It's a point that's been made many times: why would you spend AU$700 on a DVD player when you can get one for 40 bucks at Aldi? Well, in this high-definition age, you would be doing yourself an extreme disservice for a start.
Features like PAL progressive scan and component outputs might now be commonplace on budget players, but mid-level machines like the Denon DVD 1930 offer that little bit extra.
The Denon is an upscaling DVD player with HD output and a filofax full of compatible formats. It's available in a choice of silver and black, and shares the Denon component "look". In fact, it sort of resembles a performance street car in that it looks hunched and ready to pounce.
Build quality is good, and the casing is brushed metal and not plastic like some others, which lends the product a touch of solidity and class. It's also reassuringly heavy -- which usually means it's filled with high quality analog versus cheaper digital electronics -- and feels like a true hi-fi component.
This is one of the most fully-featured players at this price -- with the other notable being the Marantz DV6001 -- but for our money the cosmetics and build on the Denon put it slightly ahead.
For your seven minties, you get upscaling and picture processing by video experts Faroudja, as well as compatibility with DivX, MP3, SACD and DVD-Audio. It features a 5.1 analog output which will come in handy for fans of SACD, as the HDMI version is only 1.1. This will still mean it plays DVD-A via HDMI, however.
One of the welcome features that the Denon DVD 1930 brings is the 2MB of buffer memory used to decrease the jarring effect of a layer change during movies.