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Yamaha DVD-S2700 review

Yamaha's flagship DVD player is all about quality

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Our Verdict

It's not cheap but it squeezes every drop of quality out of the DVD format

For

  • Superb picture quality
  • Sound quality to match
  • Wide compatibility

Against

  • Very expensive

The DVD-S2700 is Yamaha's top-of-the-range DVD player, selling for considerably more than a high definition HD DVD deck, clocking in at a cool £900. Surely that's asking a bit too much, as many will be planning to upgrade to hi-def discs very soon?

The price tag is steep, but when you consider the huge DVD collections that most people have built up, it makes sense to want to get the very best out of them. This DVD player aims to do just that.

Cream of the crop

The DVD-S2700's connections showcase its intentions. Cream of the crop is an HDMI output that can upscale to 720p, 1080i and even 1080p levels. On the audio side you get support for DVD-Audio and SACD formats.

Yamaha puts the pounds you will pay for this deck to good use, packing in Cirrus Logic CS4398 192/24 audio DACs. The video DACs are most likely irrelevant as you should be using the upscaling HDMI output.

Yamaha nods to its audio heritage with the 'Audio Direct' mode, which switches off all video circuitry to give the audio circuits an interference-free run.

Multimedia playback includes DiVX VoD files, as well as JPEG, MP3 and WMA material.

The DVD-S2700 can handle just about any disc you throw at it - only DVD-RAM platters are unwelcome.

Using a test DVD of Fantastic Four, among others, we were absolutely blown away by the picture quality this Yamaha DVD player delivers. You have a right to expect exemplary performance at this price and you definitely get it here.

We preferred the picture from the HDMI output, which allows you to benefit from the superior upscaling (in fact, you have no choice but to take advantage of it, because the HDMI output cannot deliver anything below a 720p signal).

There is a vast amount of picture detail, with upscaling squeezing even more out of the DVD format.

If anything, the audio performance is even more impressive. Movie soundtracks are handled with ease, with excellent steering and dynamics.

The wealth of audio options (including speaker size, level and delay parameters) help you tailor sound to your taste.

Walking tall

It's a really tall order to make £900 seem like a realistic price for simply a DVD player, and it must be said that many will move straight on to consider a hi-def disc player instead.

If you are serious about getting excellent quality from DVD, however, the DVD-S2700 does make sense. It's expensive, yes, but in terms of getting the very best pictures out of your DVDs, this simply has to be a Best Buy winner.