Pioneer updates its Blu-ray range

Sleek and sexy

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.

Superior sound

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.

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.

Pricey players

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


prices announced, but the BDP-51FD will be $599 (£300) and the Elite BDP-05FD will be available to buy for $799 (£400) when they are both released in the summer. As with all US-released Blu-ray players, expect the names of the UK versions to change. We will keep you updated prior to release.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.