How about a Denon 5910? You should be able to pick up a non "Ci" version for less than $1500.
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If you like Sony, you may want to look at the DVP-NS9100ES. I have one and it is capable of upsampling to 1080i. I have a Sony "HD" crt tv with 720p resolution (I think). Anyway, the picture through component video is excellent and the player supports HDMI. They are pretty cheap used, usually around 450.
Thanks everyone for the response. I know they will all do a fine video job, but I am also very concerned about 2ch audio playback (redbook CD). As I mentioned earlier, I am space limited and really can't do 2 boxes. I saw the Arcam is using Wolfasn Dac's and the Denon 3930 is using Burr-Brown dac's. Which one is a better audio player? I am guessing the Arcam? I don't know much about the difference in Wolfson vs Burr-Brown?
I have a Denon DVD-5910 that performs exceptional on 2 channel. The Denon uses Burr Brown. I purchased new when first introduced, and it continues to serve me well. Although, I have since upgraded or rather added a PS Audio DL-III, with outstanding performance. Hence, I am considering / researching master clock upgrade advantages. I'm told the master clock and dac will make your rig sound ten times better. So far, so good - with the dac that is.
Agreed about the PS Audio DL III. I owned the benchmark for the past few years and loved it before I let it go thinking it was going to be a wise choice. I decided to give the PS audio a shot, and man o man... what a piece. Not saying the Benchmark was junk by any means. Just warmer and detailed vs HIGHLY DETAILED. Cant beat the upsampling as well....
You can not judge audio performance based solely on the DACs. The analog section following the DAC has a much bigger impact.
I owned an Arcam FMJ CD23T for several years and I have a Denon 3910 universal player. There are sonic differences between them, but nothing night-and-day. I currently use a Benchmark DAC1 for 2-channel, but Denon AL24 processing does a very nice job with 2-channel audio.
As far as video is concerned, Denon 3930 (probably even my 3910) on up can not be touched by an Arcam player. Go over to audioholics.com and read the reviews based on the HQV test DVD. Also, read the recent video performance review of av receivers in Home Theater magazine to see which video chip sets have the best real world performance -- Silicon Optix Realta.
If I was buying a single digital source today, it'd be the Denon 3930ci.