Pioneer Issues Second-Generation Blu-ray Player

Pioneer Electronics (USA) is rolling out the next-gen Blu-ray Disc player in its Elite brand series, the BDP-94HD. The new player, which is bucking a recent (albeit, brief) trend of producing dual-format disc players, allows playback of the "newest high-resolution audio formats," according to the company, as well as compatibility with home networking capabilities. The unit was designed to permit easy integration with increasingly sophisticated home theater systems, according to Pioneer.

One new feature allows synchronization of the disc player with multiple CEC-enabled home theater products in order to allow an entire system to be controlled with a single remote. The newly designed graphical user interface enables simple navigation with larger icons. The BDP-94HD is scheduled to arrive at some high-end specialty retailers in North America later this month, and will be bundled with two still-unnamed Blu-ray film titles produced with Dolby TrueHD lossless audio.

Lingering uncertainty and confusion over Blu-ray and HD DVD formats have led some TV and PC manufacturers to ramp up dual-format players, but higher price points than each format's standalone units are keeping sales of those units down, as well (HD Notebook, May 9, 2007).