Pioneer Introduces One of World's First Blu-ray Disc Players

Blu-ray Disc Technology Helps Usher in New Dimension in HD, Home Entertainment

Pioneer Electronics (USA) today introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas one of the world's first Blu-ray Disc players, marking an innovation in home entertainment that allows consumers to experience the ultimate in high-definition home theater.

“Blu-ray is one of the most exciting innovations in home theater consumers will see from the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, and Pioneer is at the forefront of this new market with one of the world's first Blu-ray Disc players as well as a Blu-ray Disc computer drive,” said Russ Johnston,senior vice president of marketing and product planning for home entertainment at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

Blu-ray Discs have the capacity to store up to 50 gigabytes of information on a single disc to meet consumers growing demand for high definition content. This new optical disc format enables consumers to purchase or rent major movie titles and enjoy all the benefits of high definition audio and video quality with a 5-inch optical disc that looks very similar in size and shape to a DVD. The increased disc capacity will enable movie studios to include a complete high definition movie on a single disc with more features than currently available on DVD including interactive features. The same technology will be used in Pioneer computer drives that will record up to 25 gigabytes of data for computer back-ups, home movies, music and other computer files.

HD Quality & Interactivity

Pioneer's new BDP-HD1 Blu-ray Disc player is designed to deliver 1920 x 1080p output, the highest of the three high definition signals, providing consumers simple access to amazing audio, video and interactive content. It will now be as easy as stopping by the neighborhood video store to bring HD quality movies into the home. Hollywood studios are filling their end of the bargain by releasing some of the hottest movie titles on Blu-ray Disc and adding interactive features not possible with DVD because of its limited space capacity. The American public has grown to love DVD and once they experience Blu-ray Disc, they'll feel the same emotional attachment to this new technology. Pioneer's BDP-HD1 does offer backward compatibility for standard DVDs so consumers can maintain their existing DVD movie collection as they begin a new Blu-ray Disc collection.

HD Home Networking

Pioneer's full-featured unit takes home networking to another level with IP network capabilities that allow consumers to enjoy high definition video and multi-channel audio content directly through the player rather than a computer. For simple integration into the home theater, the unit provides a single high definition HDMI connection for users to view and hear all content transferred through the home network in HD.

For those operating a networked home, the BDP-HD1 was designed with Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) guidelines. When utilizing the IP networking capability, users will be able to access and easily load protected content currently stored on a DLNA compliant server or Windows XP PC using Windows Media Connect. In addition to favorite photos, music and movies, users can download new content straight to their computer for immediate viewing on a television through the player. The unit's playsforsure™ compliance provides compatibility with all existing Microsoft software.

HD Connectivity

For even easier set-up options, the unit features single wire connection through HDMI for the transfer of both video and audio in HD. HDMI output ensures the best quality picture and sound for both standard definition and Blu-ray Disc content. The Blu-ray Disc player is designed for easy operation offering a visually rich high definition graphic user interface (GUI) for user-friendly navigation.

“Combining Blu-ray technology with Pioneer's newest 1080p plasma and high-definition receivers and speakers, we are ushering in a new dimension of high-definition home entertainment that creates an experience never before seen or heard in the home,” Johnston said.

HD Audio

To complement the high-resolution picture capability, the BDP-HD1 reproduces new high-resolution audio formats: DTS-HD and Dolby Digital for a complete HD entertainment experience. Those with a large library of digital music files will be glad to know that the BDP-HD1 can playback compressed music files WMA (DRM compatible) and MP3, as well as LPCM.

Heritage of Optical Disc Expertise

Pioneer has been an innovator of optical disc technology since it brought LaserDisc, the precursor to DVD, to market in 1980. Pioneer went on to introduce the first DVD burner for computer use in 1997, the first DVD recorder as a VCR replacement in 1999, the first DVD burner priced for home computer users in 2001 and surpassed 5 million sales of DVD burners in 2003. The company now leads the market with the introduction of this new Blu-ray Disc player.

Playback Compatibility  
Blu-ray Disc BD-RE, BD-R, BD-ROM
DVD and other Video DVD-R, DVD-RW, +R, +RW, WMV
Audio DTS-HD, Dolby Digital, WMA, MP3, LPCM
Photos JPEG

The BDP-HD1 will begin shipping to retailers across the country in June under the Pioneer Elite brand. It will have a suggested price of $1800.

Pioneer's Home Entertainment Division is a leading manufacturer of plasma televisions and monitors, DVD players and DVD recorders, A/V receivers, CD players and CD recorders, speakers and other audio and video accessories. Its focus is on the development of new digital technologies including Digital Network Entertainment. The company markets its products under the Pioneer and Pioneer Elite brand names. When purchased from an authorized dealer, consumers receive a limited warranty for one year with Pioneer products and two years with Pioneer Elite products.