Although Pioneer's Home Electronics Division
did not have a presence at this year's CES
, the company did release a trio of Blu-ray players shortly before the show. All three players--two Elite models and one standard Pioneer-branded model--are 3D-capable and include a Web platform that features Netflix
, and YouTube
. We have not performed a hands-on review of the top-shelf Elite BDP-43FD ($499), but here is an overview of its features. This player supports a wired or optional wireless network connection
(via an add-on USB adapter) for BD-Live
and Web services, and a future firmware update is supposed to enable DLNA media streaming. The iControlAV app allows you to control the player using your iPad
, or iPod
touch. The BDP-43FD offers higher-grade construction than the two step-down models; it has an armored chassis with a bottom-insulating plate, drive-mechanism shock absorbers, a gold-plated HDMI terminal, and a higher-grade power cable.Additional Resources
• Read more Blu-ray player reviews
from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Explore the 3D HDTV options
to pair with the BDP-43FD.
In terms of video connections, the BDP-43FD offers a single HDMI output, as well as component and composite video outputs. (Players released after January 1, 2011, are no longer allowed to have HD-capable component video outputs, due to copy-protection restrictions; the Pioneer models got in just under the wire with their December release.) The player supports 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI, but it does not include a Source Direct mode that outputs all sources at their native resolution--a feature that formerly appeared on many Pioneer models.
On the audio side, outputs include HDMI, optical digital (no coaxial), and stereo analog. The BDP-43FD has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI. The BDP-43FD features Pioneer's PQLS technology to eliminate jitter in both stereo and multichannel sources when you mate the player with certain Pioneer receivers.
The BDP-43FD supports BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx, WMV, MKV, MP3, WMA, and JPEG playback. You can add the player to your home network either by using the back-panel Ethernet port or by attaching the optional AS-WL200 wireless LAN adapter ($99) to the back-panel USB port. This USB port also supports the addition of a USB drive to store BD-Live content; the player does not have internal memory for BD-Live storage. A second, front-panel USB port also supports BD-Live storage and media playback. The BDP-43FD does offer an RS-232 port for integration into an advanced control system.Read about the high points and the low points of the BDP-43FD on Page 2.