Blu-ray Players

Pioneer BDP-52FD 3D Universal Blu-ray Player

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Conclusions About the Pioneer BDP-52FD Blu-ray Player

The Pioneer BDP-52FD is an improvement on their players from last year. It was faster, had much better performance, and adds support for DVD-Audio and SACD discs. Unfortunately, while they added colorspace selections, they only got that half right. The performance of RGB Full is fine, as that compresses content that is mastered at the full 0-255 range down to the video range, but the standard RGB mode functions incorrectly and should not be used by anyone. They managed to get 422 and 444 correct, but unless RGB is going to work correctly they should remove the option from the settings menu.

Pioneer did a much better job with their players than last year, and they are as affordable as a universal player gets right now. However, the lack of streaming content and the mistakes in the HDMI colorspace mean you can’t have those as requirements for your next player. Provided that Pioneer can address the RGB levels in a firmware update, I can go ahead and recommend the BDP-52FD, but I have a harder time recommending it against other players until that is addressed.