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LG BD370 Blu-ray Player - LG BD370 Blu-ray Player
Picture quality is impressive too. With Spider-Man 3 it draws out every last detail, from the patterning on Spidey's costume to the intricate grains on Sandman's body. This excellent detail handling gives the picture exceptional lucidity and sharpness, which is exactly what you want from a Blu-ray player.
Colour saturation is strong, giving the image a warmth and radiance that works a treat with Spider-Man 3's vivid visual effects. But it handles the subtler palette of movies like The Assassination of Jesse James with equal aplomb, showing admirable delicacy in reproducing the nuances of skin and clothing. We're also impressed by the solid blacks and expansive contrast, which prevents dark scenes from looking washed out and indistinct - during Peter and Harry's fight down the dark alleyways in chapter eight, you never lose track of what's going on.
Look closely and you can spot some jagged edges on diagonal lines and a pinch of noise here and there but nothing that greatly hampers your enjoyment of the movie. Pricier players like the Pioneer BDP-51FD and Panasonic DMP-BD55 offer more depth and definition but on the whole the LG is a solid performer.
As per usual we slipped in the HQV Benchmark disc, and were really impressed with what we saw - it passes the diagonal filter tests with some remarkably clean edges on the rotating bars, there's no strobing on the Video Resolution Loss test, and the lack of flickering on the Film Resolution Loss test shows that it's adept at recognising and correcting the 3:2 cadence of 1080/24p material converted to 1080/60i.
Sadly it's not quite so impressive at processing DVDs - the HQV DVD shows some serious jaggies on rotating bars and the moving flag clip, but it does a fairly good job with detail reproduction and colours. When playing back a movie DVD like Seven, jaggies and block noise are visible but on the whole the quality is acceptable.
The BD370 is one of the most exciting Blu-ray players to emerge in quite some time. We love the fact that LG is keen to push the technology forward, and the inclusion of YouTube access is no mere gimmick - it provides a worthwhile way of expanding the available content beyond the realms of physical media, and also gives us a tantalising taste of what the future holds for the Blu-ray format. It's a lot of fun to use and the user interface works brilliantly, although it's a shame that you can't watch HD content in its proper form.
But there are many more strings to the BD370's bow, including terrific Blu-ray picture quality, a superb operating system, BD Live access, terrific multimedia support, zippy loading times and most remarkably, an affordable price tag. We imagine it might be usurped by other players with bigger and better online capabilities later this year, but for now it's the most advanced Blu-ray deck on the market and we love it.
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