CES 2009: Pioneer launches three new Blu-ray Disc players and four receivers, plus CD-ripping DVD player

Pioneer VSX-1019AH CES

BD-Live capability
All three are BD-Live-capable, the plan being to launch the entry-level BDP-120 with a 1GB flash drive; the two more upmarket models have 1GB of memory built-in.

The three use the company's 1080P True24FPS processing, have USB and Ethernet ports, and offer Kuro Link for simple operation with Pioneer TVs and receivers.

The two more expensive models have 7.1-channel analogue output and full decoding for all HD audio formats, while the Elite model, which is designed for custom installation, has an RS-232C port for system integration.

iPhone-ready receivers
Four new AV receivers are also joining Pioneer's US line-up, ranging from the entry-level VSX-519V up to the VSX-1019AH (pictured) - and have iPhone/iPod certification to allow simple plug and play operation with the Apple players.

The top two models - the VSX-919AH and VSX-119AH - will deliver a colour display including cover art to a connected TV, and can even make iPod/iPhone content available in multiple zones, while all but the entry-level model have a multiformat USB input on the front panel.

The receivers have Pioneer's Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) to enhance compressed music, and Auto Level Control (ALC) to equalise the volume of different sources - or indeed programmes and adverts! - while the top two models have upgraded versions of these technologies.

Dolby and DTS 5.1 - 'legacy formats'
ASR-multi is designed to make the most of legacy formats such as standard Dolby Digital and DTS - yes, in Pioneer's view they've become legacy formats already! - while ALC-multi is said to maintain channel steering and effects even at low volumes.

From the step-up VSX-819H upwards, the receivers support Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, and have Pioneer's Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration (MCACC) automatic set-up.

The VSX-919AH and VSX-1019AH models also incorporate proprietary Hybrid Amplifier Technology II (or PHAT, of course!) "to ensure powerful, high quality, multichannel sound performance at greater efficiency levels".

And when connected to one of the company's new Blu-ray Disc players via HDMI, the VSX-919AH and VSX-1019AH utilise a proprietary Precision Quartz Lock System technology that synchronizes data between the player and receiver.

1080p upscaling - and CD ripping
Finally, the $90 DV-420V DVD player has 1080p upscaling and a USB socket enabling it to play DiVX, JPEG, MP3, WMA, AAC and WMV files. But it goes further than other players of this kind, in that it also has onboard MP3 encoding.

That means you can load up a CD and rip it to a USB flash drive, hard drive or portable player - all without a computer.

All these new models hit US shops in the Summer - UK pricing, model designations and availability is yet to be confirmed.