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LG BD370 Blu-ray Player review

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LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
  • BD370 BD Player (BD-RE, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, CD-RW - BD Video, DVD Video, CD-DA, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVCHD, DivX, MKV, VCI, LPCM, MP3, WMA, MPEG-1, PNG, JPEG, GIF, Audio CD Playback - 1 Discs - Progressive Scan - Black)

Summary

Our Score:

9

We recently reviewed LG's BD300, an attractively-priced Blu-ray player that might not offer the best picture quality ever seen but makes up for it with quick disc loading times, a generous feature list and BD Live support. Then at this year's CES, the Korean company unveiled the step-up BD370, which doesn't hit the shops until April but we've managed to get our hands on a sample for the UK's first test.

The most exciting new feature found on the BD370 is video-on-demand courtesy of YouTube. Using the deck's built-in Internet connection, you can access the site's videos and watch them on your TV as opposed to a poky PC monitor. It's the first time we've seen Blu-ray's Internet functionality being used for something other than movie-related extras or firmware updates, and on that basis it's a pretty significant step.

However, unlike the US version of the BD370, you can't access films on demand, mostly due to the lack of online download sites like CinemaNow and Netflix in this country. But of course the UK BD370's Profile 2.0 spec means you can do all the usual BD Live tricks, such as downloading new content and chatting online with fellow film fans, as well as enjoying BonusView picture-in-picture commentaries. Finding all this functionality on a deck costing just over £200 is quite remarkable, and suggests that we could have a real bargain on our hands.

And we're sorry Pioneer and Samsung, but the BD370 is possibly the best-looking Blu-ray player we've seen so far. Not only is it slim, sleek and adorned with a glossy black fascia, but it also boasts a large silver power button in the middle of the fascia, which is engraved with the Blu-ray logo and glows blue when the player's turned on - how cool is that?

It's surrounded by a grey panel that houses the Eject and Play buttons, but otherwise it's a fairly minimal affair. The display panel is large and easy to read, and the transparent panel in front of it drops down to reveal chapter skip and stop keys, alongside a USB port that allows you to expand the unit's memory capacity with a flash drive (for BD Live downloads) as well as play back DivX, MPEG-4, MP3, WMA and JPEG files.

On the back you'll find all the usual socketry suspects, including HDMI, component, composite, analogue stereo, coaxial and optical digital audio outputs, alongside the all-important Ethernet LAN port that connects to your Internet router. Based on what it unveiled at IFA, there's a good chance LG will launch players with built-in Wi-Fi and local storage in the UK later this year, but for now you'll have to put up with LAN cables and USB sticks.

The BD370 can output Blu-ray discs in either 50Hz or 24Hz, selectable in the setup menu and it'll upscale DVDs to 720p, 1080i or 1080p if you don't fancy replacing your entire collection on Blu-ray.

Premfab

March 1, 2009, 3:25 pm

Could it be? A decent LG product?





I wonder. Past expereince has shown that LG products look good, have decent spec but the usability has been somewhat frustrating. I wonder if this player follows that trend.

Geoff Richards

March 1, 2009, 4:19 pm

I can't imagine I will use the YouTube option that often, personally, but the rest of this sounds pretty decent. April is only a month away now so hopefully we'll see the street price slip under 𧶀 before long; this player is definitely on my shortlist

Ohmz

March 1, 2009, 6:51 pm

I see we have pictures of the user interface, a welcome addition!

Greg17b

March 2, 2009, 3:06 am

It's amazing how we get used to the shortcomings of today's 'technology'. 35 seconds from inserting a disc to getting the disc menu.





That moan aside, this looks like a decent player. Still not good enough to make me jump and upgrade my TV to a bigger one and to start paying the extortionate amount of money charged for BD movies.

Hamish Campbell

March 2, 2009, 3:08 pm

Doesn't that 35 seconds include an anti piracy message and/or video.





p.s. Piracy is theft, me hearties.

chancykid

March 3, 2009, 10:25 pm

The waiting has become a 21st century trend I reckon. Just look at the PS3 and how some games have to be installed first. Not exactly cutting edge is it?

Mazga

March 12, 2009, 1:59 am

This Blu-ray seems to be packed with all the features one wants from BD player (USB, MKV file support)... Can someone compare it's picture quality to Panasonic BD-35? I would definitly buy this player but i want best picture quality to pair it with new panasonic plasma, if the pic quality is not on pair with BD-35 maybe it is best to wait for Panasonic BD player with USB and support for MKV.

Geoff Richards

April 11, 2009, 6:25 pm

Well, it seems the planets have aligned. Not only is it April already (I told y'all time would fly!), but several retailers have just today dropped the price from 𧶝.99 to 𧵿.





Mine's now on order. Hopefully it will arrive ready for next weekend!

Geoff Richards

April 15, 2009, 7:34 pm

Fair play to Dixons.co.uk - I ordered on Saturday lunchtime, Monday was a Bank Holiday, and it arrived today (Wednesday).





Oh, and TR Reviews Editor, Andy Vandervell, ordered one too :)


I look forward to test driving it after work.

Pbryanw

April 19, 2009, 6:37 am

Just wondering if you've had the time to fully test drive it yet Geoff? Not that I don't trust the TR review, or the similarly praiseworthy CNET one, but it would be good to get a first-hand account.





It's either this or the Samsung BD-P1600 for me, but the MKV support, and quick loading times, might swing it for the LG.

Andy Vandervell

April 19, 2009, 9:18 pm

Well my experience has been pretty good. In fact, the only problem I had is that it needed a software update when I first got it to play Taken, but it wouldn't connect to my network. A router firmware upgrade sorted that out, though. It's a great machine, so I'm very happy and I'm pretty sure Geoff is too. ;)

Geoff Richards

April 20, 2009, 3:01 pm

I haven't checked against a stopwatch, but loading times have been quick enough for me that they aren't really an issue. This is my first Blu-ray player, and I only have a 720p TV, so I'm not really qualified to talk about the imagine quality vs the Samsung or any other player, other than to say it seems to do the job and looks dead sexy.





The only caveat related to the USB playback is this: the port is FAT32, so is limited to 4GB per file. I need to finish editing the footage from my track day before I can test this limit (ie what happens if I try and playback a 6GB home movie) but a fallback is burning your footage to a dual-layer DVD-R for up to 8.5GB.





If you shoot a lot of HD H.264 like our Camcorder Guru, James Morris, then you may need to look at a WD TV (supports NTFS drives, so filesize not an issue) and a separate Blu-ray player. But if you'd rather have an all-in-one, and you only shoot shorter home movies (12Mbit/s will get you around 44 mins; high-end camcorders at 19Mbit/s only 28 mins) then the BD370 is pretty decent.





Remember, it's only a per FILE limit, so you can always edit your footage into multiple parts. Oh, and if you're a serial uploader to YouTube you're stuck to 10 minute chunks anyway. The YouTube interface seems pretty good, but sadly my HomePlug network is glacial (bad house wiring) so I haven't really tested that. But should be good for a bit of post-pub giggles at people falling off skateboards :)

Pbryanw

April 20, 2009, 11:41 pm

Big thanks for the positive follow-ups from both of you. If all goes well, I'll be purchasing this LG next month. (And I'm already looking forward to watching Blade Runner & The Blue Planet on it :) )

Pbryanw

April 29, 2009, 6:12 am

Just want to say, thanks to this review, I went and bought the BD370, and it's every bit as good as expected. Blade Runner has never looked better, and is a step up from my upscaling, DVD Player :) Now to get some Homeplug's so I can use the YouTube feature.

Mark@Ramsgate@Kent

July 27, 2009, 10:22 pm

On the basis of the original review, I bought this player. I'm not sure if it's just the discs I have, but there are no adverts in them.


The picture is wanderful, even if my t.v. is not full 1080p, just HD ready (got caught out on that one, too eager to buy a new HD telly).


Load time is very quick and no slower than 'normal' dvd.


I baught my 370 for less than £150 at Amazon with free p+p.!!!


Upscaling is very good too.


I have purchased 5 Blu-ray discs so far; Die Hard 4.0 - Earth, journey of a lifetime - The Italian Job 40th anniversary special edition - Queen rock live at Montreal and finaly Appleseed EX Machina and they all look crisp and sharp and with my JVC surround system, pretty awesome. Again, these discs are from Amazon, DO NOT BUY AT HMV, they are very very expensive there.


As with Pbryanw, Blade Runner is next on my list and guess what? less than a tenner at Amazon with free p+p.

Mike 27

August 30, 2009, 6:05 pm

The player freezes after a short running of a movie.

Geoff Richards

August 30, 2009, 7:59 pm

Test with a couple of different movies, Mike. If it's still doing it across multiple discs, you must have a duff unit. Return for a replacement. I've had no dramas with mine across 10+ films

Opus

August 31, 2009, 12:06 am

Brought this last week to replace my failed budget DVD player. This player really squeezes the best out my DVD's however, like Mike mentioned I also don't get to see the previews on my DVD's.

liam 5

September 3, 2009, 11:40 pm

with out the dvd player being wireless enabled how will i be able to access the utube function?? i have internet access but the modem is upstairs in my bedroom.. i do however have a virgin media box downstairs, will this conect via usb or ethernet cable to from my virgin media box to the dvd player? will this work? otherwise il need to wait for LG to bring out a wireless option? any help much appriciated..thanks

Geoff Richards

September 4, 2009, 2:57 am

@liam - the BD370 only has Ethernet, so you can only connect via that. The BD390 has wifi, but has not yet been released in the UK / Europe (it's available in the USA).





I'm not that familiar with the Virgin Media setup but here is one possible test for you to try: to use YouTube on the BD370 just requires internet via ethernet cable; this is also try of a laptop when wifi is turned off so maybe you can test your theory.





I rather doubt it will work though. The modem is what you ultimately need to connect to, and if the Virgin Media box has an ethernet port on the back, I'm assuming that's designed for "internet in" rather than "internet out". If you require a modem as well then that suggests to me that the vox downstairs is just doing TV.





Of course, it's certainly possible to bridge your wifi from upstairs to a new box downstairs that can then connect via ethernet, but that's really far more cost and hassle than mere YouTube on one's Blu-ray player is worth, in my view.





I have owned this player myself for several months and even though my ADSL router is in the same room within (long) cable length, I simply haven't bothered. The player doesn't support a plug-in keyboard (that I'm aware of) so you're limited to using the remote control to surf YouTube, so I just use my laptop.

Chris Hunt

September 18, 2009, 3:36 am

Well just bought one of these for £112 (plus VAT) from Pixmania, delivery was £5.22 plus VAT but as I went through quidco that'll be ofset. Total cost £135 (incl. VAT) a bargain I think. This is my 1st blue ray player and have to say I'm very pleased the picture is great even though I'm only connecting to a 720P plasma panel. It slotted into my AV system and was real plug and play. The digital optical cable came out the back of my old DVD player and into this, the hdmi the same and away I went playing films within a few minutes. Very happy that it will send audio over the hdmi cable and to the AV AMP at the same time. My old DVD player wouldn't do that unless I set it to send PCM to the AMP :-( This now keeps the other half happy and she can simply use the TV volume rather than fiddle with the AV amp to get sound. I had a WD portable hard drive knocking around and wondered if the player would work with this, initially no luck until i read the manual (the last thing anyone ever does right?) and found that the USB interface would only work with FAT16 or FAT32 file system. Checked the hard drive and found it formatted to NTFS. So a quick reformat of a 320GB hard drive to FAT32 and it recognised it no trouble. Dropped my entire music collection onto the hard drive and now have it all available to play through the player and amp. I'm no audiophile and realise the sound won't be quite as good as the original CDs but its good enough for me! Even if I rip some of my DVDs onto the hard drive the 4GB file size won't be an issue. Network connection was very simple as I run Homeplug around the house. Simply connected a homeplug to the back and away it went, got its IP address from my DHCP server, connected to the firmware update server downloaded a new firmware version and installed in in minutes. Next step is to see what is makes of a DiVX filmn(the only format supported acording to the manual), should be interesting.

Dykie2000

January 11, 2010, 2:26 am

Got mine for Comet for £77.99 and then a extra £30 off so a great player for £47.99. It plays and looks great. I have also used divx on it and it is the bees knees buy one today

krisjay

April 4, 2010, 7:14 pm

I had the same problem with my router being far away from the blu ray player.


I solved it!!! after reading a few of these posts i cracked it.


I have a laptop (one of these would help) with windows vista with a wireless connection and an ethernet connection.


What you need to do is go into control panel, network and sharing centre, then select manage network connections on the left hand side.


Now highlight your wireless connection and your lan connection, right click and select bridge connections. once windows has bridged the connection plug ur cable from the laptop to the BR player and select you tube and hey presto, your laptop is now connecting the BR Player to the internet.

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