Pioneer of North America took down all home electronics press releases prior to 2010, but I would love to have been able to provide links to pages that might have provided possible proof of what I'm going to tell you now. Let's go back to the early to mid 2000s. Remember the DV-563A from 2003, DV-578A from 2004, and DV-588A from 2005? They were great budget-to-midpriced DVD/DVD-A/SACD universal players sold under the Pioneer brand. Back in January 2006, Pioneer of North America had three players at their CES booth--the DV-393, DV-490V (which added HDMI), and DV-696AV (which added HDMI, DVD-A/SACD, and DivX Ultra). I forget the release date of the other players, but I believe the DV-696AV was to be released in June for an MSRP of $150. Everyone who owned one of the models from 2003, 2004, or 2005 was holding their breath for the DV-696AV. HDMI output, DVD-A/SACD, and DivX Ultra for $150? Made in Thailand, not China (like the Oppo DV-970HD, Philips DV-721SA, or Yamaha DV-C6760/6770/6860, DV-S5860, DVD-C750, DVD-C950, and DVD-S657)? Why wouldn't you hold your breath for six months for a good player like the DV-696AV. Well anyway, June came. Except for North America, everyone else was enjoying their DV-696AV. Meanwhile, during the summer of 2006, Pioneer did release a DV-46AV under the Elite brand for $300. It was announced during June. When looking at the product description, it was the same as the DV-696AV. Then in the summer of 2007, without any press announcement, Pioneer of North America released the DV-48AV which added 1080p via HDMI, as well as DSD output via HDMI. It had an MSRP of $300. Meanwhile, the rest of the world was enjoying their DV-600AV which did the same thing for half the cost. In 2008, without any press announcement, Pioneer of North America released the DV-49AV, which added CD-to-USB ripping, as well as enhanced the functionality of the Gamma control, allowing a gamma curve for viewing in brighter surroundings. Only this time, it had an MSRP of $200. Meanwhile, the rest of the world once again was enjoying their DV-610AV for a little less. The only detectable differences between the international Pioneer versions and the North American Elite versions were the color of the front panel display, the Elite remotes with the extra buttons for front panel dimming and HDMI, and the firmware to accomidate for the extra functions of the Elite remotes. Unless some kind of audio-enhancement circuitry was added between the Burr-Brown PCM1742KE DACs and the 5.1 analog output section, I thought Pioneer was ripping us off by selling the DV-46AV and DV-48AV for double the cost. At least between 2006-2008, Pioneer of North America didn't sell entry-level DVD players under the Elite brand and double the cost. The fact that the BDP-170 is Pioneer's entry-level Blu-ray player would make masking it as an Elite BDP-80FD an even worse approach than masking the DV-696AV/600AV/610AV as the Elite DV-46AV/48AV/49AV. Three ways of proof my theory would be correct would be (1) if Walkamo and David Susilo don't explain this situation at the forums to protect the reputation and integrity of Pioneer of North America, (2) if my posts regarding Pioneer of North America selling entry-to-midlevel players as Elite players costing twice as much get deleted, and/or (3) the powers that be decide to ban me from posting at AVS. If I can't post, even though it might take longer, I could always get answers to nonrelated audio/video issues by reading, as well as through hands-on trial and error. Banning a user, deleting his posts, or industry insiders not commenting would only proove that this theory was not to be discovered by anyone for the sake of reputation and integrity. All it takes is knowing a company's product lineups, studying paterns, and getting really good at it and I'm sure others besides myself would be able to get what I'm talking about if they haven't figured it out already. If that happens, lots of posts would get deleted. Lots of users might even get banned. Worst of all, people in North America might order a modified BDP-170 from other countries for less than $200 and Pioneer of North America would have a hard time selling the Elite BDP-80FD for $300 unless (1) it has a major advantage over the BDP-170, or (2) if they sell it as the BDP-170, with an MSRP of their entry-level Blu-ray players.
Last edited by Big C; 06-25-2014 at 07:39 AM.