Pioneer’s Blu-Ray 3D Players have universal appeal

Hot on the heels of Pioneer’s four new Blu Ray home theatre systems comes a brace of blu ray disc players that completes a powerful new line-up for the autumn.


The BDP- 440 and BDP- LX55 Blu Ray players combine 3D playback at a 1080p full cinema-like 24 frames per second (fps)with some outstanding hi def audio courtesy of HDMI uncompressed multi-channel linear pulse code modulation. In other words you get some truly hard core sonic sounds from DVD audio that could potentially handle your home music output just as well as a dedicated hifi system.

Their local network and internet connectivity adds another dimension to the possibilities through a smart phone app that will let you communicate with the players through your iPad  iPhone, iPod and Android devices turning them into remote controllers. Now that is pretty cool.

Of the two players, the LX55 is the higher end audio edition with gold plated HDMI terminals, a 32 bit / 192 kHz digital to analogue audio converter, acoustic capacitors and an anti vibration construction design.

Both models showcase image versatility with compatibility for MKV, DivX Plus HD, WMV, WMA and MP3 playback, plus a JPEG viewer for photo slideshows. They are to all intents and purposes intended to be a ‘universal’ solution for home digital.

As Philippe Coppens, Technology and Product Information Manager at Pioneer Europe comments: “The fact that Pioneer again has so-called “universal” disc playback capability – supporting both Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio – will surely be appreciated by many audiophiles who invested in these high-resolution formats in the past and today.”

The BDP-440 retails at £249.99 and the BDP-LX55  £349.95 available from November.

Plextor PX-B12OU: 3D movies when you’re on the move

3D films are definitely the next big thing and if you have a 3D-compatible display, but nothing to play them on this could be the solution.

The plug-and-play Plextor PX-B120OU is a portable Blu-ray player that comes in at around £92. It looks pretty good, with its ripple design on the top, and can be used to playback in two different ways.


First, the Blu-ray player can connect via USB to a media centre, laptop or PC. All you need is a system running Windows XP/Vista/7 or above, and 128MB RAM. You will be able to connect direct to a TV when you use the PlexMedia box, which is due to launch next year

So it means you can enjoy 3D playback both at home and when you’re out – a good way to liven up dull car journeys (if you’re not the one driving, obviously).

Discs are top-loaded, which is handy if you’re on the move, as you don’t need to allow space for the loading tray to pop out.

However, the Plextor only offers playback – there is no write function – and it is possible to pick up Desktop Blu-ray drives that play and write for probably around 20 pounds less.

The only reason that we can see for actually buying this is if you have a laptop that does not offer Blu-ray playback, and you want to enjoy movies in the car or on the train, where the USB powered drive would be a bonus.

Latest Gadgets 3D Blu-ray players round-up

Due to the global assault of Avatar and many other 3D-based movies released over the past year, the 3D Blu-ray player is a hotly anticipated arrival. But can they live up to our expectations? Judge for yourself, with our selection of machines currently on the market or due for release soon.

Panasonic DMP-BDT300
This player was released at the end of April, so it’s still too early to gauge its success. An impressive set of stats, however, marks it out as a force to be reckoned with. It can play H.264/MKV or DivX + HD files, as well as all previous forms of DivX files. It is also the brand’s first full HD 3D Blu-ray Disc player and the first to receive DivX + HD certification. It also has USB and SD memory support. Overall, this ultra-powerful 3D beast is definitely one for the serious Blu-ray enthusiast.
Price: £399

Samsung BD-C6900
The first thing to say about this little beauty, which is on sale now, is that it’s absolutely stunning in its design. The Samsung logo that emits a luminous blue glow when disc-reading is just one example. Luckily the device is not a case of style over substance. The internet@TV function, which can be used with Samsung Apps, allows web content to be viewed on a TV screen. The Ultra Fast Play feature lets film fans cut straight to the chase and do away with the usual loading-time annoyance. It has full 1080p video output, Dolby advanced audio codecs and can also play DivX files.
Price: Approx £270

Denon DBP-1611UD and DBP-2011UDCI
The company are hoping to crack the market wide open by bringing out two new players. Both machines will be available in the US this summer, meaning that a UK launch will hopefully not be far behind. The DBP-1611UD is universal, so it is also compatible with DVD-A, SACD, CD and the humble DVD.The 2011UDCI also includes 7.1 audio outputs, an RS232 socket and an IR input/output. Both versions feature easy internet access, Netflix, YouTube streaming and DivX HD+. The machines have been designed to enhance users’ networking opportunities, so it will be interesting to whether they hit the mark with tech-savvy consumers.
Price: £240 (DBP-2011UDCI), £270 (DBP-1611UD)

LG BX580
The machine, likely to be released later this month, plays 3D and standard Blu-rays, as well as ordinary DVDs. The focus is on information accessibility, with a number of features designed to make this easier.
It supports MP3, MKV, H.264 and DivX HD, and includes streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube.
This is probably one for multi-taskers, as it seems to make alternating between web-surfing, social networking and movie-watching with the minimum amount of fuss, an absolute doddle.
Price: Not yet specified