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Denon DVD-2900 DVD Player Review

by September 20, 2003
Denon DVD-2900 DVD Player

Denon DVD-2900 DVD Player

  • Product Name: DVD-2900 DVD Player
  • Manufacturer: Denon Electronics
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: September 20, 2003 20:00
  • MSRP: $ 999
  • Buy Now

  • Powered by the Silicon Image/DVDO PureProgressive (SiI504) Decoding Engine
  • Accurate 2:3 pulldown detection and reconstruction, even with inaccurately flagged content

  • Sony CXD-2753 Second Generation DSD Decoder 
  • Built-in Dolby Digital, DTS, DVD-Audio and discrete SACD decoders with 5.1 analog outputs

  • Full Digital Bass Management for SACD; 80Hz crossover with 12/24dB slopes on all channels; Adjustable channel levels

  • 24/96 digital output; optical and coaxial

  • 2 box, 5 block internal layout to isolate analog, digital and video circuits

  • 5 Picture Memories, with adjustable tint, brightness, contrast, sharpness and Gamma 

  • SRS

  • PureProgressive decoding features high speed ultra-resolution DSP at 6 Billion Operations Per Second (6 GOPS)with 64Mb external SDRAM
  • Optimum processing for film content, video content, graphics content and mixed-mode content with 12fps(Animation), Video overlay detection and processing
  • High resolution Analog Devices ADV-7300, 12 bit/108 MHz, 4:4:4, Video D/A Conversion system featuring Noise Shaped Video processing - interlaced and progressive output

  • RS-232C and remote in/out ports
  • Custom Built to DENON Specifications - Burr-Brown 24-bit, 192-kHz DSD 1790 Audio DACs that decode PCM and DSD signals discretely with no down-conversion of DSD
  • MP3 Playback . Plays Audio/Video CDs; DVD-Audio/Video; Super Audio CD;DVD-R/RW(conditional); Audio CD-R; Audio CD-RW; MP3 CD-R; MP3 CD-RW
  • 4:3 Shrink and Zoom Controls

  • Wideband relay switched component video output

  • SuperSub Alias Filter on Progressive and Interlace for Luminance and Chrominance signals

  • 4 fields (2 frames) digital video processing for optimum motion detection and compensation

  • 4x Oversampling Progressive and 8x Interlace output  . 2X DVD read speed; 4X CD/CD-R/CD-RW read speed; with 8MB drive buffer memory
  • Full Digital Bass Management for DVD-Audio, featuring Analog Devices Melody 32-bit processor; 80Hz crossover with 12dB high and 24dB low pass slopes; Adjustable delay time(0-15ms)and Channel Levels

  • JPEG photo file viewer, Kodak Picture CD and Fujicolor CD compatible

  • Pure Direct Modes to defeat unneeded portions of player for the ultimate in audio performance 

  • Variable Black Level (Setup): 0 and 7.5 IRE  Passes below-black (PLUGE) on progressive and interlace outputs
  • (1)Composite and (1)"S" video outputs

  • Glo-Key remote control . Dimensions: 17.1"w x 5.2"h x 13.0"d . Weight 17.6 lbs.


  • Superlative playback performance of CD, DVD-A and SACD formats
  • Bass mgmt & Digital Delay compensation for DVD-A
  • Superb video playback
  • Excellent craftsmanship


  • Internal test tone inaccuracies
  • Doesn't retain last played DVD/CD track when unit is powered off
  • More susceptible to DVD artifacting than some comparably priced players
  • No DVI output
  • No Denon Digital Audio Link


For quite some time now we have been criticizing the hardware implementation limitations of DVD-A/SACD players based on their lack of bass management and digital delay compensation. Soon after, a few manufacturers began releasing universal players to handle, or less mildly put, mishandle both formats. In addition to these players not offering bass management and digital delay compensation for both formats, they converted DSD to PCM resulting in less than pristine SACD playback. Denon was a bit late to the game in offering a universal player, but for good reasons. As with all of their current products, I suspect they wanted to do it right rather than half way. With that, they unleashed the almighty DVD-2900 Universal DVD player which, because it did so many things correctly, caused about 80% of the content in my previously mentioned articles to go obsolete.
About the author:
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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