Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray disc player

This well-designed model delivers consistently pleasing images, but lacks the streaming capabilities found on other models

Pioneer BDP-320
  • Pioneer BDP-320
  • Pioneer BDP-320
  • Pioneer BDP-320
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • Solid build quality, user-friendly menu

Cons

  • No media streaming capabilities, sluggish load times, too pricey, images could have been sharper

Bottom Line

The well-designed Pioneer BDP-320 delivers consistently pleasing images, but lacks the streaming capabilities found on other Blu-ray Disc players.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 699.00 (AUD)

The $699 Pioneer BDP-320 sends gorgeous pictures to an HDTV, but it lacks the Web streaming multimedia capabilities of even lower priced Blu-ray disc players; such as the LG BD370 and the Panasonic DMP-BD60.

Pop a Blu-ray disc into the BDP-320 and you'll get muted yet beautiful and natural-looking colors -- less saturated than those produced by our reference player, a Sony PlayStation 3, but more pleasing to the eye. Skin tones were realistically balanced throughout, and the opening scene of the black-and-white movie Good Night and Good Luck looked gorgeous.

The BDP-320 even did well with DVDs, showing surprising depth (though slightly less detail) in chapter 3 of the Phantom of the Opera DVD than did on the PS3.

In fact, the BDP-320 exhibited softer contrast and less detail than the PS3 in most of our tests (other than Good Night and Good Luck). This tendency hurt the image in a dark scene (chapter 20) from The Searchers: The BDP-320 made the low-contrast scene feel comparatively flat and lifeless.

The BDP-320 even outputs a good-looking image before you put in a disc, thanks to its simple, direct onscreen menu design featuring white text on a black background with blue and gray highlighting.

The first time you turn on the BDP-320, a wizard helps you set it up and tests your system to confirm that everything works. The main menu contains straightforward explanations of its options. A Tools button on the remote brings up a smaller menu of items that you're likely to change frequently, such as dynamic range (difference between loud and soft sounds) and subtitles.

One setting in the Tools menu doesn't seem appropriate for that location: Video Adjust lets you tell the player what kind of HDTV you have (PDP, LCD, and so on), so that it can optimize the image. How often are you going to change that?

The BDP-320's remote control has the buttons used for controlling what you watch (Play, Pause, Skip, and so on) set too low; With the exception of the Play button, they're also too small and too similarly shaped. As a result, you can easily hit Stop when you mean to hit Pause. The remote isn't backlit, but it is programmable.

The BDP-320 feels like an early Blu-ray player: It's big and sturdy, not slim-line and lightweight like other recent models. Its reaction times are a bit sluggish, too, requiring 1 minute, 22 seconds to start playing the Independence Day Blu-ray disc. Of the 24 players we've tested with this disc over the past couple of years, only four took longer than that.

The BDP-320 has an ethernet port and a USB port, but they are strictly for BD-Live. A feature called Home Media Gallery is nowhere near as cool as that name suggests. It displays a list of tracks and/or files on a data disc or audio CD.

The BDP-320 produces great-looking images; but the Toshiba BDX2000, a less expensive player, produces even better-looking images.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?