Today Pioneer announced the BDP-160, a new way to use a Blu-ray unit as the centre of your media system.
The player, first and foremost, plays DVD, CD & Full HD Blu-ray movies with 3D thrown in for good measure. Where it gets a little smarter is the way it has gelled together other standards while still looking like our good ol’ friend the Blu-ray player.
The BDP-160 has inbuilt WiFi to help take care of the network features but can be easily connected up via Ethernet for a more trust-worthy connection. The connection will be used to stream content which can be obtained from your PC or NAS on the same network using the popular DLNA 1.5 standard. Pioneer have decided to also go with the WiFi Direct feature to stream content from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or even Android device direct onto your screen which I think is great to see in a product like this and has even allowed the YouTube “Send to my TV” function.
A USB slot on the front and back panel allows you to connect a USB hard drive which can handle formats like FLV, MPEG, AVI, WMA, FLAC2, MKV, MP3 and DivX to cover pretty much all users needs.
Pioneer also have some cool apps for Android and iOS, which have been included on this device, so you are able to control the unit via your smartphone as the remote control. iControlAV can be used by 4 people at the same time and will happily stream music direct to the device, so you could hook this up to your big speakers and have an alternative to a Sonos system.
If you fancy a bit of this, you can pick it up for a very pleasing £129.99 from July in the UK.