Why virtualise your NAS environment?
- Great quality Blu-ray and DVD playback, media streaming
- Very expensive
Ignoring price, this is probably the best Blu-ray player we've seen to date. If you're willing to pay a premium then it's an excellent product.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
Pioneer's BDP-LX70A is a high-end Blu-ray player, geared towards enthusiasts. As with other similarly high-end players, it attempts to distinguish itself through its audio features and performance, whilst maintaining the already high standard of video playback found on most Blu-ray players these days. Although it succeeds in both these tasks, it also comes with an RRP almost double that of some other players.
Video quality is of the standard that we've come to expect from Blu-ray. 1080p/24Hz support, along with customisable white and black levels and colour hues, allows users to experience Blu-ray to its fullest extent. Playback tended to be a lot smoother in our tests than it was with other players that we've seen, and lag is comparatively minimal when skipping chapters/titles .
DVD upscaling is just as good, with a noticeable improvement in quality – essential for DVD playback on most high-definition screens. Images are sharp and clear, and we didn't notice any image flaws or glitches in our tests. The LX70A should be capable of replacing all but the most high-end of DVD players in most home entertainment setups.
Audio is exceptional, with full support for DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD bit-stream output and support for 7.1 surround sound. With HDMI 1.3 it comes highly recommended for audio enthusiasts – it has the most impressive audio capabilities that we've seen in a Blu-ray player to date. Although most of the audio quality of the player is dependant upon the user having access to other, similarly high-end devices (such as an AV receiver and speakers), it nevertheless delivers great sound on its own, even through TV speakers.
The LX70A's design reflects its target market – it's solid and sturdy, ensuring the highest quality playback possible, with minimal vibration and high-quality components. It's still attractive enough, and the combination of neon blue lighting on the front panel's buttons and its deep black colouring should help it fit into most living room settings. The back panel contains a full range of connections, including HDMI 1.3.
In addition to its high quality Blu-ray and DVD playback, the LX70A also serves as a fully functional media streamer. The lack of wireless support is the only downside here, necessitating the use of Ethernet cables to connect the player to a PC. Apart from that however, the media streaming is highly functional and quite easy to setup and operate.
The biggest problem with the LX70A is ultimately its price. It's probably the best Blu-ray player we've seen so far, but at double the RRP of some other models, it's hard to justify. For the high-end enthusiasts this is an excellent player, and well worth the investment. For those who don't desperately need 7.1 PCM output, support for lossless surround sound, and media streaming though, an entry-level unit would probably suit better.
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