Marantz (owned by D&M Holdngs), not to be outdone by US manufacturer Oppo whose BDP-83 universal Blu-ray player (tentatively priced at US$499) is expected sometime this spring in the US and by Denon ( also owned by D&M Holdings) whose DVD-A1UDCI universal Blu-ray player priced at US$3,800 has been pushed back to later this year, has been working on their own universal player.
German Blu-ray website Blu-rayDisc.de is reporting that Marantz has been developing the UD9004. Only a little is known in the way of technical specifications at this point, but Blu-rayDisc.de reports that the players CD and SACD playback is based on Marantz’ current flagship SACD player, the model SA-7S1 and like that unit contains Marantz’ famous HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amp Module) technology.
Other confirmed technical features are BD-Live, 36-bit Deep Color, 10-bit Silicon Optix Realta chipset, 297Mhz/14-bit video DAC, 2x Sharc DSP (Digital Sound Processor) for HD audio decoding, an SD Card reader, and an RS232C interface.
It is unclear whether the player will be able to decode DTS-HD Mater Audio and bitstream all of the advanced audio codecs as well, but one would presume that such a high-end unit entering so late in the game would be able to do all of these things and more.
In the case of these players, universal playback means the units will be able to playback Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, DVD-A, and all CD formats. Due to liscensing restrictions placed on manufactures by the BDA, however, as Oppo has found out with the BDP-83, it is very unlikely that the Marantz or the Denon will allow for region-free playback of DVDs and region-free playback of Blu-ray Discs is not an option unless one is willing to pay a premium for expensive third-party hardware hacks.