I received my UD 8004 this week but I am going to send it back. Why? Although I agree with everything in your review, it is what you did not say that makes it totally unacceptable. It has two fatal flaws that makes it rubbish in a high end system. First it has a very annoying fan noise that is very obvious in quiet passages of music. Doesn't music matter anymore at Marantz? Second, the software is terrible. It is amazingly slow to boot up and my UD8004 has crashed at least five times in the week that I have had it, and then it has to be booted up again... On start up it won't open the tray until it has laboriously initialised the disk in the tray. They could really take a leaf out of oppo's book. While analog output of the UD8004 sounds unmistakeably better than the oppo, the oppo operates like smooth cream and is free of mechanical noise while running. Pity I sold it.
I have the UD8004 in a rack and I must say that the fan noise is not too loud that it impact my enjoyment of either music or movies. But by the way most blu-ray players have a cooling fan. I also have a Cambridge Azur650BD player which does not have a cooling fan - however the picture quality and sound quality (while good at the price) is no where near the quality of the Marantz.
Regarding the start up time - there is a option in the Marantz setup options for fast boot - it means that the standby power consumption increases a little - but if you are regular user of the player, then the additional power consumption is that much of an issue in the grand scheme of things.
There were a number of features which was the reason for my purchase of the Marantz player - better sound/video quality, ability to play SACD, blu-ray and DVD at high quality, (all which one could say that the oppo does) - adjustment of lip-sync - which the Oppo does NOT do.
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