The Pioneer BDP-430 is a Blu-ray disc player that can play 3D movies as well as normal 2D content with aplomb, and YouTube access will be offered via a future firmware update. Sadly its Internet-based features are limited when compared to media powerhouses like the Samsung BD-C6900 and Sony BDP-S470.

Design and features

The Pioneer BDP-430 is a satin black that should look good alongside a plasma or LCD television, and its screen is bright and can easily be seen from across a room.

The Pioneer BDP-430 supports BD-Live, as do most other Blu-ray players on the market. Once you've plugged it into your home network via Ethernet (a wireless adapter is also available), you can plug in a USB memory key and access the interactive features of Blu-ray discs. Also set to be available via a future firmware update is YouTube access, making it easy to call up a video clip or two if the Blu-ray movie you're watching is getting boring.

The Pioneer BDP-430 doesn't have the same comprehensive set of online features as players you find on Blu-ray players from competing brands like Sony, Samsung and LG. All of these manufacturers have much more diverse and well established online features like video on demand streaming via BigPond Movies or application libraries, so if you're looking for a multipurpose media player they may be a better choice.

Startup speed, performance and reliability

The Pioneer BDP-430 takes around 30 seconds to hit a Blu-ray movie's root menu from a cold start, but if you're just changing discs this figure can fall to around 15 seconds. Navigating menus is easy.

The remote is clearly laid out and has buttons for every conceivable feature you'd need to access. It can also control simple functions like power, volume, input and channel for the television that's connected to the Blu-ray player through HDMI. The same is true for any Pioneer A/V receiver that you've got connected.

We did our testing with a Panasonic TH-L37D25A, but also gave 3D a quick run on the Sharp LC52LE820X 3D LED TV. The picture quality of the Pioneer BDP-430 looked no worse or better than we've seen from every other Blu-ray player, if there are differences in the signal processing or in the quality of the components, you won't see it with an everyday plasma or LED television.

OUR VERDICT

The Pioneer BDP-430 Blu-ray player is a competent player. It's not especially versatile or packed with features, but it does a good job when it comes to playing Blu-ray movies.