AT A GLANCE
High-quality 4K video upconversion
Superb detail enhancement and noise reduction
Excellent digital-to-analog audio conversion
As pricey as it is heavy
Slim feature set compared with competition
Pioneer’s flagship 4K-upconverting universal disc player is something special, even if it’s late to the party.
What’s new in the world of Blu-ray? 4K, that’s what. Expected to arrive sometime in late 2015, the UHD Blu-ray format should offer not just UHD-resolution video but also high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities, an extended color gamut, and up to 16-bit color encoding, among other advanced features. Something to get excited about, right?
Now that I’ve dropped that tidbit, let me tell you about the Pioneer Elite BDP-88FD, a universal player that can handle Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, SACD, DVD-Audio, regular DVDs, and CDs—just about everything except UHD Blu-ray. And it lists for $2,000. Excited? No? Well, let’s see if we can work you up.