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Pioneer BDP-450 review



  • Recommended by TR
Pioneer BDP-450


Our Score


User Score


  • Gorgeous picture quality
  • Stylish design & robust build quality
  • Excellent format support


  • No built-in Wi-Fi
  • Not as generous with web content as rivals
  • No analogue audio outputs

Review Price £249.99

Key Features: 3D Blu-ray playback; Built-in YouTube, Netflix & Picasa; DLNA media streaming; Marvell QDEO video processing; Dual HDMI outputs; Quick Tray and Continued functions

Manufacturer: Pioneer


The Pioneer BDP-450 is one of two new Blu-ray players in Pioneer’s current range. It’s the step-up version of the Pioneer BDP-150, adding more powerful video processing and features like dual HDMIs and DVD-Audio playback. It’s also network-ready, which means you can also stream content from the internet and your own media servers.

Pioneer BDP-450

Pioneer BDP-450 Design

Design-wise, the Pioneer BDP-450 is a chunky old-school Blu-ray player just like mama used to make, and we love that. With its 90mm height and 252mm depth, there’s no concession to discretion or space-efficiency – it’s a plus size player that wants to be noticed.

It may be big but it’s also beautifully styled. The black aluminium faceplate has a brushed effect that shimmers alluringly in the light, and front panel clutter is kept to a minimum. There are four buttons – power, play, stop and disc tray open/close – plus a USB port for media playback. The disc tray is placed in the middle, above a large LED display with lettering that’s easy to read from the sofa.

Pick it up and the Pioneer BDP-450 feels lighter than you might expect given its size, but build quality is sound thanks to the firmly screwed aluminium top cover and fascia.

Pioneer BDP-450 Connectivity

On the back of the Pioneer BDP-450 are fewer connections than we expected given Pioneer’s audio-centric heritage. For example, we’d have expected multichannel and stereo outputs to cater for music purists with ageing amps, but you get neither. You will, however, find two HDMI outputs, which is primarily intended to help owners of non-3D AV receivers. You can use one of these outputs to feed 3D pictures to your TV, while feeding audio bitstreams separately to the AV receiver.

Pioneer BDP-450

The dual HDMIs can also be used to feed two displays simultaneously. You can select how they’re used in the setup menu – the Dual setting outputs video and audio from both; the Separate mode outputs Video from the ‘Main’ port and audio from the ‘Sub’ port; while Pure Audio mode outputs audio from the Sub port and nothing from the Main.

Joining these are an Ethernet port, coaxial digital output and a second USB port. Oddly the cheaper Pioneer BDP-150 offers more sockets, losing the second HDMI port but adding analogue stereo and composite outputs – although these aren’t essential nowadays.

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December 14, 2012, 4:48 am

Danny, I just bought this player (two, actually) and am very pleased, agree 100% with your review. One thing I haven't been able to confirm works is the SACD/CD function, switching between the two (any hints would be appreciated....I want to validate the sound quality on some hybrid SACD discs). I was hoping there would be an indicator on the front panel screen indicating the format being played back (i.e. SACD, CD......). The only other (and its slight, frankly) frustration is it will not play AIFF audio file format (Apple), but easy to work around that if known upfront. Setup, operation and performance, as you say, all very good.


December 18, 2012, 10:19 pm

does this player support 1080p mkv files? somewhere i read that it only supports 720p for mkv files..


January 6, 2013, 4:05 pm

Havy, I bought an BDP-150K a few days ago. I tried a SACD / CD hybrid disk and I must say that the disk is always played using the SACD format (there is a "SACD" indication). I tried the CD SACD button on the remote control, but it didn't work for me (I expected it to switch to a CD format and back). On the other hand, I can't realy work out why one should want to downgrade the sound quality from SACD to a CD format.

There's one thing that really makes me mad - it always switches a TV on (connected vie HDMI) and there's no way to get rid of it. If I play an audio CD, I don't need a telly, do I? It's even worse, there's Pioneer logo at a fixed position, so I expect after a few months of audio playing I'll have a Pioneer logo deeply burnt into my TV. Or can anyone help with a hint?


January 8, 2013, 2:05 am

Tom, thanks. I sorted out the SACD / CD playback issue - - as usual, "operator error"! Disc I had was marked SACD, but finally I checked with the distributor of the disc and they confirmed they never issued that in SACD!! Anyway, the reason I wanted to test the on/off of SACD was just to listen to audio quality differences, which there of course are. Done. Regarding your TV on issue, I don't get that, so there must be a way to set it up so the tv doesn't automatically turn on. I am using the separate HDMI set up (HDMI main to the TV, HDMI sub to my receiver). Also, I have tried the "pure audio" setting on the player and it does seem to enhance audio quality, and it removes the Pioneer logo if your tv does happen to be on. I'll sort through my set up to see if I can discern anything else helpful.

One other update - - I had to return and replace one of the two BDP 450's I bought - - on two occasions after switching the unit off at night, the next morning it wouldn't turn back on (either from the remote or on the front panel. The cabinet above where the HDMI plugs are was extremely hot, so I unplugged the power supply. waited for it to cool, plugged it back in and all worked. This unit as well had stopped playing video files, sound would come through, but no video feed. Again, after doing the unplugging, cool-down routine, video playback came back. But I didn't want a fire hazard so I returned it for a replacement (no problem to do so at my retail seller here in Thailand, thankfully).

Finally, I've not had any success playing .mkv files, have tried quiet a few and no dice (though I didn't check if they were 1080 or not). Hope Pioneer puts out a fix.


January 10, 2013, 4:05 am

UPDATE JAN 10 2013 - **WARNING** - As I reported a few days ago in reply to Tom's comment, I had returned for a replacement one of the two players I purchased due to malfunction / possible fire hazard. Today I had the same problem occur with the replacement unit, so I believe there is a firmware / software problem with this player. I am going to try to report it to Pioneer. The issue appears to occur when using the player's options for changing via the remote the HDMI setting (Dual, Separate, and Pure Music). Quick summary - - I have the player hooked up via 2 HDMI cables, one to my plasma TV and the other to my Yamaha AV receiver. I also have a 500 GB external USB drive attached to the front jack. When playing CD's, I switch, using the remote, the HDMI setting to "pure music", which I used for a good part of the day for listening to discs. In the evening, I wanted to watch a video from the USB drive, so I switched the HDMI setting to "separate" - - however, the video's picture was "frozen" on my tv screen, although the sound worked. I then switched the HDMI setting to "dual" and both picture and sound worked. after watching several videos, I shut off all the components and the player. This morning, the player would not turn on from either the remote or the front panel. I felt the player's cabinet above the HDMI jacks at the back, and it was very hot. I then unplugged the player from the power supply, let cool, then plugged it back in. The player is now working. If you have this unit, be very careful about changing the HDMI settings as it seems to confound the player's firmware or software, and causes overheating in the back of the player, a potential fire hazard. I'll update this site again once I get any further information from Pioneer.

Ian Harland

April 1, 2013, 12:09 am

is definitely a problem with this machine when it is configured to run both the
HDMI outputs in "separate” mode: It locks up consistently on Blu-ray menus.
Refuses to play Blu-ray discs - ejecting the tray - as if no discs are there
(which is only cured once the power is removed from the wall socket) and the HDMI
"control" functions fail operate anything!


October 18, 2013, 9:25 am

What's picture quality like compared to lower priced players from Samsung and Panasonic?


October 18, 2013, 9:42 am

What's picture quality like compared to the Panasonic 500 and 330?


October 4, 2014, 1:29 pm

Can the USB Ports read external hard-disks (ie not just thumb drives)?

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