The DVD-1740 is the little brother of the DVD-1940, which we recently raved about here at TR. As Denon's entry-level deck, it lacks many of the features found on the step-up 1940 but as a result it's a good £80 cheaper, bringing Denon's enviable AV prowess to a wider audience.
So what has Denon removed from the 1940 spec sheet to reach this lower price? The most significant omission is DVD-Audio and SACD playback, which denies it universal status, and it lacks built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoding - but who really needs these anyway? Also missing are the Faroudja progressive scan engine and aluminium front panel, but on the whole the 1740's feature list still looks fairly tempting, if not irresistible.
Of greatest interest to HDTV owners is the presence of an HDMI output, which has the ability to fire out video upscaled to 1080p, 1080i or 720p, depending on what's best for your display. We doubt this will rival the magnificent upscaling found on Denon's high-end players like the DVD-2930, but should still offer significant performance benefits. Owners of older TVs can use the RGB-capable Scart, S-video, composite or component video outputs, the latter offering progressive scan courtesy of the Matsushita chip.
Obviously the lack of DVD-A, SACD and Dolby Digital/DTS decoding means there are no 5.1-channel audio outputs but you do get analogue stereo output and a choice of optical or coaxial digital audio outputs.
As ever, this Denon deck supports a decent range of compressed media formats. The list includes MP3, WMA and JPEG plus DivX Ultra certification, which means it's fully equipped to handle every type of file from 3.11 through to 6 and will also play VOD content with a code that you'll find in the setup menu (plus other DVDesque features like subtitles and chapter points).