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    Manufacturer: Pioneer

    Pioneer BDP-LX71 Blu-ray player

    £439.00 excl tax
    £599.00 excl tax

    The LX71 is a profile 1.1 Blu-ray player, which means you don't get an Ethernet socket for downloading extra content from the Internet. Pioneer is of the opinion that this feature is unlikely to be a selling point, and we do think that's probably a safe assumption. Despite being present on every HD DVD player, it was only really used effectively on a couple of discs — notably Transformers and Blood Diamond.

    If you're an audiophile, the LX71 introduces one important feature. It has a built-in system that aims to reduce audio jitter over HDMI. Of course, you'll need top-of-the-range speakers and a pioneer AV receiver to get anything out of this feature. But then, this player is aimed at the sort of people who want the best possible quality.

    The LX71 also features DivX playback, which has become standard on most DVD and Blu-ray players recently. Handy if you have plenty of standard-definition video you've downloaded from the Internet, but not so useful if you have moved onto the increasingly popular MKV HD video format.

    The strength of the Pioneer is, of course, its picture-processing modes. There are lots of these, from defaults like LCD TV, to Plasma TV and a special Pioneer plasma setting, optimised for the company's own sets. There are further custom modes, which enable you to tweak the necessary settings until you're happy with them. We made use of this with our DVD of Jurassic Park, which while pretty good quality, does have some MPEG mosquito noise artefacts. Tweaking the Pioneer's settings enabled us to even this out slightly, although we noticed setting it too high — over 50 per cent — reduced the overall picture detail too much.