Universal Players

Denon DBP-4010UDCI Universal Blu-ray player

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

The setup of the DBP-4010UDCI is very straightforward. You only need to connect an HDMI cable, LAN cable, and power to make use of the player. If you have a Denon LINK compatible receiver then you should also connect the Denon LINK cable to maximize the quality of the audio transmission to your Denon receiver. Remember that you must have a Denon LINK 4th compatible receiver to take advantage of the jitter-free Blu-ray playback functionality that the DBP-4010UDCI provides.

The DBP-4010UDCI does not support simultaneous video output from both the HDMI and analog video outputs. If you plan on using the component video outputs on this player, then you must turn off the HDMI output. This is done by pressing the “HDMI Mode” button on the remote multiple times to change the setting. Once you’ve turned off the HDMI output, you will have to rely on the player’s front panel display to help you restore your picture.

I didn’t have a Denon LINK compatible receiver available for my testing so I connected the DBP-4010UDCI to my reference Anthem Statement D2 processor. In addition to HDMI, I also connected the DBP-4010UDCI stereo and 5.1 outputs to my D2. I left the Surround Back left and right channels disconnected since the D2 has no analog inputs for Surround Back channels.Once you get the player connected into your system, you should start making yourself familiar with the behavior of the setup menus of the DBP-4010UDCI.

The player’s menu system is activated by pressing the Setup button on the remote. The menu structure is accessed from a scrolling vertical ribbon of menu choices. Pressing the up/down arrow scrolls through the possible menus. In the example above, I stopped on the “Video Setup” menu. Pressing the right arrow selects the first item in the menu list which is “TV Aspect” in this case.

On the right side of the display, the current options for “TV Aspect” are listed. The item with the small circle to the left is the currently selected default. So let’s say we want to change from the default of “16:9 Squeeze Auto” to “WIDE (16:9)”. To change the value, simply press the right arrow to highlight the current item and then press the down arrow key again to select “WIDE (16:9)”.

What you then notice is that while the selection rectangle on the right did not move, the order of the items in the list did change.

I expected the complete opposite behavior. The selection rectangle, rather than the list of menu choices, should move! This behavior is repeated everywhere in the menu system. For example, if you return back to the main “Video Setup” menu, and then select “Progressive Mode”, you will notice that “TV Aspect” is now in the third position in the menu.

If you exit the “Video Setup” menu and even turn off the player, the next time you go back to the menu it will be displayed in the same order as you left it.

This has the distinct advantage that a setting that you change regularly will be right where you left it. The significant disadvantage is that you often spend time looking for things because their menu position has shifted on you. This also makes the player harder to learn. I should note that this behavior is not unusual to the DBP-4010UDCI. It is the current norm for many of the Denon and Marantz players on the market today.

Once you get the hang of the menus, you need to make some decisions about the audio configuration of the DBP-4010UDCI. The place to start is the “Audio Setup” menu which can be found on the “HDMI Setup” menu.

To access the “Audio Setup” options, press the right arrow button.

The first option in the list is “Auto”. In “Auto” mode, the DBP-4010UDCI selects the appropriate audio format based on the capabilities of the HDMI device connected to it. In my case, the DBP-4010UDCI sends DTS and Dolby Digital bitstreams when watching DVDs and various Blu-ray extras, and it sends high resolution PCM when watching Blu-ray since my D2 doesn’t decode the new high resolution formats. I found the Auto setting to work well all of the time and I appreciated having the D2 handle the decoding on the formats that it knows best.

The “2Ch” setting is used to downmix multi-channel audio to the front left and right analog multi-channel outputs of the DBP-4010UDCI. The “Mute” setting turns off the audio but allows the video to pass through. The other two settings control how bass management is applied within the DBP-4010UDCI. The “Multi LPCM BM Off” setting will always send Linear PCM output over the HDMI connection without any bass management. This means that the receiving processor or receiver is responsible for handling speaker size, distance, level compensation and bass management. The last option is “Multi LPCM BM On” which means that the DBP-4010UDCI takes responsibility for handling the speaker size, distance, levels and bass management.

Once the “Multi LPCM BM On” option is selected, you have full access to the menus for channel level, distance, and speaker configuration.

The “Distance” menu allows for every speaker to be adjusted independently without restriction, and distances can be entered in feet or meters and in small increments if necessary.

The “Channel Level” menu was typical of most receivers these days and allowed for manual or automatic test tones.

The unexpected item on the audio setup menu was that “Speaker Configuration” was grayed out and unavailable. I wondered about this for a bit and ultimately found the answer in the manual.
It turns out that the “Speaker Configuration” is tied to the “Source Direct” option which can be found on the “Audio Setup” menu.

The “Source Direct” menu is used to control how SACD output is produced by the DBP-4010UDCI. When the “Source Direct” option is set to “On: 100 kHz” or “On: 50 kHz”, the DBP-4010UDCI automatically sets each speaker to large.

This ensures that you get the most from your SACD collection, but it does mean that you only have access to distance and channel levels when configuring speakers and bass management within the DBP-4010UDCI. Once you realize the dependencies, you will find that the DBP-4010UDCI can be easily configured to work with your equipment.

Since the DBP-4010UDCI is a Blu-ray player, it needs to be connected to a network, and it is a good idea to make sure the player is running the latest firmware. Network configuration with the DBP-4010UDCI was a breeze. I just plugged in my network cable and the DBP-4010UDCI configured itself. A networking menu is available should you need to enter specific details about your network. As for updating the firmware, that option is available from the “Other Setup” menu.

You may notice that the menu is grayed out and unavailable much of the time. I discovered that this is caused by having a disc in the drive. Simply take out the disc, and the menu will activate. Once you check for an update, the DBP-4010UDCI will let you know if an update is available and approximately how long it will take.

I chose to update the firmware and the player displayed an appropriate warning message and a progress indicator once I agreed to continue.

The entire process was hassle free and took about 20 minutes to complete. My only complaint was that the player does not tell you what version of firmware you are currently running or what version you just upgraded to.

I want to mention that updating a Blu-ray player to the latest firmware is generally a recommended process no matter what brand of player you have. Since a Blu-ray player is frequently running Java-based applications when you watch a Blu-ray disc, there are sometimes software problems that can occur depending on the individual media and studio provider. The Blu-ray player manufacturers will often provide corrections and enhancements to the players to deal with software issues, but the only way for a consumer to get these enhancements is to update the player’s firmware. The DBP-4010UDCI makes that process convenient and simple for the user.

The last items to check are HDMI resolution and the all-important video settings. All of these settings are done outside of the Setup menus using buttons on the remote or the front panel of the DBP-4010UDCI. In the case of display resolution, you press the “HDMI Resolution” button.

This displays the current resolution at the bottom of the screen and allows you to change the resolution by pressing the button multiple times. As for video settings, these options are changeable only from the remote by pressing the “Picture Adjust” button. This brings up a small menu which allows for the selection of standard video settings as well as a bank of 5 user-selectable memory options.

Selecting “Memory 1” brings up another menu which gives you full access to the video configuration parameters for the DBP-4010UDCI.

I would highly recommend using a test disc such as the Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark disc to check the video settings from the DBP-4010UDCI. In my case, I found that I had to lower the contrast level on the DBP-4010UDCI slightly since I was losing detail in the picture. I also want to point out that the DBP-4010UDCI does not pass below-black video signals using the default HDMI color space which is YCbCr. You must change the player’s color space in the “HDMI Setup” menu to “RGB Enhanced” if you want to make full use of the Contrast, PLUGE, and Dynamic Range test patterns on the Spears and Munsil disc. The DBP-4010UDCI always passes below-black from the component video outputs.