We've known something was stirring at Pioneer since the company teased a couple of Blu-ray-player-sized boxes back in April.
And it won't be cheap (nor will it be available in a finish other than black). At £1000 (£999.99 to be precise), Pioneer's aiming to make a splash in the market.
The LX500 uses a rigid double-layer construction and a low centre of gravity to reduce the effects of vibrations through the chassis. Inside, the machine includes an enhanced noise reduction feature which Pioneer claims will aid picture quality.
Pioneer's trademark PQLS system (Precision Quartz Locking System) makes an appearance and can be used with compatible Pioneer AV receivers to improve the accuracy of the signal information being sent from the player.
Connectivity includes twin HDMI outputs and a pair of analogue audio outputs - there's no multi-channel analogue output on the UDP-LX500.
Following the demise of Oppo's Blu-ray and hi-fi business, anyone in the market for a high-end machine has only really had the £629 Cambridge CXUHD and the £725 Sony UBP-X1000ES to choose from. Until now.
All that is set to change when the LX500 goes on sale in September, while Panasonic's £900 DP-UB9000 is set to follow in October. The Panasonic is another machine that promises high-quality internals and advanced picture processing, so it's going to make for a fascinating head-to-head when we've got both players in our test room. Keep your eyes peeled for the official What Hi-Fi? verdict.