Pioneer plans to step into the void left by Oppo Digital, with a new line of high performance UHD Blu-ray players. That’s the supposition, after the AV giant posted a teaser image on its Japanese website.
The image comprises two shrouded rectangles, indicating that a flagship and step-down model will be launched. The URL indicates BDLX suggesting the new models will follow on from the brand’s last premium player, the BDP-LX88 and its sister, the BDP-LX58 (pictured below), launched in 2015.
Above the central player is the kangi character for gyouten, Japanese for ‘dawn’. Do the mysterious players herald a new dawn for Pioneer Blu-ray or the format itself? It would be nice to think so.
If this is the case, then videophiles are in for a treat. The LX88 was a formidable disc spinner. It tipped the scales at 13.4kg and had impressive build quality: a double layer design saw the 1.6mm base reinforced with 3mm thick plate to ensure absolute rigidity. A 1mm thick steel top plate further reduced vibration.
The LX88 was also a universal player, compatible with Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio. If Pioneer maintains this legacy, it will have the edge on the incoming Panasonic UB9000, which does not support either high-res disc format. We might also expect stereo performance to be served by an ESS Sabre Reference DAC.
The LX-88 had twin HDMIs, coaxial and optical digital audio outputs, and both balanced and unbalanced analogue audio outputs. It’s likely that any new flagship would follow that approach.
Of course, many will wonder if any upcoming premium UHD Blu-ray from Pioneer will support Dolby Vision. There’s no announcement, however the smart money suggests that it may well support Dolby Vision too. Stay tuned for more information.