In mid-2008, Pioneer released two new Blu-ray models, the Elite BDP-05FD and the standard Pioneer-branded BDP-51FD. The two models share many of the same features, with the $799 Elite model adding a few high-end touches to distinguish it from the $599 Pioneer model. Both players are Profile 1.1/BonusView, which means they contains the necessary audio and video decoders to play picture-in-picture content; however, they lack BD-Live support to play Web content, which comes with the Profile 2.0 spec. The BDP-05FD supports Blu-ray, DVD, CD audio, MP3, WMA, and AVCHD playback. Unlike last year's Elite BDP-95FD, this player does not have an Ethernet port for firmware updates and support of the Home Media Gallery function, which allows you to stream digital media from a PC or DLNA-compliant server.
The Elite BDP-05FD's back panel features HDMI 1.3a, component video, S-video, and composite video outputs. Output-resolution options for HDMI are Auto, 480i, 480p, 1080i, 1080p/60, and Source Direct, which outputs each disc at its native resolution - including 1080p/24 for most Blu-ray movies. Options for component video are 480i, 480p, 1080i, and Source Direct (although 1080p discs are output at 1080i). Note that 720p is no longer offered as a dedicated output resolution. The BDP-05FD includes a Video Adjust menu that includes a number of advanced picture adjustments: Pure Cinema settings, numerous noise-reduction options, gamma correction, white/black level, detail, hue, and chroma, as well as a setting that optimizes the player's output based on the type of display connected to it.
Audio outputs include HDMI, optical and coaxial digital audio, and 2- and 7.1-channel analog audio outputs. The player features internal Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoders and will also pass these formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, to be decoded by a receiver that contains the necessary decoders. Both the HDMI and analog audio outputs support the passage of 7.1-channel PCM audio. The player uses Wolfson Audio digital-to-analog converters, and it employs a special Pioneer jitter-reduction circuit and a feature called PQLS to eliminate jitter with CD audio when you mate the player with certain Pioneer Elite receivers.
The back panel lacks an RS-232 port, but it does have a control input for use with a Pioneer receiver that has a SR control output. Some of the step-up features that distinguish the BDP-05FD from the BDP-51FD are the use of gold-plated connection ports and a 12-bit/297-MHz/ video DAC, as opposed to a 12-bit/148.5-MHz video DAC. Also, the higher-end model sports an aluminum front panel, with capacitance touch buttons.
Read about the high points and low points of the BDP-05FD on Page 2.