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Every once in a while, a product appears that makes you say, "Wow, they really thought of everything!" That's our reaction to Denon's latest flagship DVD player, the DVD-5900. State-of-the-art DVD picture quality, plus the ability to play CDs and multichannel SACD and DVD-Audio music discs, makes this the ultimate "universal" player for audiophiles and videophiles.

The DVD-5900's progressive-scan mode is powered by the latest acclaimed video processing chip from Faroudja. Its powerful circuitry combines DCDi™ de-interlacing with a "scaler" that can upconvert a standard DVD signal to HD-compatible 720p or 1080i! (720p and 1080i signals are only available through the player's DVI output.) If you already own an HDTV-ready TV with a compatible DVI input — especially a "fixed-pixel" plasma, LCD, or DLP TV — you can enjoy DVD picture quality that's even superior to progressive-scan DVD (480p).

The DVD-5900's sturdy, vibration-resistant chassis includes a 2-layer top cover and 3-layer construction on the bottom, plus large insulator feet to suppress external vibration. Inside, audio circuits are physically separated from video circuits, for amazingly noise-free picture and sound. Two "Pure Direct" modes let you switch off the video circuits, digital outputs, and fluorescent display for ultimate sonic purity.

Digital bass management helps you dial in the most accurate multichannel sound in your system. Most A/V receivers apply bass management to multichannel digital signals like Dolby® Digital and DTS®, but not to the high-res multichannel analog signals of SACD and DVD-Audio. So, the DVD-5900 intelligently applies bass management while the signal is still in digital form, before converting it to analog and passing it on to the receiver. Result? Optimally balanced multichannel music when used with a wider variety of speakers, including sub/satellite systems.

If you look at the DVD-5900's back panel (click on More Photos, above), you'll notice a jack labeled "Denon Link." When you connect this exclusive Denon Link output to a compatible component (such as Denon's incredible AVR-5803A receiver), the DVD-5900 can pass 6-channel 96kHz/24-bit or stereo 192kHz/24-bit DVD-Audio signals digitally for musical reproduction of unprecedented purity and precision. Also, two IEEE 1394 jacks are included for passing SACD signals in digital form to upcoming compatible Denon components.


  • plays DVD-Video, DVD-R & DVD-RW, DVD+R & DVD+RW, and Video CD
  • plays SACD, DVD-Audio, CD, CD-R & CD-RW, and MP3 & WMA CD-R & CD-RW
  • plays digital photo CDs (JPEG)
  • dual 216MHz/12-bit video DACs (8X oversampling for progressive-scan playback, 16X oversampling for interlaced scan)
  • selectable interlaced/progressive-scan component video output
    (progressive-scan requires an HD-compatible TV)
  • Faroudja FLI2310 de-interlacer/scaler with DCDi and 3-2 pulldown processing
  • 8MB buffer memory for quick layer change
  • HDCD® decoding
  • AL 24 Processing Plus for all channels
  • built-in Dolby Digital/DTS decoder with 5.1-channel output
  • digital bass management for multichannel output
  • optical and coaxial digital outputs for Dolby Digital/DTS/PCM
  • Denon Link jack (RJ-45 jack connects to compatible components via the supplied shielded twisted-pair cable)
  • 2 IEEE 1394 in/out jacks (for use with compatible components)
  • 2 sets of A/V outputs (composite, S-video, and 480i/480p component video); one component video out uses BNC jacks
  • DVI output with HDCP copy protection (selectable 480p/720p/1080i output)
  • RS-232C port (for 3rd-party system controls only)
  • multibrand remote control
  • 192kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown audio D/A converter
  • audio signal-to-noise ratio 120 dB
  • 17-1/8"W x 5-1/2"H x 18-3/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year parts & labor
  • designed for use with "Region 1" coded DVDs

Denon DVD-5900 Reviews

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Single DVD/Audio CD player
  • RC-962 Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 6.25' AC power cord
  • 56" Denon Link cord (has a proprietary connector on each end)
  • 56" IEEE 1394 cord (has a 4-pin connector on each end)
  • 56" Audio cord (has left and right RCA audio connectors on each end)
  • 56" Video cord (has an RCA composite video connector on each end)
  • Operating Instructions (English/French/Spanish)
  • Warranty sheet
  • "Denon Service Network" sheet
  • "Cautions on Connections" sheet

Product Research

Inputs and Outputs Notes


Multi Layer Construction: The bottom of the DVD-5900's chassis features a sturdy 3-layer construction designed to be resistant to vibration. Strong reinforcing frames are also used at the front and back of the chassis itself. The addition of a 2-layer top cover and large insulators serve to suppress external vibration. And the base of the transformer is made of diecast aluminum that absorbs external vibration as well as vibration from the transformer itself to secure stable operation.

Thorough Vibration-resistant Design: A variety of designs have been incorporated in the DVD-5900 to suppress unwanted vibrations. A heavyweight chassis and low center of gravity make for a low vibration design. The pickup mechanism is positioned at the center to reduce the effects of external vibrations. 

Advanced Loading Mechanism: The newly-developed loading mechanism uses a guide and tray painted with protein material that is highly resistant to vibrations in order to prevent unwanted vibrations to the tray.

Independent Power Supply: Independent power supplies have been provided for the audio signal processing block, the video signal block and other areas to eliminate mutual distortion with other blocks. Clean supplies of power to the various circuits contribute to high picture and sound quality.

Denon Link S.E. (Second Edition): The DVD-5900 has an RJ-45 Denon Link S.E. output. When the included Denon Link cable is used to connect this DVD player to a Denon Link S.E. compatible receiver, the DVD player can transfer 6-channel 96kHz/24-bit or stereo 192kHz/24-bit DVD-Audio signals digitally to that receiver.  Because the signal transfer is balanced and the voltage is lower than coaxial or unbalanced cables, the Denon Link S.E. is far less susceptible to radiated noise, which helps to ensure the highest level of signal transfer.

Note: If your receiver has the first generation Denon Link port, you can get a software upgrade from Denon.

DVI-D Output: The DVD-5900 has a DVI-D jack for connecting a compatible TV or monitor. This player supports HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) technology, which provides secure data transmission for high definition video. Using the DVI setup menu, you can choose to output the signal as 1080i, 720p, or 480p.

Note: The DVD Copy Control Association recently overturned a restriction that prohibited the output of DVD images through DVI-D connections. Because of the former restriction, the DVI-D jacks on units sold prior to December 2003 were disabled at the factory. If a unit is received with its DVI-D connection disabled, it can be enabled using a software update available for free from the Crutchfield Technical Department or directly from Denon; the update is recorded on CD, so you may enable the DVI-D output without removing the player from your system. New units sold from December 2003 on will not need a firmware upgrade, because their DVI-D outputs will have been enabled by Denon.

IEEE 1394: Two 4-pin IEEE 1394 jacks are included for passing the audio from a DVD-Video disc, DVD-Audio disc, and SACD in digital form to compatible Denon components. The output signal is A&M protocol compliant.

Note: Denon does not guarantee that the DVD-5900 can be connected to other IEEE 1394 compatible components not manufactured by Denon.

Noise Reduction Circuit: Block noise and mosquito noise, characteristic faults of MPEG-compressed video signals, are effectively eliminated to produce a more natural video image. In addition, 3D noise reduction removes minute noise mixed in the video image to beautifully reproduce only the required video information.

Noise Shaped Video (NSV): The NSV feature works in the digital domain to reduce noise in the video signal frequency band in order to enhance video signal linearity.

Super Sub Alias Filter: The S/N ratio can be improved when unwanted signals of higher than 6.75 MHz following D/A conversion are cut. The DVD-5900 uses a Super Sub Alias Filter that produces flat characteristics, ensuring that adverse influences do not affect video signals inside the essential frequency band, and folding noise is eliminated. In the DVD-5900, the Super Sub Alias Filter is applied to the chroma signal as well as the luminance signal, improving color reproduction.

HDCD Decoder: HDCD is a digital recording technology, compatible with the conventional CD format, that significantly reduces distortion during recording to expand the dynamic range and realize high resolution. The HDCD decoder allows the DVD-5900 to play discs that have been recorded in HDCD format and to bring out the superior sonic performance from these discs. Combined with Denon's advanced audio technology, the DVD-5900 masterfully reproduces HDCD's rich dynamic range and beautiful sound quality.

FAROUDJA Progressive Circuit (NTSC/PAL Output): In addition to the Motion Adaptive Deinterlacer that processes video signals in pixel units, high-definition progressive-scan video is made possible by a Film mode processor that supports 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown material. DCDi technology, famous for its ability to process diagonal lines and edges, produces smooth, natural images. The DVD-5900 is also equipped with 5 progressive- scan modes that enable you to select the ideal progressive conversion for any of a wide variety of program sources.

HD Upconversion: The DVD-5900 has the ability to upconvert a standard DVD signal to HD-compatible 720p or 1080i and pass it through the DVI output; upconverted signals are not passed by the component video outputs.

Video D/A Converters: The DVD-5900 uses a total of two 12-bit, 216-MHz video D/A converters to tap the maximum potential of the new FAROUDJA circuit's performance. The DVD-5900 uses independent D/A converters for Progressive and Interlaced picture reproduction. These converters provide a very high sampling frequency of 216-MHz, with 8x oversampling used for Progressive and 16x oversampling for Interlaced operation, resulting in the highest detailed D/A conversion.

Audio D/A Converter: The DVD-5900 uses a Burr-Brown 24-bit, 192 kHz audio D/A converter that is well protected from noise caused by fluctuations in current from the power supply. 

Digital Audio Output Capabilities: You can select an LPCM output setting of On or Off. When On is selected and you are playing a DVD recorded in 96kHz, the signal is down converted to 48kHz/16-bit before it is passed through the digital outputs. When Off is selected and the unit is playing a non-copy-protected DVD recorded in 96kHz, a 96kHz/24-bit signal passes through the digital outputs. If the DVD is copy-protected, no signal is output. When multichannel DVD Audio is played, it is downmixed to 2-channel stereo before being passed by the digital outputs.

Note: Multichannel DVD-Audio is passed through the analog outputs only.

Digital Bass Management: When playing multi-channel sources, it is possible to preset speaker configurations and delay times. The crossover point can be fixed at 40, 60, 80, 100 or 120 Hz with 12 dB high and 24 dB low pass filter slopes.

Multichannel DVD-Audio Playback: DVD-Audio is a multichannel format used for high resolution audio recording. This unit can decode and play DVD-Audio discs with a sampling rate up to 192 kHz with a 24-bit word length. 

AL24 Processing for All Channels: Denon has further developed its proprietary AL24 Processing, an analog waveform reproduction technology, to support the 192 kHz sampling frequency of DVD-Audio. This new technology, AL24 Processing Plus, thoroughly suppresses quantization noise associated with D/A conversion of LPCM signals to reproduce the low-level signals with optimum clarity that will bring out all the delicate nuances of the music.

Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Encoding: Unlike PCM based technology (CD/MiniDisc/DVD/Audio DVD, etc.), Super Audio CD is based on DSD encoding, which does not require decimation and interpolation filters. DSD is much simpler and enables a 1-bit signal to be recorded directly. DSD encodes music at 2,822,400 samples per second (64 times that of standard CD) allowing you to hear sound with incredible detail and clarity. DSD combines the advantages of digital recording with the best characteristics of analog sound.

2-Channel and Multichannel SACD Playback: In addition to standard 2-channel CD playback, this unit will play 2-channel and multichannel Super Audio CDs. During SACD playback, the digital outputs do not operate; the analog outputs must be connected to listen to SACDs. 

Pure Direct Mode: The DVD-5900 includes two Pure Direct modes that further improve sound quality. For example, during analog audio output, Pure Direct can turn off digital signal outputs, video signal outputs, and the front panel display, which can easily influence the sound quality of the analog audio signals. You can define which operations are to be turned off and store those preferences in memory.

8 MB Buffer Memory: This unit is equipped with an 8 MB buffer memory to ensure that both picture and sound are played without interruption when the DVD disc shifts from layer 1 to layer 2, or in the rare event of a pickup dropout.

MP3/WMA Playback: This unit will play MP3/WMA files recorded onto CD-R and CD-RW discs using the ISO 9660 level 1/level 2 format. MP3 files with a compression rate from 32-320 kbps and WMA files with a compression rate from 64-160 kbps are supported.

Note: The DVD-5900 is not compatible with packet write software or ID3 Tag information.

JPEG Disc Playback: JPEG files stored on Kodak picture CDs, Fujicolor CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs can be played as a slide show and enjoyed on the DVD-5900. During slide show playback, you can rotate an image 90-degrees clockwise or counterclockwise, flip an image vertically or horizontally, or zoom in on an image. In addition, you have access to the following features: random and repeat playback.

Note: JPEG files recorded on a Macintosh computer cannot be played.

SRS TruSurround: Using this feature, the multi-channel sound normally achieved with five speakers is recreated using only the two front stereo speakers.

Picture Zooming: During DVD-Video and Video CD playback, you can enlarge the picture by 1.5x, 2x, or 4x. During DVD-Audio playback, you can enlarge the picture by 2x or 4x. You can then use the cursor buttons to move the enlarged viewing area up, down, to the left, or to the right.

Markers: Up to 5 points on a DVD-Video or DVD-Audio disc can be stored in memory and easily recalled. Markers are automatically cleared when the power is turned off or when the tray is opened.

Resume Function: The Resume function allows the player to remember the point where you stopped play. Playback will resume from the point stored in memory. The stopping point is cleared if the tray is opened or the stop button is pressed a second time.

Auto Power-Off: If the unit is in stop mode for approximately 30 minutes, it will automatically switch to standby mode.

Dimmer: The display can be adjusted to one of three brightness levels, or the display can be turned off.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

Denon Link S.E. (Second Edition): The DVD-5900 has an RJ-45 Denon Link S.E. output. Using the supplied Denon Link cable, you can connect this DVD player to a Denon Link S.E. compatible receiver.

RS-232C Port: This port connects to the RS-232 port on a compatible external controller, allowing you to control the operation of this player from the external controller.

Room to Room In/Out: Two mini-jacks are provided, allowing you to connect the DVD-5900 to compatible Denon components.

IEEE 1394: Two 4-pin IEEE 1394 jacks are included for passing the audio from a DVD-Video disc, DVD-Audio disc, and SACD in digital form to compatible Denon components. The output signal is A&M protocol compliant.

Note: Denon does not guarantee that the DVD-5900 can be connected to other IEEE 1394 compatible components not manufactured by Denon.

Component Video Outputs: The DVD-5900 has two sets of component video outputs, Component Video Out 1 and Component Video Out 2. Component Video Out 1 consists of 3 BNC jacks and Component Video Out 2 consists of 3 RCA jacks.

DVI-D Output: The DVD-5900 has a DVI-D jack for connecting a compatible TV or monitor. Using the DVI setup menu, you can choose to output the signal as 1080i, 720p, or 480p.

Note: Currently, the DVI-D jack does not function on this unit. DVD Copy Control Association standards do not permit the output of DVD images through the DVI-D jack. When this changes, a software upgrade will be available through Denon that will allow you to activate the DVI-D jack.

Audio Out: This output consists of the following jacks: Front left 1, Front right 1, Front left 2, Front right 2, Center, Subwoofer, Surround left, and Surround right. For 5.1-channel output, you must use the following jacks: Front left 2, Front right 2, Center, Subwoofer, Surround left, and Surround right. If you do not wish to use the 5.1-channel output, you can send a stereo signal to two separate components using the front jacks.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.