Instead of blowing out all the stops with a big mama pajama queen of all Blu-ray players, Denon appears to be playing the Pioneer card by launching the $750 DVD-1800BD player. It's lower in price than its $1,200-and-up predecessors, and only meets the mandatory 1.1 spec (that is, picture-in-picture but no Ethernet) rather than full-blown but optional 2.0. You know, it's probably not a coincidence that Denon is moving this way, since it has to be buying the core player from Pioneer or another major Blu-ray partner, so they're probably all on the same development timeframe. Also, no word from Denon on that "universal" HD DVD/BD player—we're gonna guess that it's a dead dream at this point. Jump for detailed press release of the DVD-1800BD.
DENON EXPANDS ITS BLU-RAY LINEUP WITH NEW MODEL DVD-1800BD PLAYER — New More Affordable Player Brings Denon-Quality Blu-ray Performance Within Reach of More Consumers; Features HDMI 1.3a with Deep Color Support — Mahwah, NJ, May 20, 2008 — Denon Electronics, one of the world's premier manufacturers of high-quality home entertainment components, today announced the introduction of the third member in its highly successful and critically acclaimed Blu-ray DVD family, the model DVD-1800BD Profile 1 version 1.1 Blu-ray Disc Player (SRP: $749). Offering consumers extraordinary video quality and audio excellence at a more affordable price point, the DVD-1800BD features HDMI 1.3a with Deep Color and Bonus View support, full bitstream output of Dolby and DTS-HD audio formats, as well as 1080p scaling from SD DVDs and 2-channel analog audio output. The Denon DVD-1800BD is scheduled for availability in October 2008 Like Denon's two recently introduced Blu-ray products, the DVD-3800BDCI Blu-ray Disc Player ($1,999) and the DVD-2500BTCI (SRP: $1,199) Blu-ray Disc Transport, the DVD-1800BD allows owners of advanced A/V receivers to add Blu-ray capability to their system and enjoy high definition video. The VD-1800BD will natively output an HD audio bit-stream to a connected receiver via HDMI. Once this signal is accepted in the receiver, it can then be decoded into its native format including Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio. For those listeners who want to use the DVD-1800BD as a step-up CD player, this unit features a dedicated 2-channel analog output, equipped with high-class Burr-Brown D/A convertors and superior analog components to ensure the high level of sound quality for which Denon is renowned.
In keeping with the guidelines mandated by the Blu-ray Association for BD-ROM Profile 1 version 1.1 players, the Denon Model DVD-1800BD incorporates a secondary audio and video decoder. This allows for simultaneous playback of a secondary audio and video track which may be used for interactive audio and commentary and for picture-in-picture capability (respectively). Additional information (subtitles, audio streams, camera angles, trailers, games, etc.) can be downloaded from the Internet via computer and stored on a SD card that the player will accept. This content can be played with the original content of Blu-ray Discs.