Summary: It's hard to keep up on manufacturer's latest offerings. BluRay is still relatively new, but the manufacturer;s have been falling all over themselves offering new models with a baffling array of differentiating features. But the latest isn't necessarily the greatest. Pioneer's BDP-51FD may be an older model, but it is still a great BluRay player. Many newer players offer BD-live or the ability to directly download films from the likes of Amazon or Netflix.
Pros: Amazing picture and color depth on Blu Ray and DVD Easy firmware upgrade, from Pioneer support. Easy to use remote with nice short cuts to the menus functions. Solid built and quality finish. Audio is superb. Jazz at the Pawnshop sounds amazing.
Cons: A bit slow when inserting a disc. No HDMI cable included. No DVIX.
Summary: I won't write a review just yet as I don't have much time, But will say this has to be my best purchase in the last 6 years.
As a bluray player it delivers amazing picture quality, Really dark blacks allowing an amazing sharp yet natural detail to images.
It upscales with no difficulty at all and really does a great job of it.
As a digital audio source its pure bliss, FOR ME anyway.
Pros: Best Digital Audio Source I have
Cons: I got this just before 3D and wish I had waited! Still a great source though!!
Summary: This player has everything that I was looking for in a player. I wanted a player that could not only deliver a great picture but great sound as well. It has all the latest high definition sound formats including Dolby HD and DTS. Since my sound system is a dedicated, non intergrated arrangement, it has all the necessary pre-amp style dedicated outputs. I simply plug them into the dedicated power amplifiers themselves and allow the player to all decoding.
Summary: This BLU-RAY player is the best one that I have. I have a PS3 player and the Panasonic BD-30 and the image quality after updating to the latest ver software is outstanding. The audio is also outstanding. I am very happy I purchased this unit. The regular DVD playback is also among the best that you can get. I have an OPPO player that was my gold standard and the Pioneer beats that with better blacks and less noise.
Summary: This particular Pioneer is a great buy right now, as it has some of the best upscaling capabilities of ANY player. This model is nearly the same as the Elite model, and unless you really need the fancy faceplate and gold connectors, buy this model instead and save yourself a few hundred bucks. The 51fd is a tweaker's player, giving you quite a few options for optimizing your sound and video output, and is a world-class CD player as well with it's terrific Wolfson DACs.
Summary: I'm very pleased with this player. The build quality is excellent. The video performance is stunning and the audio performance is also outstanding. My system has electrostatic speakers and very high resolution. I compared the sound of this player to an excellent CD/SACD player that I use and found the Pioneer to produce a very natural soundstage that was deep, wide and transparent without being bright. Highly recommended.