Managed to speak to a pioneer rep at the show and he tells me the older units like my lx54 are actually using Sharp components! This is why support has stopped and moved over to the newer pioneer players with pioneer parts.
So 450 it is then, out of those two.
Panasonic 65" 3D TV (P65VT50), Pioneer LX83, CA, Azur 751BD, PS3, Water Cooled Xbox 360 (Modded), Nintendo Wii U, Sky HD+, i7 PC overclocked with 6850 HD Radeon, CM8 Fronts (Bi-Amped), CMC Center (Bi-Wired), DS3 Dipoles, PV1 Sub. Van Den Hul M.C. Snowtrack >Halogen Free< wiring, Chord Active Silver HDMI's, Cabridge Audio AUD700 Analogues Interconnects, QED Signature Subwoofer cables, Chunky Monkey custom oak AV cabinet.
Though again, reviews can only take you so far. If real world users encounter problems not mentioned in reviews, prospective buyers should take note.
AV Forums BDP reviews confuse me. The stated position in all their reviews is that bistreamed 1080p video and HD audio, as long as no unwanted processing is taking place, will be identical from BDP to BDP.
If that's their take, why isn't every BDP that doesn't add unnecessary processing classed as reference status with HD material (rather than, say, excellent, as in this and other cases)? The reviewers are contradicting themselves.
Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)
Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112
Check this review, which has actually got a reference status for HD. Read the explanation for it:
My Home Cinema Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90
Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H
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Yes, I heard that too. What I don't understand is, why alienate older players? Ok, they're Sharp underneath, but they're still carrying the Pioneer badge!
Check this review, which has actually got a reference status for HD. Read the explanation for it: http://www.avforums.com/reviews/Sony-BDP-S760-Blu-ray-Disc-Player-Review_99/Review.html
I'll admit I only read the section on 1080p playback, so maybe I missed something, but as I undestand it, they're appluading the 760 for its extra processing. Video may look better as a consequence of "smoothing," but this contradicts statements that unadalterated 1080p playback is the reference.
In my view, this is another negative for reviews, as consistent standards should be maintained at all times. If the 760 improves on BDPs that purportedly add nothing to images, BDPs they claim produce unadulterated images should surely be below reference.
This is what the review says:
The biggest selling point from my videophile standpoint is one of the features of Sony's so-called "HD Reality Enhancer" set of tools, which for once, actually does subtly enhance the image quality of certain Blu-ray movies. Keep in mind that when I say "subtly enhance", I mean that it processes compressed movies and alters the picture in a way that makes it more closely resemble the original studio master, rather than simply tinkering with the image.
I'm pulling a writing late shift, though I've had enough now and thought I'd glance at the forum before bed.
The way I see it, AV Forums reviewers can't have it both ways. On the one hand they assert that unadulterated reading and transference of a 1080p encode is the reference standard. On the other, they argue that manipulation of that encode is also "reference." The reference must be one or the other. It can't be both.
The statement that this manipulation "alters the picture in a way that makes it more closely resemble the original studio master, rather than simply tinkering with the image" is entirely subjective. What was the point of reference for this claim? There isn't (and can't) be one. The reviewer can't view an unadulterated studio master.
The short version of all this is that the reviewer's claims are nonsensical. They could have offered a statement along the lines of:
"Subjectively speaking, the smoothing process is extremely effective and improves colour gradations and transitions. The 760 therefore represents the new reference standard for 1080p playback, lifting it above other Blu-ray players that simply transfer data from the disc intact."
In upholding such a claim, however, AV Forums would be forced to downgrade countless other BDPs.
The reviewer kind of acknowledges the subjective nature of their claims when they state "from my videophile standpoint," but they follow this by asserting that their opinion is proven, unequivocal truth. We can debate whether that's incompetence or arrogance. I think it's the former.
I'm being absurdly pedantic here; though I'm really expressing frustration with hyperbole and contradictions in tech reviews, even those that purport to base recommendations on "objective" tests and systems of measurement.
Anyway, mini-essay over. Bed time!
You really need to sleep, strapped!
Yep, totally agree.
Main AV Setup: Panasonic 50VT65 TV, Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1, Optimum AV300 AV Stand, QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable & Chord Silver Plus HDMI Cables. Gadgets: iPad Air & iPhone 4S.
No idea what the rep meant by that. In 2009, Pioneer and Sharp Corporation agreed to form a joint venture on their optical business called "Pioneer Digital Design and Manufacturing Corporation". This venture still exists. Sharp is the largest shareholder of Pioneer Corporation.
What different has happened though, is that in 2011, Pioneer and Asia Optical agreed to alliance on parts production in Brazil through a joint venture "Pioneer Plaza Ginza".
Maybe this is where the improved components are coming from.
Not sure of the Brazil alliance having anything to do with parts either. According to press release, it's for digital cameras and "mechanical components":
Sharp may not have a good reputation in the UK, but they're a respected brand in Japan and the US, as far as I'm aware.
I don't think the quality dipped due to Sharp components in previous models; there may have been teething troubles with the newly established joint venture which have been ironed out now.
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