audio outputs to my receiver so I could listen to both DVD-A and SACD discs by simply switching to the multi-channel input on the receiver. Sound was ported to six B&W CDM Series speakers.Read more about the DV8400 on Page 2.