Blu-ray Players

Pioneer BDP-62FD Universal Blu-ray Player


Design and Setup of the Pioneer BDP-62FD Blu-Ray Player

It seems that more and more products from Pioneer are carrying the Elite branding and that the differentiation of Elite vs. Non-Elite is more difficult to understand than before. Looking at the rear and bottom of the BDP-62FD I wouldn't expect it to carry the Elite moniker as it lacks the gold-plated outputs, copper chassis screws, and copper sub-chassis that has been a hallmark of the Elite line for years. Compared to the SC-68 receiver that just passed through my home and had the same Elite branding, it seems to be a very different level of design.

One very interesting design decision on the BDP-62FD is the total lack of any analog audio outputs on the rear of the chassis. I'm not surprised to see players lacking analog video outputs now that they can no longer output HD signals, but for a universal player to have no way to output audio except over HDMI is something new. It certainly would offer some cost savings by not needing a DAC or more RCA outputs, but it also means someone that wants a universal player for their older analog system will need to look elsewhere.

There is a pair of HDMI outputs that allow you to send audio and video separately to your display and audio processor. I am a big proponent of this on higher end players as it allows you to avoid having other devices that can degrade the video signal before it reaches your display device and have lossless audio as well. Also absent from the BDP-62FD is Wi-Fi support without purchasing a separate adapter for $100. Online content available with the Ethernet connection is limited to Netflix, YouTube, Picasa, and Pandora, as well as local media streaming. FLAC playback is also only supported from local media, not over the network, in a strange twist.

Setup of the BDP-62FD was quick and easy. Most of my testing was done on a Samsung PN51E8000 plasma, though a Samsung PN50B650 plasma and Sony VPL-HW50ES projector were also used. Once the HDMI connections were made, resolution was set, and most extra features were disabled it was time to see how the Pioneer performs.