Set of ports symbolizes the steady departure from analog interconnects in favor of digital. HDMI is now the major output for all occasions. In accordance with the functionality of 3D its version is 1.4a. The Blu-ray players got a LAN jack that serves as a BD Live connector permanently!, and to provide a number of networking functions, which are gradually becoming more and more popular. Two USB ports are provided for external drives, one hidden in the back among other inputs and the second placed forward for easy daily access. Specialized audio outputs are represented by optical S/PDIF and analog stereo pair. The presence of composite video output is purely auxiliary, it makes no sense to buy a Blu-ray player for this type of connection.
For an inexpensive device the equipment of the new item is truly royal. In addition to the essentials, namely Blu-ray and DVD playback, there are a number of interesting features never before seen in equipment in this price range. 3D Blu-ray compatibility lets you recreate the now popular 3D movie experience in your own home, when you have the proper TV and discs. In the past, the required screens were expensive, but now many models are so affordable that they fit perfectly with cheap players.
Support for SACD allows many audiophiles to try this not very popular, but gradually expanding its library of sound recording format. Once it could boast only relatively expensive models and a number of Chinese products, the quality of which was highly questionable. You can be sure in the proficiency of the Pioneer developers and the honest implementation of the declared functions.
Not ignored are the trends in media networks, combining computers, home servers, the Internet and home appliances. The BDP-140 is ready for integration both as a DLNA player for audio only and as a device that plays video content from network folders directly. That is, by connecting it to the local wired network and a TV, you can, without moving from your chair, start the video, located on any available computer or the Internet.
Certainly, in comparison with specialized media players the list of supported file formats and network services is noticeably poorer, but let us not forget that the function is optional and is a kind of free application.
In general, the multimedia features exceed the usual framework for Blu-ray players, and regardless of the price group. Support for MKV container and files with up to Full HD resolution will excite all those who are used to finding movies not in the store, but on popular Internet resources.
Control is made only by means of a remote control, which looks nice and is convenient except for the absence of backlight. The menu system is no longer the chaotic mess of early Pioneer BD players, but it’s still far from perfect. You can get used to it.
One of the main features of the budget model are the minimum video settings, as well as the absence of any kind of “enhancers” the picture. These compromises are not as noticeable on Blu-ray as they are on DVD. So if the old library of standard-definition discs is still relevant, it may be worth saving up for a more expensive player.
Color rendering is excellent for LCD panels, some of its shortcomings are found only on the best examples of projectors and plasma screens. Given the price of the device, it’s unlikely it will ever be paired with one.
There are certain complaints to 3D because of the lack of calibration – for this mode is not played adequately on all diagonals. The player copes with the basic task, showing high resolution video from files and Blu-ray discs on a solid five.
All in all, Pioneer has turned out a great unit, worthy of all praise. Not only does it bring the audience all the charms of the most advanced video format at its best, but also presents many new impressions of SACD, 3D and network functions.
Multimedia features are implemented at a high level in terms of both compatibility and usability. And all for more than a modest price. Of course, competitors do not sleep and you can find similar players in the range of many companies, but with Pioneer you can always be sure that the money was not spent in vain.
Nice design, networking, 3D and SACD support.
Control problems, minimal video settings.