Sleek and sexy is the order of the day for Pioneer’s new range of Blu-ray players. The robust, piano-black machines boast impressive audio and visual capabilities, but it all comes at a premium.
Features-wise the BDP-05FD and BDP-51D are jam-packed. They both include 1080p/24fps video output, Picture-in-Picture interactivity, a DVD upscaling option (up to 1080p), and audio options so good that they deserve a new paragraph all to themselves.
Pioneer has managed to squeeze in support for all HD audio formats – an industry first. This means that Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD Master Audio all get a look in when it comes to watching your chosen Blu-ray Disc with superior sound.
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As with Pioneer’s previous players, there’s added interactivity with its Kuro range of TVs and AV receivers giving, the company states, “the most true-to-life reproduction of HD feature films.”
The BDP-05FD is the Elite player of the two and has some extras added to its chassis, including gold-plated connection points, touch key buttons and an enhanced video processor.
What Pioneer has failed to include, though, is BD-Live (Profile 2.0). The company has instead decided to stick with BonusView (Profile 1.1). This means that those looking for the most up-to-date interactivity possible should look elsewhere - ie, buy a PlayStation 3.
Even though Blu-ray has won the battle for HD supremacy, the price point for BD players is still high. At the moment there’s no