The DBP-2010 is Denon’s latest 'affordable' Blu-ray player, and we use those inverted commas with good reason. Its £600 suggested selling price will seem pretty steep to most people, but in Denonworld – a place where a Blu-ray player can set you back as much as £4,500 – that’s practically peanuts. The question is, can Denon justify asking that much with so many excellent players out there costing a fraction of the price? Let’s find out…
As ever, the bodywork is first to come under scrutiny and we’re pleased to say it gets a clean bill of health. There’s an unwritten rule that the higher the price tag, the chunkier the player, and at 106mm tall the Denon cuts a rather portly figure. But it carries its bulk well with an elegant brushed fascia that curves gently towards the top and a choice of Premium Silver and Black finishes, both of which look classy (we tested the black one), although the Marantz BD7004 is a little prettier and more robust.
The DBP-2010 also boasts a rigid, multi-layer chassis to suppress vibrations and a dual-layer metal top cover, which is what you expect from a Denon deck and puts the price tag more in context. The fascia is quite busy, with buttons governing playback and HDMI resolution and an SD card slot. The wide display panel gives you a helpful array of information too, which means you don’t have to rely on onscreen displays to find out how much longer you have to sit through rubbish films.
The back panel features a healthy set of sockets, most notable of which are the multichannel audio outputs that fans of old-fashioned analogue (and people without HDMI-equipped receivers) will no doubt embrace. Thanks to the deck’s built-in audio decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, you can pass glorious hi-res sound to any amplifier.
Of course, you also get an HDMI v1.3a output that spews out 1080/24p digital video and audio tracks as a raw bitstream or unpacked PCM. Component and composite video ports complete the video line-up, while coaxial and analogue stereo outputs provide something to fall back on if your receiver isn’t equipped to handle HD audio for any reason.