Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Excellent Blu-ray playback, 1080p/24p video output, High quality surround sound performance, Easy-to-use media streaming
- Slight lag when navigating the menu, Expensive compared to other units
A very well designed Blu-ray player, the BDP-LX70's biggest drawback is its price. If you're willing to pay the extra for its media streaming capabilities, then it's well-worth the investment.
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
Pioneer's first entry into the Australian Blu-ray market is an interesting one. With a mid-level price point and media streaming functionality, it seems as though it'll become somewhat of a niche product, catering specifically to those looking for a Blu-ray and media streaming combo. To its credit, Pioneer has also designed the BDP-LX70 to its usual high standards, with audiophile-grade components and a solid, sturdy design. Although it's slightly on the expensive side, we can definitely see it being a strong contender in the burgeoning Blu-ray player market.
The player handles Blu-ray playback rather well, as expected. Its quality is exceptional, and a number of calibration options are available for advanced users, allowing them to adjust settings such as white and black levels, hue, and chroma level, to suit their display and viewing environment. As expected, video output is available up to 1080p resolution; but, Pioneer has also included 24 frames per second video output, which means that the player can play back discs at the same speed that they're played back in the cinema, removing the need to add or remove extra frames, which makes for a smoother overall image. However, users should note that they'll need a TV that supports this feature in order to use it.
Its audio performance is exceptional. Supporting Dolby Digital, DTS, and Linear PCM, as well as the new high definition Dolby TrueHD format, the player handles surround sound exquisitely. 5.1-channel outputs are available, although the BDP-LX70 lacks support for 7.1-channel systems.
Media streaming is somewhat of a strange feature to see on such an early player. Nonetheless, it's seamlessly integrated. Our biggest complaint is the relatively short list of playable file formats, which is mostly limited to WMV, MP3, WMA and JPEG. Nevertheless, users can easily set up slideshows with audio backing, and stream video and audio to the player.
As with most other Blu-ray players, there is noticeable lag when executing most options while viewing movies, which is a problem that seems inescapable at this stage of player development. At approximately one second, the delays aren't unbearable, but users should be aware that they're there. Otherwise, the interface is very well designed, and can be navigated intuitively.
Pioneer has included a full array of connection options with the BDP-LX70, including HDMI, component, S-Video and composite connections for video and optical and coaxial digital connections, as well as 5.1-channel and 2-channel connections for audio. An Ethernet connection is present for the media streaming function. Finally, there's a "control" connection, which allows users to link their Pioneer products together, so they can be controlled with a single remote.
It's difficult to say how well the Pioneer BDP-LX70 will do in the market at this early stage of Blu-ray adoption. Certainly, it's a player that's hard to fault; however, it's also one that's more expensive than most of the competition. Its excellent design, performance, and the integration of media streaming do help make up for this, but it's still a tough call for consumers. If you're looking for a top-notch Blu-ray player, with media streaming to boot, then the Pioneer BDP-LX70 comes highly recommended.
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