Pioneer BDP-450 - recommended

Leeps

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Dec 10, 2012
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My 3-year old Panasonic Bluray died last night. Got stuck playing 20 minutes into a Bluray and refused to play any others I threw at it. So a bit of net-surfing and a visit to my trusty salespeople at the local Richer Sounds later, I picked up the replacement; a Pioneer BDP-450. So here are my initial comparisons with the Panasonic DMP-BDT310: Picture quality seems very similar...that'll be similarly stunning then. So how about the sound? My old Panny Bluray ran a close 2nd to my Cambridge Azur CD player as far as CD spinning goes, which is why I kept the CD player. But with the Pioneer '450, I'm having a hard time justifying the Cambridge's continued place in the rack. SQ aside, the Panny was very slow and clunky as a CD player, but the Pioneer seems to be able to figure out what's going on much more efficiently. The Pioneer seems more detailed and yet smoother at the same time. I don't know how much of this is the synergy with the Pioneer AV receiver, or any other contributory factors, but I like the sound very much. And that's with CD's. As for Blurays, the steering effects seem much sharper than before. There's a solidity and punch to the sound. The overall combination of Pioneer BD - Pioneer AVR - Monitor Audio Radius really hits the spot to my taste. There are some practical improvements too over the Panasonic Bluray. I now have the option to delve into SACD's, which I certainly intend to, after having much success with some recent Bluray Audios. And the Pioneer av-control App (which is the slickest user interface I've seen on any AV product) that I currently use for my AV receiver, also works with the Bluray player. It's always gratifying to consign yet another remote control to the cupboard. So all in all, I'm really impressed, especially considering the Pioneer was about £80 less than what I paid for the Panasonic 3 years ago. Downsides? There's not much in the way of "smart" apps, but seeing my TV has all the apps I need anyway (particularly after Panasonic added the Eurosport player to its arsenal a few weeks ago), the main thing I wanted was sound and picture quality. And the remote control is just as cluttered, busy and illogical as my AV receiver, so it really is best controlled with an iThing. The coax output is handy for me too (unlike PP's reaction to the same player) as the next step is to feed my Bluray and TV into a NAD D7050, initially to use as a headphone amp. I've always been impressed with my AV receiver, which IMO offers amazing sound quality and features for the money, but having a decent headphone amp in it is very evidently asking too much. But with the Cambridge CD off to pastures new, I have plenty of room in the rack for the headphone amp. (Enter smug grin).
 

Leeps

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Sorry about the lack of paragraphing, but this frustrating, slow, clunky, buggy website refuses to do anything I ask of it. This is already my third attempt at adding a post, I gave up trying to amend my signature and it threw the spam filter at me trying to add this comment. Hrmph.

Someone really needs to throw this one away and bring back the old one which worked and I actually had the time to add posts too. This one is just too much like hard work. I visibly age adding posts to this one.
 
Yup, the 450 is an excellent machine in terms of picture quality, ergonomics and built quality. The only thing I couldn't test was the sound thru the amp, as it doesn't support analogue outs. Pity really, but otherwise, highly recommended.

Still, I'll set my Panny BDT 500 up this evening and see how that compares.
 

Leeps

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Dec 10, 2012
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Hope you get on OK with the Panasonic PP. Shame the Pioneer didn't work for you. The feature set is just about spot on for me.

One thing in the Panny's defence is that the set-up menus are clearer and more logical than the Pioneer. I used to find it quite easy on the Panny to change from 5.1 mix to stereo for example, which I used to do when watching Blurays & using headphones to help raise the dialogue in the mix. It's going to take a little more head-scratching & manual re-reading with the Pioneer.

An interesting demo BD I used yesterday was "Legend of the Guardians", a bit of a curious CGI tale of owls but with a very well-produced picture and sound. Particularly good use of rear channels which often are under-utilised in many surround mixes.
 

iceman16

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Feb 8, 2011
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plastic penguin said:
Yup, the 450 is an excellent machine in terms of picture quality, ergonomics and built quality. The only thing I couldn't test was the sound thru the amp, as it doesn't support analogue outs. Pity really, but otherwise, highly recommended.

Still, I'll set my Panny BDT 500 up this evening and see how that compares.

Hi PP

Is it the Panny DMP BDT500?
 
iceman16 said:
plastic penguin said:
Yup, the 450 is an excellent machine in terms of picture quality, ergonomics and built quality. The only thing I couldn't test was the sound thru the amp, as it doesn't support analogue outs. Pity really, but otherwise, highly recommended.

Still, I'll set my Panny BDT 500 up this evening and see how that compares.

Hi PP

Is it the Panny DMP BDT500?

That's the kiddy. Only just got in from the ma-in-laws, hopefully I'll have it set-up a little later this evening.
 

Leeps

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Dec 10, 2012
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John Duncan said:
In other news, I have added you (Leeps) to the trusted user group, so the spam filter should be no more.

Appreciated John, thank you.
 

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