The player is a fairly nondescript black box. When powered up, a cool blue light--the deck's most distinctive visual attribute--illuminates the Open/Close, Stop, and Play buttons on the front panel. Onkyo also opted to put a joysticklike navigational button on the front panel, which we found odd considering it would have been far more useful had it been placed on the remote instead.
And about that remote: It's a small affair with tiny little buttons, none of which are backlit, making the thing next to impossible to use in a darkened theater environment.
As one might expect from a high-end player, the DPS-7.2 doesn't skimp on features. From a video perspective, the 10-bit/54MHz video D/A conversion is certainly a big plus (video performance is solid, but more on that later). However, it's worth noting that there's no Black Enhance feature in the setup menu. This feature, which is available in most high-end DVD decks, allows you to get a deeper, richer black when using a component video connection.
Audio-wise, DVD-Audio playback capability heads the list, with MP3, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, and DVD-RW support rounding out the full suite of playback options.
The player also shines in the connectivity department. On the video front, there are two interlaced (480i) component video outputs, two S-Video outs, and two composite video outs. For audio, you get two stereo analog-audio outputs, 6-channel analog audio outputs for DVD-Audio hookup, two optical digital audio outs, and one coaxial digital audio out. On top of that, there's an RS-232 port for custom installations in which your entire A/V system is controlled by a sophisticated touch-panel system, such as a Crestron or an AMX setup.