Universal Players

Denon DBP-4010UDCI Universal Blu-ray player

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The first thing you notice about the DBP-4010UDCI is the overall build quality. The player weighs in at just shy of 23 pounds. The front panel is a solid piece of brushed aluminum. The front display is very readable and can be dimmed or turned off as desired. To the right of the display are the basic transport controls along with buttons for reverse and forward skip. Denon also includes buttons for fast/slow forward and reverse. On the left are status indicators for Denon LINK along with buttons for Disc Layer, HDMI Resolution, and Pure Direct operation.

An SD card reader is located just under the right bottom edge of the display. The reader supports SD, miniSD, microSD, and SDHC cards. I used a 4GB SDHC card in my testing as this was the maximum card size supported by the player. The reader itself has a spring-loaded design. Once a card is inserted, simply press on the card and the spring-loaded mechanism ejects the card so you can easily remove it. I appreciated not having to pry these tiny SD cards from the reader slot. The Source button to the right of the SD card reader tells the player to read from the SD media or play a disc.

Moving on to the back of the DBP-4010UDCI, the player offers a 7.1 channel analog output, a stereo analog output, coaxial and Toslink digital connections, and component, S-video and composite video connections. The RCA and component video jacks are all premium, gold-plated connectors. The player offers one HDMI 1.3a output connection. There is the all important LAN connection for BD-Live support and RS232 and IR Control jacks for integration with remote control systems.

The back panel also has a Denon LINK 4th output. The Denon LINK technology has evolved over the years with the DBP-4010UDCI now including the fourth generation of this technology. Denon LINK is a proprietary Denon technology that supports the transmission of high quality digital audio directly to a compatible Denon A/V surround receiver or processor. The second generation of Denon LINK supported DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and CD. The third generation added support for the transmission of SACD. While you might be thinking that the fourth generation would transmit the high resolution Blu-ray audio formats to the A/V receiver, the Denon LINK 4th connection actually controls the master clock.

The electronic circuits within a disc player are controlled by a clock signal which establishes regular timing intervals that are crucial to the proper synchronization and processing of digital signals. Variations in those regular intervals are termed jitter, and the effects of jitter ultimately take away from the quality of the audio and video that we experience. The Denon LINK 4th connection uses the clock in the Denon A/V receiver to control the timing of the video and audio circuitry within the DBP-4010UDCI player itself.

The audio and video transmissions are still sent out over an HDMI cable to the Denon A/V receiver, but the timing of the signals is tightly controlled since both the player and the receiver share the exact same master clock signal. According to Denon, this significantly reduces the jitter encountered during the playback of Blu-ray disc media. In order to benefit from a jitter-free connection, the DBP-4010UDCI must be connected to a Denon A/V surround receiver or processor which supports Denon Link v4 and you must be playing a Blu-ray disc. If you play another type of media such as a DVD, then the video will be sent via HDMI and the audio will be sent via the Denon Link without the jitter-free processing.

 

Digital audio (such as from SACD media) over the Denon Link also has jitter removed, and that was one of its benefits from the beginning.

On the audio side of things, the DBP-4010UDCI uses Denon’s DDSC-HD (Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit - HD) dual 32 bit SHARC processors to handle the player’s analog output stage. The DDSC-HD technology comes directly from Denon’s A/V receiver products and is designed to maximize audio quality as well as provide full bass management. The DBP-4010UDCI uses Burr-Brown 24/192 PCM1796 DACs in the analog audio output stage and uses a dedicated PCM1796 DAC for the analog stereo outputs (two DACs on every channel, i.e., fully differential). The player also includes Denon’s proprietary AL24 processing which upsamples 16 bit CD audio to 24 bit.

On the video side of things, the DBP-4010UDCI uses an Anchor Bay ABT-2010 video processor with a 297 MHz/12-bit Analog Devices ADV7340 Video DAC for the analog and component video outputs. The DBP-4010UDCI supports vertical stretch so those with an appropriate projector and anamorphic lens can eliminate the black bars from cinemascope video. The DBP-4010UDCI also provides extensive control over the video parameters. We’ll see how well the player does on the bench later in the benchmark section.

Features

The DBP-4010UDCI is fully compliant with the Profile 2.0 specifications for Blu-ray which means that it supports Bonus View, which is a Profile 1.1 feature, and BD-Live. The LAN jack on the player supports a 100 Mb connection speed but this will ultimately be limited by your internet connection speed. The player supports playback of SACD (stereo and multi-channel), DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and CD media and also supports BD-R, BD-RE, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW,DVD+RW, CD-RW, CD-R , DTS CDs and AVCHD formatted media. The DBP-4010UDCI will display JPEG image files on properly formatted CD-R, CD-RW and SD media. The player also supports DivX, WMA, MP3 and WAV playback.

As for output capabilities, the DBP-4010UDCI supports the output resolutions of 480/576i, 480/576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. The DBP-4010UDCI supports the playback of Blu-ray media at 1080p/24Hz if you have a compatible TV and an HDMI connection. The player will also upscale DVD media to 1080p resolution. The DBP-4010UDCI offers support for Deep Color via its HDMI connection which may come in handy down the road if and when media becomes available. The player supports decoding Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio. If you are using a receiver which supports HDMI 1.1, the DBP-4010UDCI will output multi-channel LPCM. If you are using HDMI 1.3, the DBP-4010UDCI can send the high resolution bitstreams to your receiver based on your preferences.

The DBP-4010UDCI also supports a wide range of video adjustments which include the normal controls for contrast, brightness, chroma level, and hue as well as gamma control. These controls are very handy if your display or processor doesn’t allow for adjustment based on the individual input being used. The color space of the HDMI output can be set to properly match your display. The DBP-4010UDCI supports a number of advanced video enhancements. While I generally preferred to leave these settings at their default, features like edge enhancement and DNR (Dynamic Noise Reduction) will definitely appeal to those users who enjoy experimenting and want the most control of their video experience.

The DBP-4010UDCI will also have web browser support and advanced control functionality which will allow for remote access as well as setup and control from an iPhone or iPod Touch. This functionality will require a firmware update. The firmware was not available during our review time with this player. It is currently planned to be available sometime in March, 2010.