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LG HR400 Freeview Blu-ray Player Launches


LG HR400 Freeview Blu-ray Player Launches

As rain follows sun in a British summer, an official launch has followed a leak. In this case the product is LG's HR400 Freeview Blu-ray player.

Ostensibly a Blu-ray player conforming to the Profile 2.0 (BD Live) spec the HR400 also offers 160GB of local storage for recording of Freeview content. The player supports Freeview+ , providing - as we surely all expect by now - recording of one channel while watching another, time-shifting and "series-link" recording.

As well as offering access to BD Live content, the HR400's Ethernet port is also used for access to YouTube for those moments when watching low-quality web-based clips is more tempting than watching, say, an episode of Firefly or Band of Brothers on Blu-ray. DivX playback is definitely welcome, however.

The HR400 will go on sale later this month, and though LG hasn't announced an official price, a quick snoop suggests most etailers will be aiming at the £350 region.

LG HR400.


July 9, 2009, 5:37 pm

Will there be a freesat version? Seems odd to put a Blu-ray burner in a freeview box because you wont be getting the HD channels, a Blu-ray player would be sufficient surely?

Also, why is there such a huge price differential between freesat and freeview? In this case if this comes out at £350 then its a bit of a mickey take that the freesat alternative (Panasonic DMR-BS850) is £600 more expensive!


July 9, 2009, 6:01 pm

I would have thought by now that BlueRay would have been a lot cheaper, I assume because of the joint venture in making the standard there are too many companies wanting to take a piece of the pie. I've been ripping my collection of DVD in Nero Recode to VC-1 and playing them on my Revo to a HD TV, because of the PureVideo upscaler in the ION I'm finding it very hard to tell the difference between a 1080p Blueray rip & my DVD rips, as such I believe the premium you have to pay for BlueRay is stupidly high atm.


July 9, 2009, 6:06 pm

Hard to tell any difference? Hah. Did you find it hard to notice any difference when you switch from VHS to DVD either?


July 9, 2009, 6:41 pm

Ditto Keith!

@farki80 - Sorry mate, the step from VHS to DVD was huge compared to the negligible benefits a high-def format brings. This was discussed almost constantly during the HD-DVD/BD format wars.


July 9, 2009, 6:54 pm

@farti80: Hah. Did you find it hard to notice any difference when you switch from VHS to DVD either?

You do realize that VHS & DVD had the same resolution (PAL/NTSE)? The quality was nothing to do with the resolution so that was rather a silly comparison don't you think?.

Also I never said 1080p wasn't better, just that the premium you pay is stupidly high, sorry you couldn't grasp that bit. And I assume you also missed the part about upscaling, IOW: it's coming out at 1080p, yeah you can't inject extra information but upscaling SD can give some impressive results, and this is what makes the difference harder to tell. Again the premium you pay for the extra information stored in a pure 1080p is stupidly high atm.


July 9, 2009, 8:29 pm

Did I read elsewhere that ITV HD were transmitting the 'no record' flag for all there HD broadcasts? Thus meaning this recording facility would be of no use ( for ITV HD). Seems nuts to do that


July 9, 2009, 9:03 pm

I am sorry, but you just can't get detail from upscaling. I assume you are one of the few people who believe in snake oil salesmen about being able to convert MP3s into FLACs as well?

Sorry mate, if you can't tell the difference between DVD and 1080p I suggest you get your eyes check. The difference is huge, about 5x the extra amount of pixels.


July 9, 2009, 9:54 pm

@farki80: but you just can't get detail from upscaling

Did you actually read my reply?. Obviously not.

I'm also sorry, that your not grasping my point. It's a shame really as my point was rather very simple, your paying a very high premium for this extra detail BlueRay is meant to be giving. I've NOT said it's not giving you extra detail, as you wrongly keep implying.

I personally think the extra data blueray provided could have also been wisely used on increasing the FPS, 24 just isn't enough for proper fluid motion. Yes I know Movies are shot at this rate, but in that sense why haven't they increased this too?. Currently TV's are trying to compensate for this slow speed by doing in-between frames, but it looks like the side effects are rather severe.

Anyway, from your reply it's also obvious you've not seen what a good up-scaler can produce, like I pointed out I was comparing a Good up-scaled DVD to a pure 1080p, so I can safely say I have.

Also the 5x bit is slightly miss-leading, yes there 5x times more pixels. But I do assume you realize this only equates to 87.5% extra Horizontal & Vertical resolution?


July 9, 2009, 10:53 pm

@farki80 - The thing is going from VHS to DVD involved making the change from an analogue medium to a digital one. Also, DVD introduced new features like being able to skip between chapters, not degrading over time like VHS, and having film extras included on the disc. The change from DVD to Blu-ray is just extra resolution, BD-live not withstanding (and currently there's very little content for it).

On my 32" 1080P TV I can see a modest difference between upscaled DVD and Blu-ray, and I think that's what most people with 32" TVs and under will notice. On the other hand, I've heard great things about HD from people who are using bigger TV's or projectors. It's just that I think the effects of HD depend very much on your equipment, and a lot of people with smaller TVs won't see a big difference in quality, in my opinion.

Noel McCandless

July 10, 2009, 1:25 pm

The LG HR400 is NOT a Blu-ray recorder. It is a blu-ray player with a 160gb Hard disc with a Freeview+ tuner. Hence the price. Please check your facts!!!!!


July 10, 2009, 3:49 pm

@Noel: Please check your facts!!

Do you mean Hugo, well he's not actually said it was a BD Burner, but I suppose the title is a little miss-leading here.

It really should say "LG HR400 Freeview Blu-ray HDD Recorder".

Looking on LG's site it's not even clear if this thing will record DVD, be odd if that was the case though.


July 10, 2009, 3:50 pm

Oops, no idea why I put recorder not player. Going slowly mad I suspect.

Steve 12

July 10, 2009, 3:52 pm


I thought Freeview will be transmitting bbc1/2/wales, itv, c4, c5 all in HD


July 10, 2009, 4:47 pm

@Hugo and Noel

Ah, thanks for clarifying, that at least explains part of the price differencial that I mentioned in my first post!


Yes I think the plan is that they will eventually broadcast HD on freeview, however aparently they are going to be using DVB-T2 rather than the DVB-T that is currently used for freeview, so none of the current range of freeview tuners would be able to pick up the HD channels and im assuming (tho cant confirm) that this only has a DVB-T tuner, so no HD channels.


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