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Pioneer BDP-V6000 Professional Blu-ray Player Review Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 December 2009
Article Index
Pioneer BDP-V6000 Professional Blu-ray Player Review
Blu-ray Performance
DVD and Music Performance

Professional Player Upgrades:

Touting the label as a ‘Professional” Blu-ray player, the Pioneer BDP-V6000’s strengths mostly center on longevity, cool operating temperatures, and build quality to support extended running times in professional arenas. It operates at 32W power consumption when in play mode and .3W when in standby, while also operating in 5% to 85% Operating Humidity – excluding condensation.  Its structural differences seem slight when comparing to the domestic models, but the player itself operates on extraordinarily cool levels.  

A few pro-grade elements will certainly assist installers and custom-build home theater enthusiasts.  The V600 comes with RS232c compatibility to the rear of the unit for enhanced communication, a step beyond their domestic models.  In the same vein, Pioneer’s player also comes with a metal-based rack mounting unit set to the standards specifically for that player.  It’s a sturdily-built mount offered in a cardboard box alongside the player.  Along with that, the GUI interfaced discussed in the spec sheet seems to be the same GUI utilized for the BDP-320; it’s a very user-friendly, sharp-looking navigation that easily bests most others on the market.

One caveat to the unit: the product specs list that it offers support for PAL and NTSC signals.  That’s true, but only to a certain degree; while the player will support PAL signals on PAL-capable televisions and NTSC signals on NTSC-capable televisions, it will not convert PAL to NTSC.  This was tested with both a copy of Bittersweet Life from the UK and the special features from the UK’s copy of I’m a Cyborg.  This becomes problematic if the receiver can only translate NTSC signals.

Pioneer V6000 Right Front Side
Blu-ray Performance:

So, how does the V6000 perform against other Pioneer models?  The long and short of it pretty much leans to a marginal increase in quality over the BDP-320, a phenomenal unit, with improved load times and an ever so slight step up in audio/visual quality.  That’s a positive thing, however it’s certainly not enough of a justification to invest extra income into this unit.  It’s a full compliant, Profile 2.0 1080p unit that flexes plenty of muscle, certainly, but home theater enthusiasts should likely look in other directions for other high-quality, more versatile units.  It passes Spears and Munsil’s barrage of tests exceptionally well, from deinterlacing and jaggies to 480i motion sequences.

First in the V6000 is Fox’s recent release of Fight Club, a disc that emphasizes dark contrast and film-like texture within its 2.39:1 AVC encode.  It supports the deep levels of fluctuating black levels impeccably, never blocking to unnecessary levels or showcasing grain beyond the source’s intent.  Several of the acid-washed colors within the cinematography look spectacular, while the splashes of almost brown-red blood coloring always looked natural to the color timing within the picture.  Where the disc really power forward is with a awe-inspiring DTS HD Master Audio track, and it sounds phenomenal in Pioneer’s player.  Activity barrels out in droves throughout the surround channels, tapping into the lower-frequency channel and surround points with breadth.

Next up comes Disney/Pixar’s reference-quality presentation of Up, a charming and boldly colorful presentation that looks exceptional in its 1.85:1 AVC encode.  The rich palette showcases the V6000’s ability to render impeccable shades from all across the rainbow, from exceedingly vivid colors within the crazy bird running around paradise, the myriad of balloons dangling above the house, and a few stunning gradual fades from empty saturation to full-blown color.  Everything looks astonishing, while etched details are crisp within backdrops and other assorted textures.  It also exercises a robust and vibrant Master Audio track that’s crammed with delightful sounds effects – rubbing of balloons against each other, creaking of wood boards in the house, etc – and the Pioneer player does a fine job of exercising them.

Finally, the last test gives the V6000 a workout with grayscale, 1.33:1 content in the form of The Criterion Collection’s Wages of Fear Blu-ray.  It’s a classic ’50s suspense film that’s beautifully photographed, but also showcases a fair level of grain inherent in the source.  Pioneer’s player preserves the natural grain to impeccable levels, never smearing the textures nor distorting the image to any degree.  Depth and dimensionality both look spectacular in the 1080p black and white image.  Audio comes in a Uncompressed PCM sole-channel track that wears its age well, and it receives a fine, buoyant carriage through the Pioneer’s sound capacity.  

The BDP-V6000 is also Profile 2.0 compliant and up-and-running for BD-Live via Ethernet connection.  Sadly, this high-tag commercial unit doesn’t come with a built-in wireless adapter, a feature that really could be implemented well considering the direction of consumer that it’s going for.  Instead, the process of hooking up via Ethernet is simple: plug in, register the connection, and off it goes.  Testing the BD-Java via Warner Bros’ The Matrix Blu-ray worked out seamlessly, activating both the audio and video during the Picture-in-Picture feature.  Bear in mind that the unit must be set to PCM in order to hear the secondary audio.   Also, the V6000 doeswith a USB port to the rear for BD-Java material, but it’s also got 1GB of internal drive space as well.

The V6000 has been Region-A locked, as tested with a trusty copy of Fox’s Region-B locked The Fountain, and it also cannot support PAL-encoded special features through NTSC-locked systems.

DVD Performance:

Along with being expectedly fluid in rendering Blu-ray tech, the Pioneer V6000 also upscales standard-definition DVDs to 1080p with exceptional precision.  First tested was the DVD edition of Up, which sports many of the same pop-worthy colors and intricate CG-built elements.  It rendered detail exceptionally well, with only marginal jagged edges cropping up here and there, while several of the intricate colors spread out with robustness across the image.   It renders the Dolby Digital 5.1 legacy track immensely well, pushing it through the speakers with about as much energy as it can muster. 

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