BLU-RAY PLAYER REVIEWS

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uavKim Wilson Posted: Dec 11, 2008 0 comments

LG has introduced something new with the BD300. In addition to being a full-featured Blu-ray player, it can also stream movies from Netflix, which explains the unique product designation—network Blu-ray player. The BD300 offers a number of key features we've come to expect from Blu-ray players, such as bitstream output of the advanced audio codecs, BonusView, BD-Live, and 24fps output for compatible video displays.

Kris Deering Posted: Jan 05, 2009 0 comments
Price: $350 At A Glance: Netflix streaming • Fast load times and operation • Bonus View and BD-Live capable • Limited video processing, advanced audio decoding

LG Breaks New Ground

LG has been one of the most innovative companies out there championing Blu-ray. Early in the format war, LG tried twice to provide a solution for consumers with combo Blu-ray/HD DVD players. While its first attempt didn’t support HD DVD’s full capabilities, the follow-up BH200 was a fully functional player for both formats. It was Bonus View capable and offered Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and 24p playback for both formats. It remains a solid player today, and I have one in my rack.

David Vaughn Posted: Nov 10, 2009 0 comments
toppick.jpgPrice: $350 At A Glance: Blazing-fast loading of discs, even on Java-intensive titles • Netflix, YouTube, and CinemaNow streaming • Built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi

Established in South Korea in 1958 under the name of Goldstar, LG Electronics has been manufacturing home appliances and electronics for more than 50 years. In 1995, it acquired Zenith (the company that invented the remote control) and started to gain market share in North America with cell phone technology, digital set-top boxes, and televisions. When the format war was in full swing in 2007, LG became the Switzerland of electronics companies by releasing the BH100 dual-format Blu-ray/HD DVD player. It received tepid reviews due primarily to playback glitches on HD DVDs, but you have to admire the company for attempting to appeal to a wider range of consumers.

Thankfully, with the format war behind us, manufacturers can concentrate on making great Blu-ray players, and LG hasn’t stopped its innovation. It was the first to release a BD player with Netflix streaming (BD300) and has upped the ante with its latest player by adding YouTube, CinemaNow, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

David Vaughn Posted: Jul 12, 2010 0 comments
toppick.jpgPrice: $430 At A Glance: Fast loading of Blu-ray Discs • 250-GB built-in hard drive • 802.11n Wi-Fi • VUDU HDX streaming • CinemaNow • Netflix

More Than Just a Disc Player

LG Electronics has proven itself to be the most innovative manufacturer of Blu-ray players in the world. It was first to market with an HD DVD/Bluray Disc combo player (BH100), a player with Netflix streaming (BD300), and a player with 802.11n Wi-Fi (BD390). To continue its string of firsts, LG’s BD590 is the first standalone Blu-ray player to include a builtin 250-gigabyte hard drive. It provides storage for BD-Live interactivity and can store movies purchased from VUDU, plus you can rip your favorite CDs for easy access. The player also lets you access Gracenote’s vast database of movie and music metadata. You can look up information by pushing a button on the remote. Let’s take a look and see how the BD590 stacks up to LG’s previous efforts.

Posted: Mar 17, 2007 0 comments

Going back to those heady days of wine, roses and Laserdiscs, the general public, if aware at all of LD's existence, would yawn and claim to be interested when a recordable LD is introduced. Of course that never happened and LD is currently residing in the "where are they now" of consumer electronica.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 02, 2007 0 comments
Blu-ray and HD DVD in one box.

Well, no one saw this coming. We’re not that far into the format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray, and LG has come out with the BH100, a player that plays both formats. So, is that it? Format war over? Hardly.

Posted: Jan 18, 2007 Published: Jan 19, 2007 0 comments

  • $1,199
  • Digital Video Output: HDMI
  • Video Upconversion: 720p, 1080i
  • Audio Decoding: DD, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Ins and Outs: HDMI, others TBD
  • Feature Highlights: The world's first Blu-ray/HD DVD combi player, upconverting outputs for standard-def DVDs
David Vaughn Posted: Dec 16, 2014 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $130

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Multiple streaming options
Remote app with unique Private Sound mode
Makes your dumb TV
somewhat smarter
Minus
Glacially slow user
interface
Lightweight build quality

THE VERDICT
One heck of a bargain for a Blu-ray player with virtually every major streaming option.

When Blu-ray and HD DVD launched in 2006, electronics manufacturers and movie studios alike were looking to strike gold again, with consumers rushing out to replace their hardware and software to enjoy the new formats’ better video and audio. At the time, DVD players had become commodity items with little or no profit margin, and the bargain bin at Walmart offered discs for under $10. Unfortunately, the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD left many consumers on the sidelines, and the online enthusiast community became a virtual showdown at the O.K. Corral, with insults being tossed back and forth if somebody said the slightest negative thing about one side versus the other—kind of like Congress?

David Vaughn Posted: Aug 14, 2012 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $150 At A Glance: Fast loading of Blu-ray Discs • 802.11n Wi-Fi • Bevy of streaming options • No additional memory needed for BD-Live

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) requires mutual fund companies to tell investors that a fund’s past performance does not necessarily predict future results—and the same could be said of Blu-ray players. In the case of LG, I’ve had the opportunity to audition its top-of-the-line offering for each of the past four years. In 2009, the company’s BD390 (Home Theater, January 2010) was the fastest player I’d ever used, and in July 2010, I awarded its BD590 a Top Pick because of its solid Blu-ray performance and plethora of streaming services. Unfortunately, in 2011 LG dropped the ball with the BD690 (Home Theater, September 2011) with faulty firmware releases and buggy disc playback.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 08, 2007 0 comments
With the current stalemate between Blu-ray and HD DVD, and most studios exclusive to either one format or the other, the only options for the HD enthusiast would seem to be to sit on the fence, take sides, or pull out the old checkbook and buy two players.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 08, 2007 0 comments

The format war rages on. With the current stalemate between Blu-ray and HD DVD, and most studios exclusive to either one format or the other, the only options for the HD enthusiast would seem to be to sit on the fence, take sides, or pull out the old checkbook and buy two players.

David Vaughn Posted: Nov 09, 2012 8 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $499 At A Glance: Impeccable build quality • 4K x 2K video output • The first Blu-ray player with HDMI inputs

We’ve come a long way since Blu-ray hit the market in 2006. Back then, players retailed for over $1,000, took more than a minute to boot up, and as long as two and a half minutes to load a disc. Thankfully, those days are behind us and the user experience with Blu-ray is now approaching that of a DVD player—although we’ll never get rid of the frequent firmware updates thanks to Hollywood’s piracy fears.

Kris Deering Posted: Feb 07, 2014 19 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Darbee video enhancements
DSD file support
Zero-compromise video playback
Minus
Still looking for one

THE VERDICT
Our Top Pick Blu-ray player only gets better with onboard Darbee video processing and full support for DSD file playback.

Awarding a Top Pick rating is always a big deal with us, but I don’t think we’ve ever had two Top Pick products merge into one. That, however, is exactly what we have with Oppo’s latest generation of Blu-ray players, the BDP-103D and BDP-105D. The second D stands for Darbee Edition, as Oppo has thrown Darbee video processing right into the players. I reviewed the Darbee Darblet DVP 5000 standalone video processor in 2012 and proclaimed it a must-have for making the most out of your display. But the BDP-103D, reviewed here, is more than just a BDP-103 with Darbee processing. Oppo has done a few more tweaks to their player, making it an even stronger Top Pick than before.

Kris Deering Posted: Jan 24, 2013 23 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,199 At A Glance: Reference audio and video processing for other components • Asynchronous USB DAC • Bit-perfect video playback performance

Last year, I had the opportunity to review the Halo P 7 multichannel preamplifier from Parasound (Home Theater, June 2012). For that review, I mated the P 7 with Oppo’s then flagship Blu-ray player, the BDP-95, and it was a match made in heaven. I didn’t do a formal review of the BDP-95, but I made sure I conveyed how highly I thought of the reference Blu-ray player in the review and how its outstanding analog audio section was one of the best I’ve used. For this review, I got to try out Oppo’s successor to the BDP-95, the BDP-105, which builds on the BDP-95’s design and adds some features I honestly never thought I’d see in a Blu-ray player. In fact, I don’t even know if I would categorize the BDP-105 as a straight Bluray player, as it could easily be identified as a digital processor given its new connectivity and processing features for both audio and video. Whatever you want to call it, the BDP-105 shows once again that Oppo isn’t afraid of disrupting the industry and raising the already incredible bar set by its previous products.

Kris Deering Posted: Jul 08, 2009 0 comments
Price: $499 At A Glance: Reference-quality Blu-ray performance and video processing • Full interactivity and audio decoding • Fast operation and load times • SACD and DVD-Audio

Dawn of a Blu Universe

Oppo Digital may not be the most recognized name on the block, but if you’ve used its products in the past, you’ll certainly remember it. Oppo has been in the DVD player market for a few years now and does all of its business online. You won’t find its products stocked in your local Best Buy or specialty retailer, so the brand doesn’t have the broad market awareness of other Blu-ray player manufacturers. But Oppo’s DVD players have a loyal following and offer incredible performance for the dollar. Oppo’s reputation for excellent performance at a lower price point and its outstanding customer support quickly gained a big following. So it’s been with bated breath that many of us have waited for Oppo to enter the Blu-ray market.

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