Pioneer BDP-LX70A review

Pioneer’s revised Blu-ray deck boasts audio potential

Visually, the deck is distinctive and has been styled to match other Pioneer components

TechRadar Verdict

Even though it's not Profile 1.1, there's still a lot to like about this deck


  • +

    Extensive audio compatibility

  • +

    LAN connector


  • -


  • -

    Disc-loading times

  • -

    Not a Profile 1.1 player

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The Pioneer LX70A lacks the hardware to be upgraded to Blu-ray Profile 1.1, but its LAN connection does at least allow it to go online and download new firmware.

This is a significant boon. While taken for granted with HD DVD, it's still rare on dedicated Blu-ray machines. It's also fully-compatible with both Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio, giving cinephiles access to every audio format in use.

If you've got a swish new AV receiver equipped with a full set of next-gen decoders, it'll even bitstream audio out for external digital-to-analogue conversion.

A Blu-ray player for audiophiles

This audiophile attention to detail bodes well for Pioneer's next BD release. I'll be hoping for both DVD-Audio and SACD support as well, although there's little indication from the brand that it'll deliver on that.

You can use the LX70A as a conduit from a PC to stream compressed audio and video to your AV system. The deck recognises WMA Pro audio files up to 768kbps, plus MP3, MPEG-1, -2 and WMV, being PlaysForSure compliant. In this regard, it's comparable to a PS3.

Backside outputs include a bank of 5.1 phonos, allowing the player to pump its audio mead into any suitably equipped receiver. If you've upgraded to a more contemporary AVR with HDMI v1.3 inputs, all you need to connect is one HDMI cable to get a full 7.1 sonic outpouring from suitably encoded discs.

Outstanding images

Visually, the deck is at least distinctive, although to be frank, I'm not a fan of it's overtly glossy facade; it has been styled to match other Pioneer components. I also dislike the way a disproportionate part of the fascia pings out when you eject the flimsy tray. Elegant it is not!

My colleague expressed some reservations over the picture quality of the first-generation LX70 when he reviewed it last year, but I have no qualms about the video quality of this new iteration (not that there's any technical improvements claimed for this player).

Fed a variety of above average-platters, its 1080p24 delivery proved a genuine thriller. Images can be outstandingly crisp.

Sluggish disc loading

The deck's ability to handle heavy Java discs is better than the first-gen Samsung player but still not great. Disc-loading times are tardy. Day After Tomorrow, a platter notorious for featuring more Java than Starbucks, takes over two minutes to play. Tea anyone?

Overall, I'd say that this is the only pre-profile 1.1 dedicated player that genuinely has any legs. And it earns that kudos through its superior audio compatibility and LAN functionality.

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR STAFF'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.