With HD upscaling and both Super Audio CD and DVD-A compatibility, the DVD-2910 looks like a serious bargain at just £530.

Although the 2910 isn't as fearsomely solid as decks higher up Denon's range, it still feels terrifically robust and uncompromising for such a relatively affordable deck. Plus it manages to look both serious and glamorous at the same time.

HDMI and DVI output options are included, alongside component video for prog scan, an RGB Scart, and all the other common and garden necessities. There's no sign of the Denon Link ports (for full digital multichannel audio transfer) found on the 3910 further up the Denon range, though.

The 2910's innards read like a Who's Who of quality components, including Faroudja's FLI-2310 DCDi chipset, Burr Brown DSD1791 24-bit/192kHz audio D/A converters for all channels, and two 12-bit, 216MHz video DACs, complete with NSV circuitry.

Video upscaling to 720p or 1080i is available via the digital jacks, meanwhile, and this is backed up by a wideranging set of user video tweaks. There's bags of audio fine-tuning, too, and a Pure Direct mode that shuts down everything bar the key audio circuitry to reduce the chance of electrical interference during music playback.

The nasty MPEG blocking that's marred one or two recent Denon DVD products is nowhere to be seen, leaving pictures looking crisp, even and clean. Detail levels are first-rate, too, a fact which combines with exceptional greyscaling in dark areas and a profound black level response to produce a terrifically cinematic sense of space and depth.

Motion looks perfectly smooth and clear, proving the worth of the 2910's various video processing. And colours are also outstanding, with a great combination of rich saturations and natural tones, even over skin.

The only area where the 2910's pictures fall short of some costlier rivals is with upscaled material via the HDMI port. Here small traces of grain and other noise can be seen.

Sonically the 2910 sounds about right for its price. It lacks some of the detailing, transparency and treble clarity of the more expensive models featured here, particularly the Sony. But its superb resolution, low audio jitter and mid-range smoothness mark it out as clearly superior sonically to budget decks.

Even though it's been around a while, the 2910 is still a standout DVD player - especially with it's newly-lowered £530 price tag.