McIntosh MVP881 Universal Blu-ray Player

Considering all the recent brouhaha about the $3500 Lexicon BD-30 actually being a rebranded Oppo BDP-83 (list price $500), I was suspicious when I saw a CES press release introducing the MVP881 universal disc player from McIntosh Laboratory. But then I read that the MVP881 uses the HQV Realta video processor, whereas the Oppo/Lexicon uses VRS from Anchor Bay, so it can't be another more-expensive knock-off.

Like the Oppo/Lexicon, the MVP881 is a true universal disc spinner with the ability to play Blu-ray, DVD, CD, DVD-Audio, and SACD. It also provides an SD memory-card reader and Ethernet port for BD-Live content and future firmware upgrades. Of course, it can decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio to PCM via HDMI 1.3 or analog for its 7.1 and 2-channel outputs, complete with full bass management.

A total of five 192kHz/32-bit stereo-audio DACs feed the multichannel and 2-channel analog outputs—the 2-channel outputs are available as balanced or unbalanced, BTW—and 14-bit video DACs make the most of the analog-video outputs. And like all McIntosh products, this thing is built like a tank with custom-fabricated steel and aluminum case and all-metal disc mechanism as well as a custom power supply and audiophile-grade components throughout.

All that functionality and build quality doesn't come cheap—the MVP881 lists for $8000, making it one of the most expensive Blu-ray players on the market today. But well-heeled McIntosh fans are sure to love it, and the rest of us can always dream.