We also couldn’t discern any motion tracking problems, even when the action gets really frenetic, and it makes a very convincing attempt at delivering a true black. However, when switching to the Silicon Optix HQV Blu-ray disc, the LG’s shortcomings are revealed – it fails the important film resolution test due to some excessive strobing in the corner boxes, while the panning shot of the stadium shows some distinct moiré noise on the upper tier, none of which can be seen on the Panasonic DMP-BD55 or Denon DVD-1800BD. It also turned in an unconvincing performance with the diagonal filtering tests, showing clear jaggies on the edges of the rotating bars.
Switching to the DVD version of Silicon Optix’ HQV disc reveals more problems – the rotating bar not only exhibits jaggies but judders wildly as it spins round, while the fine lines on the colour bars shows minor flickering. It does however perform well with the detail test. Thankfully these weaknesses are harder to spot with subjective movie playback – ”Gladiator” for example looks fine, with forceful edges and distinct, natural colour reproduction, although it could be sharper and there’s more noise in the picture than we would have liked.
Sonically there’s little wrong with the BD300. Feeding a Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio bitstream to a compatible receiver delivers the most exhilarating results, particularly with a soundtrack as multilayered and hectic as ”Hellboy 2”. But we were also surprised by how much we enjoyed its CD playback from the analogue outputs – OK it’ll be eaten alive on a serious speaker system, but it sounds great though a modest setup, making the soulful jazz of Incognito’s ”Tales From The Beach” sound polished and well balanced.
The most impressive thing about the BD300 is the amount of features you get for your money, including support for BD Live and a pleasing array of multimedia formats. Also bringing a smile to our chops is its slickness and ease of use, with immaculate onscreen presentation and lightning-quick loading times. It’s only flaws are the lack of DTS HD Master Audio decoding and less-than-perfect picture quality that falls short of the high standards set by other players in its price range. But neither of these is a major crime – overall the BD300 is a great-value Blu-ray proposition which makes up for in features and useability what it lacks in picture prowess.
Score in detail