- Great user interface makes it easy to use
- Good selection of Smart TV apps
- Strong 2D and 3D picture quality
- Can’t add premium apps to the shortcut bar
- Can be a tad sluggish for media streaming and using Smart TV apps
Review Price £109.95
LG BP420 - Design, Connections and Interface
If you're looking for a reasonably priced Blu-ray player with 3D support that also gives you access to on-demand services like BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm and Netflix, but can live without Wi-Fi support, then the LG BP420 will tick all your boxes. You can currently buy it online for around £110, which makes it £20 cheaper than LG's Wi-Fi-equipped BP620, the next model up from this one in LG's current line up of Blu-ray players.
As the LG BP420 is essentially a budget Blu-ray deck, it's not as pretty to look at as high-end models such as Panasonic's slick DMP-BDT500. But that's not to say this is an ugly player. Far from it, as the slim line design – it stands just 41mm tall – and the glossy black finish on the front make it a neat little package to behold. It does feel quite light when you pick it up and the transport buttons on the front right do look a little bit cheap, but other than that the build quality actually seems to be quite good.
The tray mechanism is hidden behind a flip down flap on the left hand side of the deck, which automatically opens and closes as the tray is ejected and retracted, and next to this the player makes do with a basic five character VFD display.
There's only one USB port, which is mounted on the front behind a small plastic pull out flap. Placing it here has made it easy to get at, but having a USB memory key or hard drive cable sticking out the front does ruin the player's clean lines somewhat. Also, as this model has no built-in memory, you need to have a memory key plugged into whenever you want to access BD-Live content, so many people will simply be left with a memory key constantly inserted.
Around the back of the LG BP420, the line up of connections is pretty basic, which is perhaps unsurprisingly given its low price. Along with the HDMI port, there's just a composite video output, a pair of phono connectors for analogue audio and an optical digital audio connector to feed audio to older surround sound amps that lack HDMI inputs. For the Smart TV and media streaming features there's an Ethernet port so you can hook the deck up to your router.
Once you have the player fully set up, the first thing that strikes you when you turn it on is just how slick and welcoming the user interface is. It's built around a home page that uses a movie soundstage complete with overhead lights as its backdrop. Splashed across the middle of this are large icons to take you to the player's key features, while on the bottom there's a shortcut banner that you can use for adding quick links to Smart TV apps.