These days Tesco will sell you a DVD player for £16, so who's gonna cough up £220 for the Denon DVD-1930? Crave, that's who: because we care more about quality than cost in these high-definition days, and we can't bear Scart leads to sully our DVDs on our glorious hi-def screens.
Denon's DVD-1930 offers plenty of extra features for the price. Firstly, it can play a multitude of formats, including MPEG-4 and DivX. It also supports the high-definition audio formats SACD and DVD-Audio. The deal-clincher on the DVD-1930, however, is its high-definition upscaling and HDMI output. While we wait for the dust to settle in the, we have a decent DVD collection that we want to continue enjoying on a big-screen TV.
The DVD-1930 offers both component connections, and a fancy-pants HDMI output that Denon says will provide full 1080p upscaled pictures. Once we'd prized the Denon out of its box and hooked it up to our Hitachi 42PD5000, we noticed straight away that DVD pictures looked much more stable through component than via Scart -- as you would expect. They were also considerably sharper. The only downside of this is that you can see the compression artefacts on the DVD, as it ruthlessly highlights any weaknesses in the source. The higher the DVD bit rate, the less of these picture problems you’ll see.
On the downside, the remote control is a bit bonkers: it's not especially comfortable to hold, and it's far too long. The setup menus on the DVD-1930 are also very basic looking, but they do the job and most people will only be going through the configuration drama when they first plug it in.
You may well have spent over £1,000 on your HD Ready TV, so it makes sense to buy a DVD player that can make the most of it. If you want a high-quality player to complement your TV, the Denon DVD-1930 is a great choice. –IM
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