These days you can pick up a Blu-ray player along with the weekly grocery shop, so a model’s got to be pretty special if it’s going to command even as much as £200. Thankfully the Pioneer BDP-450 really is quite special.
Pioneer BDP-450 review – design and features
This is a far bigger and more sturdy alternative to the slimline plastic models offered by the likes of Sony and Panasonic, and it seems more grown up and luxurious as a result.
Unlike most budget models the BDP-450 is classed as a universal disc player, which means it will play niche formats such as DVD-Audio and SACD as well as the usual CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays. 3D is also featured, and there are even two HDMI outputs on the back so that if your home cinema system doesn’t support 3D video it can receive HD audio via one of the HDMIs while the other carries the 3D video directly to your telly.
Pioneer BDP-450 review – media streaming
Discs aren’t the only way to get your entertainment fix. Your own video and music files can be accessed via the USB connection or streamed across your network from a NAS or computer. And while the Pioneer doesn’t have the range of smart TV apps that some of its rivals boast, Netflix is on board to deliver unlimited on-demand movies and TV shows for just £5.99 a month.
Pioneer BDP-450 review – picture quality
This is where the BDP-450 really shines. With Blu-ray you get a stunningly detailed image with awesome sharpness and a real sense of depth. Still watching those old DVDs? The Pioneer does a great job of upscaling those, too. You’re not going to mistake the standard-def content for HD, but there’s more detail and less noise to the picture when compared to other Blu-ray players at this money.
Pioneer BDP-450 review – verdict
£225 might seem like a lot for a Blu-ray player these days, but the Pioneer BDP-450 has the kind of build quality and brilliant pictures to more than justify it.