Pioneer’s two new sub-$1000 Blu-ray players

Pioneer has announced its fastest and slimmest Blu-ray players – choose between the entry-level Pioneer BDP-120 Blu-ray player offering BD-Live, on-board HD audio decoding and Quick Start mode, or step-up to 1GB internal memory, a unique video engine, jitter-free audio transmission and RS232 on the BDP-LX52.

Both Pioneer Blu-ray players ensure the highest quality playback of Blu-ray discs, DVDs and CDs.

Sitting only 58mm high and taking only 0.8 seconds to start-up from stand-by mode, the BDP-120 (pictured above) is Pioneer’s fastest, slimmest and most affordable Blu-ray player on the market.

The BDP-LX52, pictured below, is the first sub $1,000 Pioneer Blu-ray to offer internal memory for BD-Live, multi-channel jitter-free audio, an RS232 port for easy management via advanced control systems and Triple HD Noise Reduction.

BD-Live (Profile 2.0)

To take full advantage of the extra features becoming available on Blu-ray Discs, both Blu-ray players feature BD-Live, enabling movie enthusiasts to connect to the Internet (via Ethernet port) and download data such as subtitles, images and bonus trailers, synchronise viewing with other BD-Live
players and join in live chat sessions, online gaming and video messaging when viewing BD-Live compatible titles.

To deliver on the promise of BD-Live right out of the box, Pioneer’s BDP-120 features a USB port for use with compatible flash drives and hard disc drives, while the BDP-LX52 has a 1GB internal memory, also expandable courtesy of a USB port.

On-board HD audio decoding

Both the BDP-120 and BDP-LX52 Blu-ray players support all advanced audio formats, with the ability to decode Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD High Resolution and DTS HD Master Audio high resolution audio formats.

By offering on-board decoding of the latest HD audio formats, consumers can connect either Blu-ray player to an existing high quality AV receiver, such as the VSX-519V, and enjoy the benefits of HD home entertainment, without having to upgrade to a HD AV receiver.

Pioneer’s latest Blu-ray offering will also provide bitstream audio over the HDMI jack for all of the above formats.

Picture quality

With their ability to handle 1080p 24 frames per second (fps) reproduction rate, the new models guarantee a lifelike cinematic experience on a compatible display. Taking advantage of HDMI connectivity, they provide pure, natural images to deliver the full emotional impact of Blu-ray disc films as the director intended.

By improving subtle colour gradations, 36-bit Deep Colour support for the BDP-120, and 48-bit Deep Colour support for the BDP-LX52, the result is lively colours and smooth transitions between different gradation steps on 48-bit/36-bit capable displays.

In addition, the BDP-LX52 features a Video Adjust mode that allows users to tweak 13 video adjustments to create a finely tuned image. Among those 13, the Triple HD Noise Reduction offers three modification options to upgrade the image quality by removing various artefacts that may have been
induced during the digitization of the video images.

Precision Quartz Locking System

Pioneer’s Precision Quartz Lock System (PQLS) offers jitterless transmission of uncompressed LPCM audio over HDMI to compatible Pioneer AV receivers. The BDP-LX52 is able to utilise the PQLS technology for jitterless sound processing for 2-channel LPCM sound sources such as an audio CD, as well as being the world’s first multi-channel PQLS, operating between the Blu-ray Disc player and a multi-channel PQLS-equipped Pioneer receiver by synchronising both components’ digital clocks for optimal audio playback.

Pioneer Home Theatre Synergy

Working in tandem with Pioneer’s KURO displays technology and range of HD A/V receivers, the new BDP- 120 and BDP-LX52 completes the home entertainment experience, allowing consumers to immerse themselves in stunning HD content.

Home theatre synergy on the both Blu-ray players is best demonstrated through KURO Link, which synchronises the Blu-ray Disc player with Pioneer’s KURO plasma displays with other Pioneer HDMI-control enabled home theatre products such as Pioneer A/V amplifier. The KURO Link allows users to operate their basic operations including Playback or Power ON/OFF on all products with a single remote control. Anyone can easily perform these operations by pressing the HDMI Control button on the remote control and following the menu displayed on the screen.

Price and availability

The Pioneer BDP-120 will be released in late July 2009, at an RRP of $599, followed by the release of the BDP-LX52 in August 2009 for $999 RRP.