In September, Pioneer announced a trio of new Blu-ray players. In addition to two Elite models (the BDP-53FD and BDP-52FD), the company also introduced the entry-level BDP-140. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BDP-140, but here is an overview of its features. This is a 3D-capable Blu-ray player that also supports SACD playback and DLNA media streaming. It has a limited Web platform with access to Netflix, Pandora, Picasa, and YouTube. The player does not have integrated WiFi, nor does it come with a USB WiFi adapter. The BDP-140 works with Pioneer's iControlAV2 app that allows for remote control via an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Android device.
The connection panel includes HDMI, composite video, optical digital, and stereo analog audio outputs, as well as an Ethernet port and two USB ports that support media playback. The BDP-140 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. Pioneer offers a number of picture adjustments in the setup menu, including four picture modes, brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, sharpness, and noise reduction. This player supports Pioneer's new Sound Retriever Link and Stream Smoother Link, which the company describes like this: "These two new features detect the bit rate of both audio and video content and if necessary will send a command to a compatible Pioneer receiver to activate the Sound Retriever or Stream Smoother feature. The Sound Retriever feature enhances compressed audio files by restoring critical data lost during the compression process, while Stream Smoother enhances compressed video files to reduce compression noise and establish more detailed, finer images."
The BDP-140 supports 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx Plus HD, WMV, MKV, MP3, WMA, and JPEG playback. It lacks internal memory to store BD-Live features, so you will need to add storage via one of the USB ports. The BDP-140 also lacks some step-up features you'll find on the Elite models, such as RS-232, DVD-Audio support, the use of Marvell's QDEO video processing chip, and better build quality.
Read about the high points and low points of the Pioneer BDP-140 on Page 2.High Points
• The BDP-140 supports 3D playback.
• It supports BD-Live and BonusView Blu-ray features.
• It has internal decoding and bitstream output of high-resolution audio sources, and it can play SACDs.
• The Web platform includes Netflix, Pandora, Picasa, and YouTube, and DLNA media streaming is supported.
The BDP-140 features Pioneer's Sound Retriever Link and Stream Smoother
Link to improve the quality of compressed audio and video sources.
This model lacks dual HDMI outputs, component video output, and
multichannel analog audio output, so it's not the best choice for
someone who owns older home theater equipment.
• The BDP-140 doesn't come with integrated WiFi or a USB WiFi adapter.
• Pioneer's Web platform isn't as extensive or customizable as some of its competitors.
• The BDP-140 doesn't offer 2D-to-3D conversion or any advanced adjustment options for the 3D image.
• The player lacks internal memory and RS-232.
Competition and Comparison
Compare the Pioneer BDP-140 with its
competition by reading the reviews for the Sharp BD-HP25U,
and Toshiba BDX5200.
Learn more about 3D-capable Blu-ray Players by visiting our Blu-ray
Slowly but surely, the price of Pioneer's Blu-ray
players is coming in line with the competition. For a street price under
$200, the BDP-140 offers 3D capability, a Web platform with Netflix,
DLNA media streaming, SACD playback, and a smartphone control app. Where
the company's players continue to fall short is in their WiFi support.
Pioneer does not offer integrated WiFi or a supplied adapter with any of
its networkable players, even the pricier Elite models. According to
the BDP-140's user guide, you can mate this player with Pioneer's
AS-WL300 USB WiFi adapter, which is designed for use with the company's
network-friendly receivers; however, at around $150, that adapter costs
almost as much as this player. Admittedly, you can find "universal" USB
WiFi adapters for under $50; and, if you have no need for a WiFi
connection, this is a non-issue. All in all, the BDP-140 is a logical
companion piece for a new Pioneer A/V receiver at a reasonable price.