It’s also pleasing to see full 1080p upscaling via HDMI among its capabilities, which means standard def DVDs can be converted to match the resolution of your Full HD TV, but you can also output in 576i/p, 720p and 1080i.
The deck’s multimedia credentials are boosted further by the inclusion of a USB port, hidden under a flap on the right hand side, which allows you to plug in a memory device and play music, video and photo files. The unit supports MP3, WMA, JPEG from disc or USB and it handles most disc types with the notable exceptions of DVD-RAM, DVD-Audio and SACD.
Among the other features are Dolby Digital and DTS bitstream output although there’s no two-channel DTS downmixing. You’ll also find the usual array of playback tricks (scan, search, slow-motion, frame advance etc) plus a zoom that goes up to 400% and a Black Level Expansion mode.
Onscreen presentation is as eye-catching as the player itself, using bright, jazzy colours and appealing illustrations to denote the different section of the setup menu. This menu boasts the same look and layout as countless other LG products but its straightforward structure and slick usability proves that familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt. In all honesty there isn’t much to play with, but if you want extensive image tweaks and sound modes go buy a Pioneer – this deck is all about style and simplicity and on that score it delivers.
It’s controlled using a slim, credit card style remote, neatly laid out with all the playback and menu buttons within easy reach of the thumb. A few of the keys at the bottom require some thumb gymnastics to press (including the button to change HDMI resolution) but on the whole the zapper does its job very well.