Denon DBP-A100 Universal Blu-ray player (September 2011 Home Theater magazine review) - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:47 AM
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Default Denon DBP-A100 Universal Blu-ray player (September 2011 Home Theater magazine review)

Some positives to owning a Denon DBP-A100 Universal Audio/Video Player that has a list price of $2,500.


1. The Denon DBP-A100 has outstanding build quality.

2. The Denon DBP-A100 will playback 480i film based DVD’s at 1080p/24 quality just like the old OPPO BDP-83. Several Panasonic Blu-ray players and many Sony Blu-ray players also have the 24fps DVD feature. The new OPPO BDP-93 and BDP-95 does not offer the 24fps feature for film based DVD’s.

3. The Denon DBP-A100 has a unique 480i S-Video output for those that have not upgraded their older CRT displays with S-Video to HD quality yet. Finding S-Video on modern Blu-ray players is rare and a nice feature for some.


The $2,500 Denon DBP-A100 has many negatives when compared to the modern $999 OPPO BDP-95


1. Denon use to always have a better analog audio output when comparing a $4,500 Denon model to an OPPO BDP-83. The newer OPPO BDP-95 has greatly improved its analog audio outputs when compared to older OPPO players. According to the September 2011 Home Theater magazine review the OPPO BDP-95 matches the audio quality of the Denon DBP-A100. Both players sound identical since both players have excellent analog audio outputs.

2. The Denon DBP-A100 does not have any built in memory for BD-LIVE, so it requires a SD card in order to use BD-LIVE. For a $2,500 Blu-ray player this is surprising. The OPPO BDP-95 for $999 and the OPPO BDP-93 for $499 has 2GB of built in memory with 1GB reserved for BD-LIVE.

3. No 3-D support: The Denon DBP-A100 offers no HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 1.4a output which is needed for those that want to watch Blu-ray 3-D movies. An OPPO BDP-93 and BDP-95 both support Blu-ray 3-D with two HDMI 1.4a outputs.

4. The video processor in the Denon DBP-A100 is not as good as an OPPO BDP-95, OPPO BDP-93, or even a OPPO BDP-83. The Denon DBP-A100 failed 2:2 cadence test for HD and SD. This is normally found on concert videos on Blu-ray and DVD discs.

5. The Denon DBP-A100 has slow disc access and load times according to the Home Theater magazine review. A OPPO BDP-95 and BDP-93 are much faster Blu-ray players.

6. No video streaming services like VUDU or Netflix on the Denon DBP-A100: Of course Blu-ray offers the best picture and sound but for those interested in video streaming a OPPO BDP-95 or OPPO BDP-93 is a better choice in players.

7. At a price of $2,500 the Denon is expensive when compared to the OPPO BDP-95 for only $999.




The following are select quotes from the September 2011 Home Theater magazine review



Incredible build quality”



Slow disc access and load times”



No streaming services or 3D support



"One video feature the player includes is the ability to play back DVDs with a 1080p/24 output…”

“The DBP-A100 is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve seen in years, and it’s built like a tank. At 25 pounds, it weighs as much as a budget A/V receiver, and the sparkling high-gloss black finish rivals the paint job on luxury sedans.”

“The rear panel features a bevy of outputs, highlighted by a single HDMI 1.3a port, which means no support for Blu-ray 3D.”

“The player is both BonusView and BD-Live compatible for Blu-ray, but it doesn’t include the required 1 gigabyte of onboard storage, so you’ll have to purchase an SD card if you’re inclined to tolerate the studios’ less than inspiring BD-Live offerings.”

Sadly, there’s not much difference between this remote and the ones that come with sub-$200 players.”

The DBP-A100’s performance on our Video Test Bench showed similar results to other players with the same Anchor Bay chipset. It passed the majority of our tests without breaking a sweat, but it didn’t fare so well with 2:2 cadences on both high- and standard-definition tests. While it barely passed the SD test—it did take a split second to lock onto the race car sequence on every pass—the HD test fared much worse, with aliasing in the stands. This isn’t the only player I’ve tested that hasn’t fared well with 2:2, and it will only affect a small amount of DVD and Blu-ray material (mostly concert videos).”

“The Denon loaded every disc I sent its way, but twice the player became unresponsive when I tried to eject a disc. It would show “Loading” on the display screen and wouldn’t respond to any remote commands or any commands from the buttons on the front panel. On those occasions, I unplugged the player and restarted it in order to eject the disc.”

“My biggest complaint with the Denon’s video playback was its poisonously slow startup and loading of Blu-ray Discs.”

“While I had the Denon in my system, I got the acclaimed Oppo BDP-95 universal Blu-ray 3D player in for review and was able to do some direct comparisons. As a Blu-ray player, the Oppo is a much better value at $999 because of its more modern feature set: speedy disc loading, 3D support, network capabilities, and streaming services (Netflix, Vudu, etc.)."

"As an audio player, I found them to be about a wash. Since my surround processor only has one 7.1 analog input, I did my comparisons with analog 2.0 sources in order to switch between inputs on the fly. My wife was kind enough to switch between inputs for me while I listened carefully, and I couldn’t distinguish between the Denon and the Oppo—both sounded great.”



Last edited by HDTV1080P; 09-15-2011 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:36 PM
LordoftheRingsEE's Avatar
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That is totally awful!

For 10 times less that price, you got ten times more!
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
The video processor in the Denon DBP-A100 is not as good as an OPPO BDP-95, OPPO BDP-93, or even a OPPO BDP-83. The Denon DBP-A100 failed 2:2 cadence test for HD and SD. This is normally found on concert videos on Blu-ray and DVD discs.
It's baffling. This Denon uses the same ABT chip as the BDP-83: the ABT2010. Yet, the Oppo is a cadence beast that locks on to any random sequence you throw at it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jables View Post
It's baffling. This Denon uses the same ABT chip as the BDP-83: the ABT2010. Yet, the Oppo is a cadence beast that locks on to any random sequence you throw at it.
I think there is something wrong with the way the test unit is set up and I think Denon can handle that as well as Oppo. As far as the price, no surprise, Denon needs to make a profit to be in the business and already knows it can't compete based on price with Oppo.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:59 AM
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Maybe Denon can fix the problem with the failed 2:2 cadence with a software update. 2011 will be the year for Blu-ray SACD and DVD-Audio support since many brands are offering Blu-ray players for $399-$499+ with that feature. Between $99.99-$399+ list price one can get SACD with DSD over HDMI. Starting at $399-$499+ one can find many Blu-ray players that offer SACD and DVD-Audio support. No longer is the OPPO brand an exclusive low cost Universal Blu-ray player.
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