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Denon 'universal' Blu-ray players take on Oppo

Denon has announced two new "universal" Blu-ray players that offer 3D Blu-ray compatibility and Netflix streaming in addition to SACD and DVD-Audio playback.

Denon DBP-1611UD
Denon's DBP-1611UD is priced to be competitive with Oppo's BDP-83.

Oppo's BDP-83 may be one of the most expensive Blu-ray players we've reviewed, but in the world of high-end AV equipment, it's actually a bargain compared with similar universal disc players like the $2,000 Denon DBP-4010UDCI. Denon is clearly aware of the competition, and the company's two new universal players look to be worthwhile alternatives to the Oppo.

Key features of the Denon DBP-1611UD:

  • Universal disc player (Blu-ray, DVD-Audio, SACD, DVD, CD)
  • 3D Blu-ray compatible via a firmware update coming in the fall
  • Netflix and YouTube streaming
  • 1GB onboard memory
  • $400 list price; available in June

Key step-up features of the Denon DBP-2011UDCI:

  • Anchor Bay video processing (ABT2015 chip)
  • 7.1-analog outputs
  • RS-232 port; IR inputs/outputs
  • $800 list price; available in August

The DBP-1611UD is the most interesting to us, undercutting the Oppo BDP-83's price by $100 while also adding much-desired features like Netflix streaming and 3D Blu-ray compatibility. (Oppo also offers the cheaper BDP-80, but it's not intended as a standalone Blu-ray player.)

Yes, the Denon lacks the 7.1-analog outputs available on the BDP-83, but they're not essential if you've got an HDMI-capable AV receiver. The big question is whether the DBP-1611UD offers comparable image quality performance, so we're looking forward to getting a review sample and seeing how it stacks up to the Oppo.