Feeds
75%
Pioneer BDP-320

Pioneer BDP-320

No frills, quality AV performer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Review Pioneer may be a well established name on the Blu-ray spinning circuit by now, but the company's deal with Sharp last year to pool their BD resources means that the BDP-320 is likely to be one of the last pure Pioneer Blu-ray players off the production line.

Pioneer BDP-320

End of an era: Pioneer's BDP-320

The BDP-320 sits in the lower half of Pioneer's six-strong Blu-ray player range. The feature spec rises fairly gradually from model to model though – the BDP-320 offers 48-bit Deep Colour over the basic BDP-120's 36-bit, but step up to the BDP-LX5 and you’ll get the anti-jitter Precision Quartz Lock System. Otherwise, features and connections are very similar. A good-looking machine – slimline with a gloss black finish – it feels solidly constructed. While the higher end models might have a classier build on close inspection, the BDP-320 certainly doesn't look cheap.

The back is home to a single HDMI v1.3 port, Ethernet, component, optical and composite digital audio outputs, and a remote control input for custom instals. The USB port is for additional memory storage beyond the 1GB already on board for BD-Live content. As yet, there's no sign of Wi-Fi connectivity at this level from Pioneer, such as you'll find in the similarly priced LG BD390 or Sony BDP-S560.

There are no analogue multichannel audio outputs though, which may put you off if you're still using a pre-HDMI AV amp. It's a shame too that the USB interface is only for memory, and won't allow you to load pictures or video from a USB flash drive. However there’s a reasonable range of formats supported on disc, including DivX, MP3, WMA, AVCHD and JPEG.

Special mention needs to be made of the remote, but not for any good reasons. It's large, it's bulky, has ill-defined buttons and it's not backlit. This can make things awkward to find – even though the buttons glow in the dark, but not very clearly – especially since the buttons are black, on a black background. How did that idea get off the design shelf?

Pioneer BDP-320

Visually, not the easiest remote to get to grips with

It's not the fastest loading player around – we never managed to get it below 1m 10secs. Once you're up and running, the user interface is solidly sober and businesslike and if not particularly attractive, it does, at least, have the advantage of being easy to navigate. Less enticing is that there's no picture-in-picture option when you want to access the main menu while you're watching a film – you'll need to come out of the movie to make your adjustments, and it won't automatically return you to the place you left. Grrr.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.