Denon DVD-2900 or Pioneer DV-868AVi-S ??

Denon DVD-2900 or Pioneer DV-868AVi-S ??
Which of these two multy players are better in :
1) DVD-video picture quality ??
2) Multy channel DVD-audio ?
3) Multy channel SACD ?

I don't know if this will help, but I have a stock Denon 2900 which I use only for watching DVD's and a Pioneer DV47a which was extensively modified by Dan Wright which I use only for SACD/DVD-a. Before I had it modified...i listened to SACD/DVD on this player in its stock configuration. Here are my observations:

1. I found the Pioneer to be weak on SACD/DVD-a prior to the modifications by Dan. Since the mods, it sounds superb and keeps getting better with time.

2. The pioneer DVD players have consistenly suffered from Chroma Upsampling Error (CUE) in video performance. Some people are bothered by this and others not...but once you know what it is and observe it, it can be a real problem. CUE particularly a problem for those projecting to large screens, but can be a problem for smaller TV's also. This is why I do not use the Pioneer for video. For a good discussion of CUE I refer you to:

3. The Denon 2900 is a good all around multiformat player. I've been impressed with the video performance, and it does not have the CUE discussed above. However, like the Pioneer DV47a, I find the stock SACD/DVD-a performance to be weak. If I were using this player for DVD-a or SACD, I would probably get it modified.

I know I haven't exactly answered your questions....but I do hope this information will help nonetheless because some of the same principles apply.

I have owned both the Pioneer 47a and Denon 2900. I would rate the Pioneer far superior to the Denon in video performance. The Denon simply has too "soft" (for lack of a better term) picture for me. Both of these players fall far short on SACD playback and are average in DVD-Audio performance. I currently own the Sony DVP-NS999ES DVD-Video/SACD Multi-Channel player. The Sony has excellent video performance in the same area of the Pioneer and superior to the Denon 2900. It by far out performs both in SACD playback. However, of course it does not play DVD-Audio, at least the High Resolution tracks. I will admit that I miss having the versitility of a "universal" player. That's why I have my unit for sale in the classifieds. If interested search for mwheelerk.
Thx so far
According to Dan Wright, in its stock form the 2900 is not very compelling, and indeed the NS999ES is a better player. However, after nearly identical mods, Dan claims that the Denon 2900 it clearly superior to the NS999ES. From all that I have read, if you are really considering the 2900, look into the results that people are getting from modded units.

Thx so far,
Rademaker...did you ever make a decision?? Just wondering.
i have the 2900 now for 6 mos. i have to say that it has a great picture and sacd/dvd-a sound very good.this replaced
a sony dvd7700-a great unit for its time and now it is being used as a cd player because it far better than most stand alone will not be unhappy with the 2900 and the critics say it is the "one".i like pioneer elite for the receivers but they seem to suffer in the picture dept. so i stay away.i hope i have helped you.feel free to email me.joe
Is the Pioneer 868 the same as the Elite DV-59AVi in the states? Reason I ask is the 59-AVi has the ability to upconvert DVDs to 720p/1080i and send that out over an HDMI digital link. For some displays, like a Samsung DLP, that is a big advantage.