Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1 Blu-ray Disc Player: First Look

  • $1,500
  • Digital Video Output: HDMI
  • Video Upconversion: 720p, 1080i/p
  • Audio Decoding: DD, MP3, WMA
  • Ins and Outs: HDMI, component, one each composite and S-Video, coaxial and Toslink digital audio, two-channel and 5.1-channel analog audio, Ethernet
  • Feature Highlights: Blu-ray Disc Player, upconversion of standard-def DVDs to 720p or 1080i/p via HDMI

Pioneer Elite has a stellar reputation in optical disc players, and we're looking forward to seeing its first Blu-ray player. That being said, we're a little baffled at how it could be referred to in its specs as having "multi-format playback" when it won't play CDs! Like the other BD players that have been announced, the BDP-HD1 upconverts standard-def DVDs but won't decode the newest Dolby and DTS formats at full resolution. It will decode uncompressed multichannel PCM and pass it digitally via HDMI, and supports BD's Java-based interactivity and all of the new video compression codecs. Note too that as of now we have no indication that this player will feature HDMI version 1.3 compatibility. Available in September.