Panasonic

LG BD670 3D Blu-ray Player Review

June 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Blu-ray Discs, Blu-ray Players, Review

LG BD670
Awesome Blu-ray players keep getting cheaper. The new BD670 from LG is currently $166 on Amazon, yet it has a full suite of Internet streaming providers and built-in wireless connectivity.

Is it worth getting? Read on…

Even taking the price into account, the BD670 is pretty plain looking. With all the stellar designs coming from arch-nemesis Samsung, I would have thought a little more care would have gone into making the players attractive. Not that it really matters.

There are hard buttons on the front for basic navigation. The remote is decently laid out, with the disc controls in a raised hump about where your thumb rests. They look like they’d glow or be backlit, but nope. There’s no dedicated Netflix button, like some other players have. Not a huge deal, but it would have been a timesaver.

The player launches to its home screen almost instantly. Here you can stream photos and music from your computer, or access your favorite apps, which you download from the LG Apps store, also here. The popular streaming services are under Premium, which is a little unintuitive. The menus and Apps store are a little sluggish, but I’ve used worse.

Out of the box, my player’s driver version was H90301 and the SW Version was BD.8.62.211.E. I was able to upgrade this to H90358 and BD.8.62.280.E manually. One odd setting was a toggle between 60 Hz and 24 Hz, not both. What this actually does is enable 24p when it’s available, not that it converts everything to 1080p/24 (which would be weird and occasionally bad).

LG BD670

Stream me up, Scotty

The Netflix interface is of the newer variety, with big cover art and search. Interestingly, the menu looks soft, like it’s upconverted SD. Not a big deal, but add that to the overall sluggishness, and the interaction with the player isn’t as good as other gear.

Like many new Netflix streaming devices, it will output 1080p 60 or 24, though it is doubtful it is a real 1080p stream (likely scaled from 720p, to my knowledge Netflix hasn’t specified).

Picture quality is decent, though a bit noisier than some other devices I’ve reviewed recently. Star Trek (the new one) had decent detail at the beginning on the captain’s face, but was noisy in the space scenes. The Spy Who Loved Me, in HD, looked noisier than I have seen before on the snow chase scene at the beginning, but in all looked quite detailed.

In addition to Netflix, you get VUDU, Amazon Video on Demand, Pandora, and a bunch of other services. The inclusion of Amazon is welcome, as not all streaming devices give you a way to buy/rent current TV/movie content.

Discs

Upconverting quality from DVDs is again decent. Like with Netflix, the image is detailed, but noisier than other players I’ve reviewed. Even with the player in the 24Hz mode, it won’t output DVDs at 1080p/24. Oh well.

Using the HQV Benchmark DVD, the rotating bar test looked ok. The jaggies were small, but they started in the “yellow” area, around 20. The flag test on the same disc had small jaggies on the flag, and some noise in the bricks behind. In all, performance was average, at best.

As you’d expect, the BD670 had no problem picking up the 3:2 sequence with 480i and 1080i.

Blu-ray performance was much better, with the rotating bar on the Spears & Munsil disc looking excellent, almost no visible jaggies. With the 1080i “Ship” test on this disc, there were some small jaggies in the rigging, but overall above average performance.

Loading Blu-ray discs from off went fairly quickly. I clocked 46 second for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 1:10 for Inglourious Basterds, and 22 seconds for Resident Evil: Apocalypse. All times were about average for Blu-ray players in this price range.

There is no 2D-to-3D conversion on the BD670, but it was able to handle 3D Blu-rays just fine, as a few clips from Despicable Me 3D proved.

LG BD670

Conclusion

While the BD670’s performance doesn’t set any benchmarks, it performs well (sluggish navigation aside). Mostly, though, it’s the inexpensive nature of the player, with its inclusion of streaming and wireless for a low price that sets it apart.

The LG BD670 3D Blu-ray Player is priced on Amazon for $166.99 (27% off MSRP of $229) with free shipping. The HDGuru.com awards the BD670 a ♥♥♥½   out of ♥♥♥♥♥ heart rating.

—Geoff Morrison – Follow me on Twitter @TechWriterGeoff
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