It's not a surprise to see Pioneer launching a Blu-ray player -- we've been waiting for it for some time now. The good news is our thumb twiddling hasn't been for nothing, because Pioneer has come up with a fantastic-looking player with some nifty features: pray silence for the BDP-LX70.
The most exciting feature of the LX70 is its ability to access files on your home network. It's fully DLNA compliant, which means you can stream MPEG-2 and WMV video and photos and MP3s from a PC. While this isn't especially new, it's not a feature you get on most players, so Crave welcomes it with open arms.
It goes without saying that the LX70 supports 1080p as well as a fantastic array of audio formats. Sound is often one of the most neglected elements on high-definition players, but if you're seeing beautiful video, Pioneer reasons you'll want good sound too. Hence support for the smashing Dolby True HD. This means sound is compressed losslessly, which in turn means you should be able to hear detail that would previously have been compressed out of existence.
We also happen to think it's probably one of the most beautiful next-generation players we've seen too. Finished in piano black with tasty silver bits at choice locations, you can't help but be a little seduced. Certainly, it's better looking than most of the other Blu-ray players on the market.
There's also support for 24 frames per second output too. This rate accurately represents how the original film was shot, and preserves the pitch of the original soundtrack. So you'll be getting a more cinema-like experience, as long as you hook it up to a compatible television. The good news there is all Pioneer's new plasma screens will accept this format.
The BDP-LX70 will launch in June, and the word on the street is it will cost somewhere in the region of £1,000. -Ian Morris