May 19, 2010
Denon recently released a new line of receivers, headphones, and Blu-ray players. While most of them aren’t shipping yet, they will be soon.
The Denon DBP-1611UD is Denon’s new entry-level Blu-ray player. At $399, not only is it a very affordable player, it’s the cheapest Universal player we’ve ever seen.
For those who don’t know, a universal player is one that not only plays DVDs, CDs, and Blu-rays, but also DVD-Audio and SACD discs. The last two are high definition music discs that were released after DVDs but before Blu-ray. These discs sport higher bitrates and often multi-channel tracks. If you don’t have any, well, maybe you never will. But for those of us that do, having to keep two players around - one for Blu-ray and one for SACD/DVD-A - is annoying. When we upgrade, we don’t want to leave a format behind.
The DBP-1611UD has a lot going for it. Not only is it a full universal player, but it is 3D-ready with a planned fall update. The player includes a full GB of on-board memory and a USB port to add more if you need it. Denon has added a new remote to all of its devices and the DBP-1611UD is no different.
The Denon DBP-1611UD will be DLNA 1.5 certified, meaning you’ll be able to stream audio, video and photos off your network. Those with DLNA devices will attest that this is a very painless process, requiring almost no setup on the users part. It is also compatible with DivX HD, a compression format that allows you to maintain the quality of your content while shrinking the file size enough so that you can stream it on a network.
But the big announcement is Netflix and YouTube streaming. The Denon DBP-1611UD will support both, and we are shocked to find this at such a low price point. We know there are lots of people out there who want to upgrade to Blu-ray but want both universal playback and Netflix streaming. Now they have both at an affordable price.
The $799 Denon player (the DBP-2011UD) has Anchor Bay video processing, so the fact that Denon didn’t mention the video processing on the DBP-1611UD is probably telling. At the very least it means it has a no-name processing that probably does only the basics. Both the players have USB ports but there is no indication from Denon that it can be used for streaming content (though it does make sense).
The new Denon DBP-1611UD might not have all the bells and whistles, but it does sport a lower price, Netflix streaming, and more than enough functionality for the common user. We think this is going to be a huge hit for Denon. Due to be released in July, if you have been on the fence about Blu-ray, this might be the one that pushes you over.