|Marantz DV8400 Universal Disc Player|
|Home Theater Audio Sources DVD-Audio/SACD Players|
|Written by Matt Evert|
|Tuesday, 01 June 2004|
Page 3 of 3
The remote was one of the weaker elements of this product. The player normally has the remote included in its default setting, but this one had the switch in the back set to use a Marantz receiver’s remote instead of the supplied remote with the DV8400. This frustrated me as I replaced batteries and tried other troubleshooting ideas before figuring it out in the manual. The remote needs to have a setting to switch between two-channel and 5.1 channel sources. This is the third universal player I have closely evaluated and still not one of the manufacturers have figured this out. Hiding this in a submenu within the OSD is not good enough; make it a button, since it is a very common action to perform. There were no jog dial or joystick controls on this remote, as there are on less expensive players, such as the Pioneer Elite DV-47AI. This is a nice feature that one would expect from a $1,600 player. Lastly, I would use a CD drawer that is more securely fitted to the front opening of the player. I did not have problems with the drawer, but it made me nervous thinking about the longevity of the drawer operating properly.
Other competitive products to this player were the Denon DV2900, the Sony DVP-NS999ES and the Pioneer Elite DV59avi. The Sony and the Pioneer Elite both feature better remotes with Jog dials and LCD displays. The Sony does not play DVD-Audio discs as the others do. Only the Pioneer has a DVI-D output as the DV8400 does. The Denon is very similar to the DV8400, except that it uses a different progressive scan system and has different chipsets for video DACs, etc. If you do not need the DVI-D connector and do not care about some of the extra refinements with the audio components, the Sony and the Denon are good bargains at $1,000. The Pioneer Elite is a little closer a match to the offerings of the DV8400 and could be considered as well.
I really liked this player. The extra efforts that Marantz made to refine the audio components within this player make it a great fit for someone looking for uncompromising quality and versatility in a universal DVD player. With the exception of the default mode of the remote switch in back of the unit, this DVD player was so far the easiest to set up that I have seen. The sound reproduction was true and worthy of a place in my home system. Priced well under the $2,000 mark, this player is still a good bargain and should be considered as you look to move into a higher-quality universal DVD player.