Can this player be connected directly to amplifliers or do you need a preamp or processor?
You need a preamp or processor.
I think this player is one of the best ones on the market as far as sound goes. I use the 09's analog outs and the sound is quite good, certainly better than what it replaced. With a good preamp or processor, you'll certainly get your money's worth. I have mine in 2-channel stereo mode, since stereo is what I have. I won't comment on the HDMI audio performance, since my system doesn't go there.
I have both the Denon DVD 3800BDCI and this Pioneer Elite BDP 09FD and have compared them to one another on my JVC Pro Series RS 2 D-ILA Front Projector.(this is the first Denon to offer the best Terenex Silicon Optics Realta HQV video processing chip; not the Denon DVD 5910CI universal player as is claimed in the newest Absolute Sound Editor's Choice Awards-great issue). There is no doubt about it that without measuring but just viewing, the Pioneer appears to have greater definition and the sound has greater clarity compared to the Denon's softer edged video and audio presentations. After one year of daily use of the Denon something happened to it that it grew extremely hot to the touch and then stopped playing blu-rays and then dvd's entirely. I got it repaired fully under warranty, days from its' expiration. whew.
The difference in the pictures of these two Blu-ray players reminds me of the complaining of one reviewer of the newest JVC Progector line (750, RS 20, etc.) which he felt lacked the last bit of definition that one would want or that he remembered the former models having. I believe they changed processors. Check it out. I think you'll be surprised. Of course the new models have the gamma adjustments and flexiblility the former models lacked so that you are stuck with a little oversaturated color.
With the Denon, to its' credit the front panel digital video filtering options 1 to 3 work extremely well removing noise and definition to improve viewing of older pictures. It makes it possible to really enjoy less than the best videos. It is with the best videos I want the Pioneer. It too is great with older videos but automatically compensates for you.
That's interesting...I have the Denon 2010ci and for approximately a week now I've not been able to view standard DVD's of any kind. Does anyone have any suggestions on what the problem could be? I've contacted Magnolia HiFi and they've recommended that I do a reset of tbe unit and if that didn't work send it in for repairs, as it's still under warranty.