Review: LG BD670 Blu-ray Disc Player Page 2

PERFORMANCE

The LG fared well during my speed trials, taking about 3 seconds to display its onscreen interface once I hit the power button, and 14 seconds to display the F.B.I. warning when loading regular, non-BD-Live discs. As usual, startup time on titles with BD-Live features varied from around a minute to too damn long, although you can’t exactly fault LG’s player for that. The BD670 also offers very smooth image quality in its “slow” fast-scan mode — something that I find useful for searching discs.

The player’s uncluttered GUI is both easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. While I didn’t get a chance to check out most of its apps (especially the weird assortment in LG apps section, which ranged from kids games to NASA-themed podcasts), I made heavy use of both Netflix and MOG in the Premium apps section. The Netflix portal is the new, slick version that lets you search for titles and add them to your streaming library. Having thoroughly acquainted myself with MOG’s Web interface and iPhone app, that service’s Blu-ray interface, which makes it debut on the BD670, proved something of a letdown. The basic UI looks engaging enough on the big screen, but there’s no way to access playlists — a key MOG feature — and entering text for artist/title searches via remote control using its “virtual” keyboard was a serious drag. That said, regular MOG users should be pleased to see the Editor’s Picks, New Releases, and Top Albums/Tracks options available for browsing on the LG.

The BD670 acquitted itself well on my regular suite of test discs. It passed the most crucial tests contained on the Spears & Munsil Blu-ray, including Chroma Multiburst and 2:2 pulldown. Performance when upconverting DVDs was average: It failed one Jaggies test on the Silicon Optix HQV DVD, and was slow to pick up the 2:3 film pulldown cadence on a test from the same disc. (This issue was only visible on the test disc and not the reference movie clips I checked out.) The LG also delivered full luminance resolution via its component-video outputs when playing DVDs. Though basic in its scope and capabilities, the noise reduction setting in the User picture adjustment didn’t reduce detail, even at its maximum setting.

If the LG fared well with test discs, it performed even better during real-world viewing. A Blu-ray 3D of Gnomeo & Juliet looked as crisp and punchy as I expected it to after first watching that movie on Oppo’s BDP-93 player for comparison. DVD movies I checked out, including Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, also looked solid and satisfying.

BOTTOM LINE

LG’s budget-priced player gives you the basics, and then some. Along with above-average A/V performance and built-in Wi-Fi, you can expect a fine suite of media-streaming options (most notably MOG), easy to set up and use DLNA functions, and cool extras like LG’s remote control app. You could definitely find a better, more full-featured player for more money, but with all the BD670 does, you may not have to.

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