One of the DV-410’s most impressive talents is its ability to play a wide range of compressed formats, which includes less commonly supported WMV9 (sadly in standard-def only) and non copy protected AAC, the format used by iTunes. It also plays MP3 and WMA audio files, and for JPEG playback there’s a hi-res mode that displays photos without converting them to a lower resolution.
Furthermore, the player is DivX certified and will play any type of file up to v6, plus it supports VOD with a registration code. Any of these file types can be played back via the USB port, which spares you the rigmarole of loading up discs. The player can also handle any recordable CD or DVD format except DVD-RAM, and also accepts video CDs and Picture CDs.
Elsewhere Pioneer provides its usual level of picture-tweaking flexibility thanks to the Video Adjust menu, which makes it possible to alter the settings for brightness, sharpness, contrast, gamma, hue and chroma level. Audio-wise, you’ll find a range of Equalizer modes (Rock, Pop, Live – that sort of thing) plus Virtual Surround, dynamic range compression and a dialogue enhancer.
Changing these settings or altering the aspect ratio and HDMI resolution is an incredibly simple process thanks to the marvellous Home Menu system, which hasn’t been changed since last year’s models – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The presentation is self-explanatory from the word go, splitting the options into logical groups and presenting them with welcoming colours and fonts, plus the entire operating system is blissfully fast.
Boosting the ease-of-use factor further is the remote, which aside from some slight cosmetic alterations looks exactly the same as previous Pioneer DVD handsets. Button placement is nigh-on perfect and everything is clearly labelled.