I am looking for a conventional DVD player with multichannel analog audio outputs, hdmi upconversion to at least 720p, and an a/v lip-sync setting. I seem to have narrowed it down to either the Denon 2930ci or the Sony ns3100es.
Here's my dilemma: It appears as though the 2930ci is a much newer and/or higher-end product, but I own a lot of personal backups made using different dvd recorders and different formats under differing circumstances. In my research I've heard a lot about compatibility problems with the 2930ci (even C/Net had trouble with their review sample), but it's not obvious to me whether this was opening-night jitters that were fixed with later models, or an ongoing problem.
I know the Sony is kind of a plow-horse in terms of PQ and functionality, but my old DVP-NS70H never, ever, ever failed to spin-up one of my personal backups, regardless of format or how it was made.
If you can put my mind at ease about the compatibility problem, my gut tells me the 2930ci is the (vastly?) better player.
Between the two choices, no question I would pick the Denon - build quality is exceptional, and the Silicon Optix Realta HQV video processing makes a world of difference. I have a number of friends with the 2930 and 3930, would highly recommend. By no means would I call the 2930 out-dated, this is a current generation DVD player (with the exception of Denon's new Blu-Ray offerings) and was on my list to purchase last year before I decided to hold out until after the HD wars.
You may also want to consider purchasing an Oppo DV-983H. The 983 is the only DVD Player ever to score a perfect 100 in the Secrets DVD Benchmark. As far as video processing goes, this player is nearly without equal. This is a reference DVD Player if you are looking for one.
My Oppo 980H doesn't play personal backups -- either they don't spin-up at all, or I get every twelfth frame, so that the whole thing looks like it was shot in clay-mation. My four-year-old Sony DVP-NS70H never failed in this regard. Elapsed, have you had any experience playing personal media in the Denon?