|Integra DPS-10.5 Universal Disc Player|
|Home Theater Audio Sources DVD-Audio/SACD Players|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Thursday, 01 September 2005|
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With the advent of high-quality universal players, the need for dedicated CD, SACD, DVD-Audio and DVD players is a thing of the past. Equipment racks around the world gave a sigh of relief and those people out there who were fretting over the DVD-Audio/SACD format war could rest easy, knowing they can have both formats at their fingertips in one single player. Integra has a very nice lineup of universal players for all budgets, with the crowning jewel in their roster being the $2,500 DPS-10.5 THX Ultra certified universal player.
Anyone who scoffs at the price of this universal player compared to the lower-priced players they see advertised by electronics megastores in the Sunday newspapers need to hold this it to see that it’s in a whole different stratosphere of quality. One look at the front panel of the DPS-10.5 tells you that you are dealing with some serious playback hardware. Embossed DVD-Audio and SACD logos sit side by side underneath the disc tray. Along the bottom left side of the player are white logos from DTS, Dolby Digital, HDMI, OPlus FlexScaling, VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) and THX Ultra certification. The solid aluminum frame and brass feet of the DPS-10.5, along with its internal high current toroidal transformer and generous power supply, give the player a hefty weight of 26.7 pounds and help isolate it from vibrations. The DPS-10.5 features Wolfson 192 kHz/24-Bit Audio DACs and separate internal power supplies for audio and video elements. Silicon Image Deinterlacing takes interlaced signals and converts them to progressive for flicker-free images, corrects errors on the DVD, and reduces scan lines and motion-interlacing artifacts. A system Integra calls “Dual Direct Digital” is incorporated in the player, with high-purity heavy-gauge shielded internal cables that can output DTS, PCM and Dolby Digital, while simultaneously sending out a down-mixed stereo PCM version to another location, perfect for multi-zone set-ups.
Besides the obvious playback formats that you’d expect from a quality universal player, the DPS-10.5 can play back MPEG1 Audio Layer 3 format 44.1 or 48 kHz fixed-bit rate MP3 files from a disc. It can also read a disc full of JPEGs, so if you are jonesing to show off pictures from your last vacation to your friends and family on the big-screen TV, you can show any .jpg or .jpeg file as long as it is less than five MB in size. Video CD and DVD-VR are also supported formats on the DPS-10.5.
The back of the Integra DPS-10.5 is even more impressive than the front, as the connectivity options are among the most compete for any player I have ever seen. Moving up from the Adcom GDV-850, a nice player in its own right, to the DPS-10.5 was like stepping into a new world. The single most important output for my system, and most likely yours if you have a modern HDTV display, is the HDMI out. This single connection allows the video signal, along with digital audio, to be passed from the DVD player to either a receiver or AV preamp that has HDMI switching (or DVI with an adapter), or can be run directly into the display, removing the levels of digital to analog to digital conversion that occurs with component video connections. Finding a DVD player with an HDMI out is becoming increasingly easy. However, the DPS-10.5 has more horsepower behind its HDMI out than your average player. Featuring an internal Oplus FlexScale High Definition Scaler, DVDs can be upconverted and are then sent out the HDMI output at a whole host of resolutions. A button on the remote called resolution allows you to easily go through the various combinations of resolutions, frequencies and screen aspect ratios. One press of the button shows the current resolution. A second press of the button, if done quickly, switches to the next one. In my system, the optimal setting was 1280x720p 50/60 Hz. This is the native rate of my display and, although sending the TV 1920x1080i and letting the TV scale it back down looked good as well, the native rate seemed to have the smoothest picture.
For multi-channel audio output, the DPS-10.5 features two i.LINK digital outputs. This is a multi-channel audio connection that links with a receiver or AV preamp that has a corresponding i.LINK input, eliminating the need for the six analog interconnects that are used for listening to surround sound music in DVD-Audio and SACD. The i.LINK S400 sockets can output up to 192 kHz/24-bit digital audio. In an Integra exclusive mode called “5.1 -7.1,” multi-channel DVD-Audio and SACD surround sound can be output in full 7.1, adding surround back channels when using the analog outputs.
Component video (Y, Pr, Pb) outputs with RCA connectors and the higher-end BNC connectors that are common in broadcast-quality video applications are included on the DPS-10.5. Two S-Video and two composite video outputs are available, as well as an S-Video input and composite video input that can internally convert the composite video signal from a satellite receiver or cable tuner to progressive video and be output by the component output.
A RS-232 port is included, as well as a 12-volt trigger and inputs for IR repeaters. An IR IN socket allows the DTR-10.5 to be controlled from another room with a commercially available IR Receiver, and the IR Out socket can pass remote controller signals received by the IR In along to other components. Stereo audio outputs, 5.1 analog outputs and a second set of surround sound audio outs round out the back of the DPS-10.5.