The £170 DV4001 is an attractive DVD deck with the kind of robust build we'd expect from Marantz.

It boasts a thick aluminium fascia, a double-layer bottom plate and shock absorbing feet to set it apart from the swarms of balsa-wood budget players.

Connectivity is solid. You get an HDMI output that sends upscaled video to your TV or projector, while the RGB and component video outputs offer high-quality analogue.

On the audio side, the lack of 5.1-channel outputs means there's no DVD-Audio or internal Dolby Digital/DTS decoding, but you do get an electrical digital audio output. Two remote control sockets equip it for custom installations.

Feature-wise, there's DivX, MP3, WMA and JPEG playback, but you get those from cheaper players. However, much of the cost has been used to boost build quality and fit it with high-grade components such as an Analog Devices 108MHz/12-bit video DAC and 192kHz/24-bit audio DACs for each channel.

The menus are a bit generic but easy to navigate, and the remote is well designed. With the HDMI port firing 576p pictures to our TV, picture quality is vivid and defined, with freedom from all artefacts. Crank the output up to 720p or 1080i and pictures look crisp, with excellent upscaling. SD pictures from the Scart or component sockets lack the crispness of HDMI.

Top-drawer stereo CD playback rounds off a performance that justifies the price.