The Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD
Blu-ray player -- its first with BD-Live, featuring 4GB of storage -- is finally official. Blu-ray discs will have their video treated to Pioneer's 16-bit video processor, Marvell QDEO and Renesas processing, including 24p support, plus the company's Adaptive bit Length Expansion that claims it restores 8-bit color on disc to the original 16-bit studio master. The audio side is treated to eight Wolfson Audio DACs, delivering full decoding and bit-stream output for all those high-res audio formats the kids like so much in a truly superior fashion. Dual HDMI 1.3a outputs capable of splitting or duplicating the workload, RS-232C control and heavy solid steel construction just further the point -- if you'd like to pay more than the price of a PS3 for a fully featured Blu-ray player, here's a good reason. The only truly sad news is that the $2,199 price and "2008" release date remain unchanged.