Here’s a geeky confession. I have been known to sit through entire albums on a stereo or films on a TV – the contents of which I found utterly boring – simply because I admired the technical quality of the equipment delivering the material. Take the, in my opinion, yawnworthy Avengers: Infinity War, which I recently watched on Ultra HD Blu‑ray. I lapped up all two hours 40 minutes of it purely because I was so enchanted by the extraordinary picture – its sharpness and subtlety of colour – and mind-blowing audio delivered by this flagship disc player from Pioneer.
Using media discs at all when it’s almost 2020 is a bit retro. You can stream supposedly ultra-high-definition films (albeit rather compressed) from multiple mainstream online sources. Discs are arguably a dying form, with Ultra HD a dwindling category within that dying form, even though it is by far the finest way to show a movie at home. So why buy the ultimate disc player, which the squat, professional-looking Pioneer UDP-LX800 is? For the same, if less show-off, reason people buy a Ferrari when they live in Hong Kong or Jersey, where there’s nowhere much to drive it. Because excellence in any field is a goal in itself. So if you have a top-rank TV, you’ll want a Ferrari-level disc player in your entertainment armoury.
This Pioneer is a dense brute of a machine and this old-school technology will be future proof, I’d say, for a decade, just as fine petrol-engined cars will still be prized in 2030.