AV brand continues to impress with a budget Blu-ray player that does the business
Blessed with similar components to the marvellous, but more expensive, BDP-450, Pioneer's BDP-150 aims to prove that you don’t need to shell out a small fortune if all you want from your deck is quality playback plus one or two extra entertainment tidbits.
Design-wise, the deck is non-descript, the connections roster falls short of built-in Wi-Fi (you'll need to get a dongle), and the remote control is cheaper than a night out in Skegness. It’s also painfully hard to operate in low ambient light, although the iOS/Android app makes for a pleasant experience.
Online entertainment consists merely of Picasa, YouTube and Netflix, which at least has no shortage of movies, TVs and original drama to watch, including the superb House of Cards. Multimedia support is reasonable using the front-mounted USB, with DLNA playback limited to MP3, M4A and FLAC audio files.
The BDP-150 features a quick start mechanism that sees the disc tray open instantly and close smoothly. The player takes audio discs in its stride, effortlessly delivering a wonderfully articulate and detailed rendition of Hilary Hahn’s The Lark Ascending on Super Audio CD. DVD-Audio playback has gone AWOL, though - this isn't a true universal machine.
BD playback is no less impressive. The BDP-150 performs well with my Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark test disc, faltering only with pans across strongly defined diagonal patterns. There's slight judder on the Super 8 Blu-ray but detail is strong and the colour palette is a revelation, with numerous subtle shades in the gloomily lit houses.
Overall, the BDP-150's forte is what you’d want it to be: playing optical discs. Similarly priced rivals from the likes of Sony and Panasonic offer more in the way of extra-curricular content, though.
Price: £140 Approx
Love Home Cinema? Sign up to our emails for the latest news and special offers!
Ultra HD for all: Five sub-£1,000 Ultra HD TVs fight it out in this month's grouptest
Hot Technology: Ultra HD Blu-ray, OLED TVs and more from the IFA tech expo
Top flight TV: Hands-on with Panasonic's best LED screen yet!
Sonic sensations: The Dolby Atmos discs you must own
Win! Win! Win! Three Evolve Audio SB-2501 soundbars up for grabs!
Plus: All of the latest home cinema tech,
Blu-ray/DVD reviews, and a whole lot more!
Want to see your home cinema system featured in the pages of HCC? Click here for more info.
Home Cinema Choice is proud to be a member of EISA.
Visit www.eisa.eu for more info.