Earlier this year, Essential Install shared with you some news that Pioneer was prepping its first 4K Blu-ray player, and well now we’ve got even better news – as that 4K Blu-ray player has been confirmed for the UK market. The Pioneer UDP-LX500 was first unveiled in Japan, but it will soon be available in the UK for £999.99.
As this is Pioneer’s first 4K Blu-ray player, it’s not willing to compete on the low-end, and instead is focused on offering the best product it can come up with. The company has clearly thrown a lot of time into perfecting the UDP-LX500, as it has engineered a device designed to specifically handle 4K playback. That includes building a rigid double-layered device with a low centre of gravity, reducing the effects of vibration and allowing rotation speeds of up to 5,000 rpm.
The low-noise design wasn’t just for the benefit of user’s ears, Pioneer insists. In fact, the company says that the noise reduction techniques should improve video quality, minimising noise loops in the circuitry to guarantee high-quality signal transmission, for example. The main printed circuit board has also received the noise proofing treatment; by adopting a six-layer IVH (interstitial via hole) construction technique for the main board, Pioneer has been able to fully optimise the routing of digital signal wiring and minimise ground impedance, by dramatically improving S/N (Signal-to-Noise ratio) during the processing of video and audio. This also improves the precision of the high-capacity transmission speed of 18Gbps which this latest HDMI standard now makes possible.
To deliver the full potential of the sound quality contained in UHD Blu-ray Discs, the UDP-LX500 employs audio boards designed with a focus on preserving signal purity, S/N, and tonal subtlety. It also features a host of advanced sound-enhancing facilities, such as a direct function for analogue connection and Pioneer’s PQLS (Precision Quartz Lock System) for HDMI connection.
It’s Not Just About Audio Proofing
As this is Pioneer’s first 4K Blu-ray player, it’s paying particularly close attention to the features it packs into the unit. That’s why support for Dolby Vision, as well as HDR10. It’s why the company has engineered the unit to not only be a great video player, but also an audio-only player, with a ‘direct function’ which turns off the digital audio and video circuits, allowing listeners to enjoy high resolution sound sources and CDs with enhanced purity.
Installers who have already installed a Pioneer-branded AV receiver will be able to take advantage of the company’s Precision Quartz Locking System (PQLS). This improves the accuracy of the signal between the AV receiver and the 4K Blu-ray player, enabling jitter-free transmission.
The UDP-LX500 supports three HDMI output modes: ‘separate’ mode which enables high-quality transmission by separating video and audio via the main/sub HDMI outputs, ‘single’ mode routes both video and audio output via the main HDMI output, and ‘pure Audio’ mode which delivers an audio-only output from the sub HDMI terminal. The device itself features two HDMI outputs and a pair of analogue audio outputs.
Pioneer UDP-LX500 Price & Release Date
Pioneer is hoping to fill the hole left by Oppo’s decision to exit the AV business, and the £999.99 UDP-LX500 will likely be the closest installers can get to a high-end Blu-ray player of the calibre of Oppo’s. There will be a £900 Panasonic model in October, but the UDP-LX500 will beat it to the punch, launching in September.