If your DVI has HDCP, then it is fairly equivalent to HDMI, so far as video is concerned. So, a player with just HDMI will probably do.
The Denon DVD-2910 and the Denon DVD-3910 have both gotten excellent reviews by a number of magazines, as well as independent review groups. I bought the 3910 last spring after a LOT of looking at universal players, and I have been VERY pleased with both its audio and video performance. I paid $1050 (about 30% off MSRP). The 2910 retails for about $700, but can sometimes be purchased for around $500. If you would like the name and contact info for the source where I bought my 3910, please drop me a personal note and I'll be glad to assist.
The pioneer 578 all in one player is now down to $79 at CC due to the fact that they have dropped the Pioneer DCD/SACD players all together. It was only $199 retail and had some very impressive reviews. One magazine said it sounded as good as anything 10x the price.
It did pretty well on the benchmark tests as well.
The Denon DVD-3910 looks very nice indeed, Sdcampbell. It appears to have all the features and connections I need, and then some. It costs twice as much as I wanted to spend, but....
Kal - you say that I can use the HDMI connection and cable even though my TV has no such connection. By this do you mean that I should just get a HDMI to DVI adapter? I would still need to get some sort of switch box, too, since my TV only has one DVI input. Any suggestions for this?
Oakiris, I don't have a recommendation for a current Universal-Disc Player, but I own and love an absolutely stock Denon 2900, so probably you can't go wrong with the 3910.
Do understand that to get 6-channel hi-res sound out of your UDP you'll need 6 analog interconnects and inputs for them on your preamp/processor/receiver. I'm using and loving an all-analog Audio Refinements Pre 5*; all digital-to-analog processign in my system is done by the player. I'm also buying and LOVING multichannel SACDs and especially DVD-As of classical and large-scale film music.
* an 'interesting' name for a 6-channel preamp. Must be French!
If I had a dedicated home theatre room I would go for the Denon DVD-5910, but $3500 is way more than I can justify for my casual HT use! Please let us know what it sounds like,though, Tom; it is supposed to be something special indeed.
Thanks for the info about the switch, Kal; I saw one for about $240 that looked good. On the other hand, I have read that since my HDTV is CRT based, a DVI connection really won't make much difference to the PQ, and component cables may do just as well. I need to figure out what player to get first, anyway, and then I'll consider the switch.
The Denon DVD-2910 is actually on my short list, along with the 3910. Price wise, the 2910 has the edge, and it has received some good reviews.
What I really need to do is find a local dealer and give some DVD players a test drive! Maybe I'll check into that later this week.
Holly, I have a 2910 in my HT setup right now. I purchased it primarily for its HDMI output. It does upconversion to 720p which is the native resolution on my JVC LCoS TV. I did not want to spend much on a player at this time. I prefer to save the funds and place them either, into my two channel or wait until HD-DVD or Blueray becomes available.
The 2910's picture quality is very good in both progressive 480p and the 720P outputs. I think it has 5 options for video output. Both 480i and 480p via the Component outputs and 480p, 720p, and 1080i via the HDMI outputs. Its very nice to have a selection and again, the picture quality is very good considering this players very modest price. It easily bests my previous Sony NS900v.
SACD sound is quite good. Again better than the previous Sony. A well recorded SACD sounds substantially better than its redbook counterpart. Leading me to conclude that the Redbook playback portion of this DVD player isnt all that. In fact, I much prefer using the DACs in my Processor for Redbook playback. Its Redbook is comparable to the Sony but far less palpable than a Jolida JD100 and it gets really beat up by a RA CD55. As it should at it price point.
I do not have any DVD-A's to date so I cannot comment much on this format. In fact in my area there arent many, if any, DVD-A's available, and so far, I have placed all my proverbial "eggs" in the SACD hand basket.
Impatience is a virtue, isn't it?? I purchased a Denon 3910 from an Audiogon member yesterday. He included some really good SACD discs in the deal and I am very pleased with my purchase, even though I haven't received it as yet. The good things I read here and elsewhere about the Denon products persuaded me, and since I couldn't afford (or justify) the 5910, I decided on the DVD-3910. This will be my first foray into the world of SACD so I am pretty excited about it.
Even if SACD is a dying format, according to some, I figure I can pick up a pretty good collection of discs before they are unavailable. This collection won't replace or supersede my red book CD or vinyl collections, of course, but I think it will be a great complementary addition.
Thank you all for your responses and assistance.