Feeds
80%
Pioneer BDP-51FD

Pioneer BDP-51FD Blu-ray Disc player

Top-end performance at an affordable price

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Review It's not been easy for Pioneer of late, what with the painful withdrawal from the high-end plasma TV market that it had dominated with the Kuro, the best plasma family on the planet. However, life goes on and this spritely little Blu-ray Disc player should go some way to putting the spring back into Pioneer’s step.

Pioneer BDP-51FD

Pioneer's BDP-51FD: top-notch performance?

It'll also bring a level of performance to your living room not previously seen in a BD box at this price point.

The BDP-51FD feels well constructed and reassuringly sturdy sitting on its circular metal feet. Looks-wise, the player scores highly too, creating a dark and brooding presence in the stack with its black livery and little blue lights - just in case you forgot it was a Blu-ray player.

It presents a decent set of connectivity options, including HDMI (1.3a) output, eight-channel analogue outputs as well as a two-channel output for a CD deck. For pre-HDMI TVs, there are component-, composite- and s-video ports. Surprisingly, there's no Ethernet port, though.

That's enough to tell you it doesn't support internet-sourced BD Live content, but a look at the spec confirms this player is a Blu-ray Disc Profile 1.1 - aka BonusView - machine. So what it will do is display picture-in-picture content and some of the other HD extras. Given the price, this might seem a disappointment - other machines at or under the £350 mark, including the PS3, do BD Live, or have a network port that allows them to be upgraded to support it.

Pioneer BDP-51FD

Plenty of ports - but Scart-fans are left out

That said, unless BD Live content gets much more widespread - and, indeed, much less rubbish - very soon, you're not going to miss the feature's absence, we'd say. Still, the lack of a network port means you won't be easily updating the software on board the BDP-51FD, either.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.