Integra, a division of Onkyo has been working hard to produce useful products for the AV market. Their latest bid, the DPC-8.5 ($700) is a nonstop shop for a high quality, good value, and video playback device. But now I’ve spoiled the ending. Let’s take a look and see if you agree.
Product PointsApplications: Installation
Key Features: DVD-V, DVD-A, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, SACD, MP3, DVD-R, DVD-RW, JPEG and VCD compatibility; composite and S-Video outputs; compatible with Crestron and other controllers
Contact: Integra at 201-785-2600, Web Site.
First off, the 16-pound, 5 3/16-inch high unit is housed in black aluminum case with a plastic front panel and does not come with rackmounts, nor are there any available. But don’t let that rain on your parade because there are plenty of custom kits and shelves available for thus purpose. The unit does however have some gems like; disc format compatibility with DVD-V, DVD-A, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, SACD, MP3, DVD-R, DVD-RW, JPEG and VCD. Multiple video outputs, digital audio outputs, a downmix output and a serial control connection for use with Crestron and similar control systems.
The video signal output standard is NTSC, and is available in two composite and S-Video and component video outputs. The audio formats follow the standards; 192 kHz rates for DVD-Audio, 96 kHz for DVD linear sound channels and 44.1 kHz for CD audio.
The unit ships with a few accessories; a remote control, a five-foot S-Video cable, a five-foot AV cable and a proprietary 2.6-foot RI (Integra/Onkyo remote control) cable for interconnecting other RI compatible devices. Of course a power cable is available as well.
The unit also offers both Dolby Digital and DTS audio decoding schemes as well as progressive video scanning. The dedicated downmix analog audio output provides an analog stereo mix output of the multi-channel audio channels and coaxial and optical digital outputs are also available.
The unit fits into most commercial or residential entertainment systems as well as any multichannel conference room or studio playback system. Making connections is a snap and operation of the transport is pretty straight-forward. Turning the unit on, the first thing I noticed was the cool blue disc tray and “video circuit off” LEDs. You can disable the internal video circuitry so that there is no possibility of interference when playing audio-only discs, nifty. The display is large, bright and easy to read. The tray holds six discs, so I loaded the unit up with several different types of discs.
First, I auditioned a few standard CDs with audio and video content. The audio was as you would expect, and I had no problem viewing content. Next I tried a SACD, the audio was brilliant. The top end seemed to be more present but not over extended. Next I tried some DVD titles with multichannel audio, the picture and audio were both good. I noticed some balance level differences, so I made a DVD-A disc using some program audio and test tones.
The unit exhibited no problem in the balance of the audio, so I attributed the other problem to being that of the DVD disc. In all cases, the unit seemed to read all formats and reproduce the audio faithfully. The video wasn’t bad either.
The small ergonomically-designed remote control, which runs off of two AA batteries, was laid out logically and took no time to get used to. I guess some things aren’t as intuitive as I would like them to be, multifunction keys and the like, but overall, it was very easy to navigate and control the unit without looking at the manual. Speaking of the manual, yes I did look at it, and it was put together rather well. Easy to find features and functions with good explanations and contact information.
Although the unit manual and connectivity speaks to a hi-fidelity home entertainment system, I like this unit and wouldn’t hesitate recommending it for use in a professional audio setting to anyone needing one unit that will read any type of audio disc they need to work with. And although I only had it for a few months (it was hard to let go), I didn’t notice any problems with functionality and I would assume that the reliability is along the same lines as the other Onkyo product I own.
Technics AV 5.1 receiver, JBL speakers. Also, Yamaha 03D console, Crown amp and Fostex and JBL monitors.