- Luxurious build quality
- Top-drawer pictures and sound
- DLNA networking, 3D and YouTube
- No Wi-Fi support
- Limited web content
- Review Price: £649.00
- 3D support
- DLNA 1.5 certification
- YouTube video streaming (with firmware update)
- Universal disc support, including DVD-Audio and SACD
- Solid construction and high-grade AV circuitry
- Anchor Bay ABT2015 chipset for DVD upscaling
Loads of affordable mass-market Blu-ray players pass through our doors but every now and again we get a more ‘heavyweight’ HD spinner, aimed at buyers with bigger budgets – and Denon’s DBP-2012UD is one such machine.
It’s a subject of much debate as to whether it’s worth splashing out on a high-end player when cheaper models do the same job – often with more features – but there are definitely benefits, not least when it comes to audio playback and build quality.
And in terms of the latter, the 3D-ready DBP-2012UD is certainly impressive. It comes from the same stock as Denon’s much-revered DBP-4010UD and DVD-A1UD, which means a dual-layer top cover, separate audio and video circuits and Direct Mechanical Ground Construction – all of which is designed to suppress unwanted vibration that can have a negative effect on picture and sound performance. There’s even a rubbery coating on the surface of the disc tray mechanism, again intended to make operation as smooth as possible – instead of rattling forward, it glides out quietly, always a sign of good deck design.
This all translates into a beautifully made, ultra-robust piece of kit, garnished with chunky buttons on the fascia and a bright, informative display panel. But it’s far from utilitarian, boasting an elegant design with a slightly curved top edge and a minimal fascia. It’s certainly bulky but that’s par for the course with high-end players like these. It’s available in black or silver.
On the rear you get an impressive line-up of sockets, which includes a set of 7.1 analogue audio outputs and a separate set of analogue stereo outputs, plus component, composite and coaxial digital audio outputs. There are also remote control input and outputs and a RS-232 port, which will help when integrating the deck into a custom installation setup.
HDMI-wise you get a single v1.4 output, which makes those 3D pictures possible, but the lack of a second audio-only output won’t be helpful if you want to watch 3D with HD audio but your AV receiver lacks v1.4 inputs. You can send hi-res audio separately through the 7.1-channel analogue outputs but that’s not as convenient as using HDMI cables.
An Ethernet port provides a wired network connection, while the USB port on the front provides a way of playing digital media from storage devices.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.