Marantz DV6400 Universal DVD/SACD player
A year or so ago, a new "universal" DVD player - one that could handle both DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD multichannel music recordings as well as conventional DVDs and CDs - priced at anything less than a thousand bucks might have been big news. Today, a growing number of universal players are finding their way onto dealers' shelves. And competition has brought us lower prices.PDF: Format Compatibility
Case in point is Marantz's DV6400, which plays just about everything and at a reasonable price. The DV6400 is slim, simple, good-looking, and space-efficient, too - it's barely 8 inches deep and weighs less than 5 pounds. In fact, when I plugged my heavy-duty cables into its component-video output jacks, its rear panel actually bowed a bit as I twisted them home. No damage done, though.
|In rendering the breathtaking images of The Two Towers, The DV6400 stood shoulder to shoulder with the best players.|
The chassis may be lightweight, but I couldn't fault the DV6400's video performance. Finding I had two copies of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on hand, I spent a good couple of hours doing A/B comparisons between the Marantz and my reference player - a widely praised unit costing about twice as much. I compared the two on a parade of still-frame and moving images from Middle-earth, with each player connected directly to my Princeton HDTV monitor's component inputs using identical cables. I could see no visible differences: zero, zip, Zapata.
DIMENSIONS 17 1/4 x 3 x 8 1/4 inches PRICE $600 MANUFACTURER Marantz America, www.marantz.com, 630-741-0300
• Plays nearly all digital optical disc formats • Full Dolby Digital and DTS decoding • Bass management for DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD • Composite-, component- (switchable interlaced/progressive-scan), and S-video outputs • Optical and coaxial digital audio outputs; 6-channel and stereo analog audio outputs
The Marantz effortlessly showed off the richness of this visually stunning production's makeup, lighting, and set-dressing. In the icky scene between Aragorn and Arwen in Chapter 25, I could admire every peerless pore of Liv Tyler's milky foundation - er, complexion. (So what's the deal here: do the children get the pointy ears, or not?) And the resolution was so good that I could easily see the difference between the jaw-dropping New Zealand scenery and the model-shop look of scenes like the warg-riders battle or the digitized army of zombified baddies marching to the gates of Mordor in Chapter 15. Bottom line: the cost-conscious DV6400 can stand with the best players out there in terms of video performance.