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Denon DBP-4010UDCI Blu-ray Player Review Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Article Index
Denon DBP-4010UDCI Blu-ray Player Review
Setup and Performance
Blu-ray and DVD

A larger amount of video tailoring is available when a disc is already in the player.  Pressing the Picture Adjust button at the bottom of the remote opens up a rotary selector – ranging from Standard to Memory 1-5.  Under each one, the user can make a few changes involving Horizontal & Vertical Position, DNR (noise reduction), Contrast, Brightness, Gamma Correction (which involves a 0 – 255 adjustment grid). Hue, White Level, Black Level, Chroma Level, and Setup Level .  Sharpness can also be adjusted here, notated by the “Enhancer” function, Medium Range Sharpness, High-Range Sharpness, which allow for slight tailoring in all categories – and can result in edge enhancement with each.  

Denon Left Rear Panel

For the Audio portion, a wider cluster of options are available for adjustment, depending on your needs.  Along with adjusting the Compression (Low, Middle, High), the Digital Out Selection (Bitstream, PCM, PCM Downsampling), Downmixing (Lt/Rt, Stereo), and the Source Direct option which involves adjusting the SACD kHz output, we’ve also got two analog adjustment functions: 7.1 Audio Out and Subwoofer Mode.  Initially, with this unit, there were a few handshake issues regarding sound being sent to the receiver.  Adjusting the HDMI settings alleviated the issue; when the disc is in the player, pressing the HDMI Resolution button brings up a menu to toggle the output, which seems problematic underneath anything but Source Direct.  Playing standard-definition DVDs at 1080p24 or other options caused a few handshake issues regarding sound.

Aside from that, we’ve also got a setup function for Denon Link to click together like-minded products, the Pure Direct adjustment field with enables / disables devices for play if you’d rather have the screen off while listening to music, and a full roster of Ratings levels for Blu-ray, DVD, Rating Country Code, and adjustment of password.  For Network Settings, we can adjust DHCP, Proxy, IP Address and MAC Address , if the network isn’t instantly logged into the player upon connection.  Rounding things out, we’ve got a Display Setup that allows for adjustment for Temporary Display, Captions, ScreenSaver, Wallpaper, Still Mode, and Slide Show Time, as well as the Other Setup for general options – BD Data Utility (SD Card functionality is included) Firmware Update, Information, Power Settings, and so on and so forth. 

Denon Right Rear Panel


Tossing in Spears and Munsil’s Hand Forged Video disc to test the quality proved to be an exceedingly pleasing affair.  Out of the gate, the unit was exceptionally proficient in black level contrast, detail levels, and most impressively with adaptive deinterlacing (for those keeping score, note the rectangular “weave” pattern).  No clipping could be seen across the spectrum, rendering the test images in a very robust and impressive fashion – on par, at the very least, with other higher-end models.  This quality carried over into screenings of movies on Blu-ray, as well as with DVD upscaling, which both offer wholly satisfying and fluid projections of the material by putting the Anchor Bay Tech’s VRS processor to use.  In short, the “reference” in this player’s tagline is justified with regards to quality.  However, it’s in the egregious load times that the player doesn’t satisfy.  Booting up a disc in a powerful Blu-ray player should be relatively quick, yet the time it takes from disc insert to the material / top menu oftentimes clocked at nearly a minute.   No matter if we’re talking about initial boot or handling JAVA-based material, it’ll get the user to the destination – but it’ll be a lengthy wait.


A large chunk of the reservation generated over boot times will be justified once a Blu-ray disc has fully loaded in Denon’s DBP-4010UDCI.  In short, the level of detail, grace of motion within the 24fps movement, and the robust correctness of color saturation are superb, sprinting forward with some of the better high-end models out there right now.  Furthermore, the player’s capacity to bitstream high-resolution audio is also magnificent, showcasing the company’s level of aural proficiency to sublime degrees as it both thunders forward with action-based films and coasts along with discreet audio levels for more delicate sound designs.

First up in Denon’s reference Blu-ray player is Universal’s AVC presentation of Wanted, a robust 2.35:1-framed powerhouse of a Blu-ray.  It sports a candy-coated colorful and richly-detailed image, exhibiting brash saturation amid instances of controlled palette usage while a broad level of motion fills the film from start to finish.  Denon’s player grasps every ounce of motion and bold color usage with aware, accurate fluency, rendering an image that retains natural 35mm film grain and a blistering level of detail throughout.  The light shade of Angelina Jolie’s skin during the shootout in the convenience store parallels well against many of the brash colors, while textures in bricks and density of architecture during panning shots around James McAvoy early in the picture are highly satisfying.   The DTS HD Master Audio is equally as lively as the image, coming out of the gate with wildly explosive sound elements that mostly swing around gunshots, and Denon’s player retains the fluctuating highs and lows with exceptional, controlled breadth.  

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