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DVD-5900 Remote Control and Video Measurements

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Remote Control Interface

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The remote control included with the DVD-5900 is essentially the same as the one found on Denon's lower model DVD-2900. I would have preferred having a joystick like interface rather four arrow pads and an 'Enter' button. I find a joystick to be easier to navigate and less cumbersome in operation. For a $2000 DVD Player, it would have been nice to have had a backlit joystick type remote.

back-panel.jpgThe backpanel of the DVD-5900 is nearly as crammed as some flagship receivers with just about every conceivable audio and video connection (except HDMI) currently on the market. The Denon DLink is located in the lower left corner below the dual IEEE Firewire connections (currently not active, although Denon claims they will offer a future firmware update to remedy this). True 75ohm BNC connectors are available for those interfacing to front projection type systems. Be advised, however, that the only way to get 720p/1080i resolution is via the DVI-D interface (located above the BNC connectors). In addition, once the DVI interface is enabled, all other video outputs are defeated. This is a bit disappointing for applications where the user would like to have more than one Display type simultaneously playing video from the DVD player.

Note the DVD-5900 has provisioning for six-channel analog output of DVD-A / SACD, as well as two extra connections intended to pass two-channel SACD into a receiver such as the AVR-5803 that allows simultaneous true analog bypass and subwoofer output.

Comparative Video Measurements

In an effort to better understand the performance of the Denon DVD-5900, we implemented Milori's Color Facts Software and measured luminance with their Tricolor sensor. The set up and test was conducted on Reference System 1 which utilizes the Sony KP-51WS510 Widescreen Rear Projection Television. We calibrated the TV as best as possible using the user and service menus, but the grayscale is still tracking high with respect to blue. Masurements were taken with the Milori equipment and were dependant on several factors which can influence the readings of the Red, Blue and Green luminance.

Two key factors include:

  • The Television performance and how the CRT's are set up
  • The DVD player performance and how it recreates the grayscale windows from the AVIA Guide to Home Theater DVD.

For more information and details about grayscale measurements, please check out our article on Grayscale Calibration . Of course, player configuration and calibration is dependent on the actual display you are using. Our Display Technologies Guide defines all of the major differences between each display type and should be used as a reference when considering how to connect and set-up the DVD-5900.

Since we conducted our grayscale luminance measurements on two different Displays, with cables being a constant, the variations found in our measurements were most likely attributed to the DVD player's performance interaction with the particular display. This illustrates the importance of properly calibrating a Display to optimally interface with the DVD player. See our supplemental Denon DVD-5900 Measurements and Set-Up Tips for more details.

Before we discuss the measurements, we must point out the following facts. The DVD-Player was configured to the 0-IRE (Darker) setting. Note, the factory default is +7.5-IRE to conform to standard TV displays. If you have a RPTV or Front Projector, or larger even a moderinzed display such as a Sony Trinitron, then we suggest you switch the setting to 0-IRE as it wil greatly improve contrast. Measurements shown below 30-IRE should be ignored as most Tricolor sensors are not capable of measuring low light levels. Secondly, our measurements for all three players show that the blue luminance is about 150% from the optimal range of 100%. The reason is not dependant on the DVD player, but instead, the TV monitor. This blue-push is typical for most RPTV's and is usually deliberately done by the manufacturer to boost the blues in the bright gray (or white) images. Many manufacturers also boost the red in the darker gray (or black) images. Neither of these settings are related to what the industry refers to as "Red-Push" or "Blue-Push." To learn more about grayscale calibration, please read our detailed article.

What we found most interesting about the graph, is that the Denon had very flat curves (compared to other players previously reviewed) that more accurately tracked at the 6500K temperature on red and green. The DVD-5900 remained fairly constant near 100%. These results indicate that the DVD-5900 had grayscale accuracy regardless of IRE level, thus indicating black and white picture quality should remain uniform and with high contrast for all picture level dynamics. Our viewing tests seemed to correlate with these findings in that the DVD-5900 had a very pleasing, and film-like picture quality when viewed in progressive and non-progressive modes of operation. I felt the picture of the DVD-5900 was a bit sharper than that of the less expensive DVD-2900. More importantly, I didn't see the "flickering" problem (as prevalently on certain DVD's) with the DVD-5900 as I did on the DVD-2900. The DVD-2900 utilized a Silicon Image SiI504 Pure Progressive video deinterlacer for progressive scan video output. However, I am not convinced that the "chroma-bug" fix applied to the Mitsubishi MPEG decoder found on the DVD-2900 was a complete 100% elimination. When watching movies such as James Bond "Die Another Day", the snow scenes, when viewed on the DVD-2900, showed a slight "flickering." I believe this was caused by improper alternating flag detection resulting in the subtle distortion or it may be a artifacting problem which is also very common with many DVD players.. I didn't initially report this anomaly in my DVD-2900 review because I wasn't sure if it was a reprise of Sony's infamous "flickering" RPTV problem that plagued my previous RPTV (KP-51WS500) model. The flickering of this RPTV was due to problems with the CRT, not artifacting. In any event, the DVD-5900 didn't appear to exhibit this anomaly.

De-Interlacer Face Off Comparison

I ran a quick resolution check via the Avia test patterns to determine if the DVD-5900 or my Sony KP-51WS510 HDTV had the better de-interlacing technology.

Player Settings

DVI

Component

480p with RPTV deinterlacer

No jitter, 6.75MHz region slight grain
Less sharp then 480p in Auto2

Jitter, 6.75MHz region very noisy

480p in Auto2 mode

NA

No jitter, 6.75MHz region slight grain

720p

No jitter, 6.75MHz region slight grain
Less sharp then 480p in Auto2

NA

1080i

No jitter, 6.75MHz region slight grain
Less sharp then 480p in Auto2

NA

resolution-pattern.jpgIt was interesting to note that using the deinterlacer of my display produced very poor results with a 480i signal via component video from the DVD-5900. However, when using DVI, the jitter and noise were almost completely eliminated from 480p and beyond. This indicated to me that despite that less than ideal DAC in my RPTV, establishing a direct digital connection between the DVD player and display was advantageous. Note when the player is engaged in DVI, it bypasses the internal Video DAC and Deinterlacer for 1080i. Though, the player still allows user selection of interlaced and different progressive modes for 1080i. Denon claims this is an oversight in the software (addressable in a future firmware update) that should be grayed out when the DVI output is enabled.

Circle Hatch Test for Letterbox (4:3) Aspect Ratio

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The correct 4:3 aspect ratio displayed in 480p via DVI or Component Video Output

The incorrect stretched aspect ratio when DVI enabled for 720p / 1080i

DVI Aspect Ratio Anomaly

I noticed that when using DVI, when I switch to 720p or 1080i, it automatically stretched the screen to a correct 16:9 wide screen aspect ratio. This can be a problem when playing back 4:3 type video and which is easily verifiable when displaying the Avia Circle Hatch Tests as illustrated above. Changing aspect ratio of DVD player makes no difference and user controls of the Display are locked out in this mode, thus you cannot select aspect ratio in 720p or 1080i modes.

Manufacturer's Note: Denon claims there is no aspect ratio adjustment via the DVI outputs on the player. Thus I suggest playing 4:3 formats in 480p when using the DVI interface to preserve the proper aspect ratio.

 

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