First Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1 Blu-ray Review (Verdict: Identical to Sony?)

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

If you read the Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray player review, you'd have a good idea of what the Pioneer BDP-HD1 player could do. Because, strangely enough, they are identical. HDGuru found that the back panel, disc drive, menus, format support, and capabilities were exactly the same between the two players, down to the time it takes they take to boot and load a movie.


When asked, Pioneer said they manufacture the player itself, so does that mean they make Sony's as well? Is that the reason for their massive delays? Does Sony not even make their own Blu-ray players, something they've been pushing like crazy?


Hard to say. But that's the way it looks now. Fortunately for Sony, their version of the player is $1000 compared to the Pioneer's $1500. But for the extra $500 you get an ethernet port, a longer warranty, a more conventional black finish, and BD-R/RE recordable playback.

If you're looking to author your own discs or enjoy updating firmware over the net, the Pioneer seems like a better buy.

EXCLUSIVE: First Review of the Pioneer Elite BDP-HD1 Blu-ray Player [HDGuru]

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It is very possible that the setup was wrong or that the wrong media was loaded. Recently I was at a BestBuy store and noticed a demo of HD-DVD. The quality was very poor and looked more like a DVD. I questioned the salesperson who was absolutely positive it was a HD-DVD playing and added that I must be wrong about the quality. Five minutes later the guy approached me elsewhere in the store and said that he was mistaken, they had not received any HD-DVDs to play on it so it was a DVD running. If you want to validate the quality of what you are seeing in a store, pull out the box and check the connections. Eject the disc and check that too. The demo units are there for us to try and are provided mostly by the manufacturer for us to test.