Don't be fooled by the smart, uncluttered fascia of Pioneer's BDP-LX55 Blu-ray player - this machine has enough features and qualities to place it on everyone's short list.
The BDP-LX55 is a universal player in that, as well as playing Blu-rays (2D or 3D), it can also play DVD-Audio discs and SACD discs (and, of course, DVDs and CDs). And music lovers won't be disappointed; the player's sound quality is superb thanks to the high-quality audio components Pioneer has incorporated.
As well as having a typical HDMI output, the player has an additional audio-only HMDI connector. What benefit does this have? If your amp doesn't pass sound through to your display, you've probably connected your Blu-ray player to your TV using a HDMI connection and used an optical cable to send audio to your amp. Hooking everything up with HDMI cables instead instead allows the amp to receive uncompressed, high-definition soundtracks stored on Blu-rays.
Two USB sockets are provided - one on the player's fascia, the other at the rear. Also around the back is an Ethernet connection for hard-wiring to a router to link up to the internet. (A wireless adapter is available.) The machine provides access to YouTube and Picasa.
The Pioneer BDP-LX55 benefits from solid build quality and incorporates a multi-layered, anti-vibration base. It can also be controlled by Pioneer's tremendous iPod/iPhone/iPad apps. If you're after a versatile player that's as good with music as it is movies, call in to Hi-Fi Stereo.