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Lunch » Tags » Electronics » Reviews » LG BD 370 Network Blu-ray Disc Player » User review

Budget Blu-Ray Bought on Black Friday Boasts Beaucoup Features

  • Dec 1, 2009
Rating:
+4
Did I need another BluRay player?  Nope, my PS3 plays Blu-Ray movies.  Did I need a device for Netflix On-Demand or YouTube? Nope, my Xbox360 and Mac Mini have those covered.  Then why did I ask my buddy to pick me up the LG BD370 at Fry's on Black Friday?  Because it was SO CHEAP!  $77 to be exact.  From what I've read, this isn't the best performing budget blu-ray player on the market, but I don't think any can touch the $77 price point (yes, I'm bragging at this point).

In reality, my main reason for picking up this BluRay player was because the Sony PS3 doesn't have an IR receiver to work with standard programmable remote controls and I'm not a big fan of using the PS3 controller to watch movies.  There are a few alternatives, but none of them were very appealing:
  1. I could buy Sony's Bluetooth remote, but that would still require me to do the "remote control shuffle" between my receiver and the Sony remote
  2. I could buy Logitech's PS3 Harmony adapter, but the $60 price tag seems pretty steep for a one trick pony.
  3. I could buy a USB IR dongle for the PS3, but I believe they don't support power on/off features.
So essentially, this device will replace my PS3 as the dedicated BluRay player... leaving my PS3 for PS3 games only (although my preference for the Xbox360 is well documented).

Setup was extremely simple for my configuration.
  1. Plug in the power
  2. Connect and HDMI cable (not included... really??) to my receiver.
I immediately popped in The Dark Knight to test it out.  As much as I like to pretend I'm I huge audiophile/video snob, I didn't notice any discernable difference between the LG and the PS3 picture quality.  Sound processing is done by my receiver, so all that really matters in this comparison is the picture quality and ease of use and the LG scored high marks on both.  The LG also supports the BD Profile 2.0 which is the latest standard for BluRay disks so at least for now, it can take advantage of all the bonus features of all existing disks.

The Netflix and YouTube features were nice bonus features, and even though they didn't weigh heavily on my decision, I found them to be a nice perk.  The Netflix implementation isn't as nice as the latest Xbox or Plex/Boxee plugin.  You need to "tag" content on a computer for "On-Demand" before it's available from the LG player.  When I access Netflix OnDemand from the Mac or Xbox, I can browse the genres without having to flag them on the computer first.  Hopefully a future firmware upgrade will add this feature.

The YouTube feature was also very similar to the Plex YouTube plugin on my Mac Mini.  It lets you view recent "Most Popular" and "Highest Rated" video clips as well as perform searches.  I was actually pretty impressed with the YouTube feature and ended up using it more than I thought I would.

The final streaming service on the LG is from "CinemaNow".  I didn't get a chance to try this, but it allows you to rent or buy movies on demand.  Prices were in the $4-5 range for rentals and $18-20 for purchases.  I will have to give this a try to check out the picture quality, but again, this is something that I would probably turn to iTunes for as it provides options to sync with iPods  as well.

All in all, I'm very happy with my new player.  If LG can add additional features through downloads (such as Pandora found on other budget models) It would be icing on the cake.

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February 02, 2010
I really like my PS3 and I use it regularly for Netflix streaming and have found it to be the best way for me to stream Netflix movie content. I used to like universal remotes but there is not one on the market that does not have its own issues. I use the $20 PS3 Blu-ray remote and it seems to function just fine.
 
December 04, 2009
OK, rub it in. Do you want to trade this with my HDDVD player? Mine costed more. If I wait long enough Blurays player will be as cheap as standard DVD players. ;-)
 
December 01, 2009
Awesome review! Since I have a PS3, I really have no use for another Blu-ray player, but your review made it sound tempting. I'm also something of an LG whore seeing as how my TV is an LG as well as my phone. Even though it's too late, I would have recommended the PS# Blu-ray remote, it's worth it!
December 01, 2009
Thanks. I have considered the PS3 Blu-Ray remote, but I REALLY REALLY don't like the idea of having to switch remotes for different devices. I'll have to review my Universal Remote on Lunch pretty soon. Currently, with one remote I can control the TV, Receiver, DirecTV, LG BluRay Player, the Mac MIni, and the Xbox360 -- and it's actually pretty intuitive for someone to pick up.... hmm... Review coming soon :-)
December 03, 2009
I will wait for that review!! I have too many remotes...(sigh)
December 07, 2009
Here's my review of the Universal Remote MX-600 remote control. It has since been replaced by newer models, but I linked to some alternatives in my review.
December 07, 2009
NO link?
December 08, 2009
ah, thanks Husher :-) Attached the comment to the wrong thread initially and just copy and pasted back into the other thread. Link updated: http://lunch.com/t/ovy
 
December 01, 2009
nice review. I still haven't taken the Blu-ray plunge yet although I do own a PS3 (I think) since my Oppo HD upconverter just does a fabulous job in making dvd look like Blu-ray. Plus, I need a region-free Blu-ray and those are still expensive! The Oppo Blu ray player is still $ 500.  thanks for sharing this info. I had second thoughts about the LG BR machine but you make sound worth the price. Oh, try to get a home theater optimizer for Blu ray..it works wonders!
check this out:
December 01, 2009
Cool article on the international versions of DVD's. I didn't realize there was such a discrepancy in the DVD mastering. Do you know if the differences are as pronounced in the different versions of the BluRay disks? Also, what do you mean by "home theater optimizer for Blu ray"? You mean like have someone come to the house to dial everything in, or is that like the "Video Essentials" dvd's?
December 01, 2009
Yes. I noticed that two years ago, the dvds region 1 (America) aren't being remastered in HD anymore; most especially "Hancock", The Dark Knight, and I am Legend to name a few to make dvd look bad. People noticed and complained which is why most dvds are being remastered again. My problems with Blu is that it has no set standard yet so studios can just do whatever. I know that Sony had that scratch proof coating, which proved somewhat faulty because it degrades the discs rather quickly. There are region A, B and I think E for BR. I saw that AVIA has a do it yourself optimizer for Blu ray and THX isn't far behind. I did see the results AVIA yielded and it was stellar! I will eventually go BLU, but right now, the movies I love aren't on Blu anyway.
 
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Quick Tip by . June 09, 2010
Might just be my imagination, but Bluray disks sound much better here than on my PS3. Netflix streaming is great, but needs updated browser.
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Andrew ()
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I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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Wiki

From the ManufacturerLG BD370(August 17, 2009)
If you think you’re looking at a Blu-ray player, you may need to take another look. This is the LG BD370 Network Blu-Ray Disc Player and it comes with the most exciting entertainment technology available. With NetCast Entertainment Access, you get unlimited access to streaming entertainment services like CinemaNow, Netflix, and YouTube, direct from the Internet. That’s thousands upon thousands of movies and online videos the moment you want them. That’s real entertainment.

Features and Technology

Entertainment On Tap
The end of “there’s nothing on”. NetCast Entertainment Access lets you stream instant, and virtually endless, entertainment from CinemaNow, Netflix and YouTube. It’s direct to your TV from the Internet —no computer required. (Learn more)

Enjoy It At Its Best
Why would you want anything but the best picture possible? Make the most of your HDTV. Blu-ray disc playback delivers exceptional Full HD 1080p video and audio performance. (Learn more)

Making Old Just Like New
No need to go out and replace your old DVD collection. Even your standard DVDs look better on Blu-ray with Standard DVD Up-Scaling. (Learn more)

Capture The Silver Screen
Ever wish movies looked more like they do in the theater? Wish no more. With Cinema Mode, you can watch movies the way they are meant to be seen. (Learn more)

Don’t Just Hear It. Feel It.
Great picture needs great sound. ...

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