LG DVX440 DVD Player - LG DVX440

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Anyone with a collection of Region 1 DVDs will be pleased to hear that the DV440 can be hacked by burning an ISO file onto a CD or DVD and playing it back – more details about this can be found here.


Thankfully the DVX440 is incredibly easy to use, which is good news if youngsters are going to use it. The onscreen menus are the same as the ones used on LG’s pricier DVD players, and very attractive they are too.


We particularly like the setup menu, which is placed in front of a bright purple and blue background and uses instantly understandable text and icons. The excellent layout makes every option easy to find and the cursor is responsive. You don’t have to miss any of the movie to access it either – hit Setup during playback and the deck pauses the movie, cuts to the menu then resumes when you’ve finished.


Another handy onscreen feature is a display that can be superimposed over the movie and shows you all the crucial information, including the selected audio track.


The remote isn’t the easiest to work with, given its poky size, awkward shape and fiddly buttons. But it does offer up a few handy tricks like a zoom mode that goes up to 400 per cent and lets you select which area of the screen you want to inspect, plus four-speed scan, frame-by-frame playback and repeat modes.


Onto pictures and to test them we rigged up the deck’s component video outputs to a 47in LCD and played ”King Kong”. Despite having such a big screen to fill, the LG delivers generally bright and well-defined pictures. Good contrast gives the image pleasing depth and solidity, while decent detail retrieval makes textures and areas of fine detail (like Kong’s fur or the busy backgrounds of Skull Island) look reasonably realistic. We also like the deck’s ability to pick out objects during dark scenes, such as Kong walking through a cave.


But inevitably you’re reminded of the price tag in a few areas, such as colour reproduction. Naomi Watts’ skin doesn’t look as nuanced or smoothly shaded as we’d like and certain shades of red and green are just on the wrong side of garish.


Another reminder of the deck’s budget origins is the noise dotted around the image, which compromises the overall clarity, particularly when you blow it up on a big screen. And if you’re forced to use the composite video output, these problems are compounded – there’s an untidy tizzing effect that surrounds objects and the colours look even worse than through the component output.


However, DivX playback is smooth and problem-free, as the deck loaded up our test CD quickly and played the files without hesitation. MP3, WMA and JPEGs also loaded up with no fuss, although photos obviously aren’t displayed in hi-res. Music playback via analogue is workmanlike but fine for most ears – the sound is a bit thin but it’s more than acceptable.


”’Verdict”’


The DVX440 is a decent DVD player that looks good, offers reasonable pictures and provides all the basic features – for thirty quid that’ll be good enough for most people, particularly with multiregion hackability on hand to sweeten the deal. But even at this price we still reckon LG should have included a SCART output, which a lot of people still rely on to deliver pictures and sound to their older TV sets.

Score in detail

  • Performance 6
  • Design 7
  • Features 6
  • Value 8
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