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Pioneer BDP-51FD Blu-ray players start shipping

Ben Drawbaugh

A very lucky AVS Forum member found Pioneers latest Blu-ray player at a local Magnolia/Best Buy store and was nice enough to share some pictures and kick off an owners thread. Evidently the firmware running on the player isn't quite ready and the particular units in hand were meant to be in store demos that were inadvertently sold -- the update is available though. The initial impressions are good, overall, but load times don't seem much better than the last generation. Although we don't see this as a mainstream player -- since it costs more than the current Samsung or Sony player and there's no hope it'll ever feature BD Live (no Ethernet port) -- we do expect it to be in contention for the player of choice for videophiles, and can't wait to get a chance to play with it.

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