Denon DVD-1740

This player offers performance that's commendable in its price range...


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Denon DVD-1740

Denon is one of my personal favorites. The company has a philosophy of keeping clutter out at all times, and delivering the goods the way we like it: pristine and top-notch. This reputation precedes them, and their products seem to get better with each new iteration. And rightfully so, as the competition in the DVD player and AV receiver market is not a child’s playground.

We received the latest from their DVD player realm, called the DVD 1740, which is a direct upgrade from the older 1730. This new product has been in our market for a very short period of time. It’s never too late to learn, as they say, and right now it was time for Tech2 to learn how good the player actually is, or perhaps discover something that the cynics could brood about.

 Denon DVD-1740

Design & Features
Denon products are known to be bulky but not cumbersome, and that is a good thing. Their designs are straightforward and comprehensive when it comes to layout and arrangement on the fascia. The chassis on this device is metallic gray, with a mild luster, and is surprisingly light.

The left corner of the front panel has the ubiquitous on/off switch while a broad LED display panel is placed bang center. The tray too is on a central axis placed perfectly above the display panel, while the right area of the front panel is occupied by medium-sized round buttons. The edges are slightly smoothened and curved, adding to the aesthetics.

At the back, the connection panel is simple and straightforward, with an HDMI output (this is a new addition from the last model) and the regular component and composite stuff. Digital audio-outs are present in the form of an optical and coaxial out.

Inside the spacious rig are present 24 bit/192 KHz Burr Brown DACs for audio and an equally powerful 12 bit/ 108 MHz chip for video. The unit supports up to 1080p scaling, so we could marry it to any of the full-HD TVs lying in the lab from previous reviews...

The unit plays most media, but not SACD and DVD-A, which is a small issue considering that the competition at this price point doesn't support these. But DivX, WMA, MP3, JPEG are all there. I particularly liked the menu system, which was simple and uncluttered. A set of options called Quick Setup are a godsend for impatient folk like me.

We plugged it into our Sony full-HD LCD, and started off with our favorite test disc: the DVE. The first thing I noticed was the clean image; a lot of small parts were very much focused and shone through with appreciable detail. There was noise, but in tolerable amounts, and blocks and bands of color were less. It was rather smooth and dynamically appealing.

The images had depth and saturation in the colors, while blacks and darker shades were well distinguishable. Though in this same department, at times I felt the blacks could have been better, as this is required by HD sources of content such as transformers.

The upscaling to 1080p was great, as we were doing these tests in that mode. In the audio domain, CD playback is superb, with a very open sound with high detail in the dynamic range. I just wished I could play my Diana Krall SACD, but I guess one can’t have everything.

The product was pretty much in line with our expectations. It excelled in certain areas of detail and clarity, and proved fair to above average in areas of color representation and depth. At Rs 14,700 , it is a reasonable mid-end player, and I think it’s a good choice for new videophiles. It will complement their brand-new LCDs perfectly.

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