Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Universal Blu-ray Players Are Almost Here

Universal Blu-ray players are here at last (or very soon to be). Previous Universal DVD players were ones that were true universal players. They would play CD’s, DVD video, DVD-Audio, as well as Super Audio CD. When Blu-Ray players came out, many were in eager anticipation for the new Holy Grail of a player – a new universal player that would play all of the previous formats as well as Blu-ray movies. The wait is now almost over, thanks to Denon and Oppo Digital. Both Denon and Oppo Digital have one player each to be coming to market. For Denon it is the DVD-A1UDCI, and for Oppo Digital it is the BDP-83.

The Oppo Digital BDP-83 is one impressive unit. Not only will it be a universal player, but it will also offer Profile 2.0, VRS by Anchor Bay video processing, and internal decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. There is also high definition HDMI scaling, edge and detail enhancement, and 1080p/24Hz output for both DVD and Blu-ray. On the audio side come a refined audio stage, discrete stereo outputs, and increased power and efficiency in the power supply. The BDP-83 will also be able to do direct DSD over HDMI and DSD-to-analog without any PCM conversion. The price is estimated at $499-$599 and is scheduled for release in the 1st quarter of 2009.

For those that need well, a bit more, there is the Denon DVD-A1UDCI. The price is a lot more at $3800. For the extra cash you will get 10-bit video processing from the Silicon Optix Realta chipset that is famous for its quality. The audio side is handled by the Advanced AL32 processing which does digital upsampling from 16 to 32-bits. For those of you that are familiar with it there is also Denon Link. This unit is built like a tank and very heavy. The DVD-AUDCI is the epitome of quality, and is scheduled to be available in February 2009.