Another day, another Blu-ray player and of all the players we've tested this is our favorite one so far. It's taken over two years and we've finally came to a point where a standalone player easily out classes the PS3 as a Blu-ray player. Sure the BD300 from LG still isn't perfect, but what is? Either way, read on for the good and the bad of LG's latest BD Live Blu-ray player.
- Fastest player ever tested: 4 seconds to eject tray from off, 37 seconds to load BD-J title (Ratatouille).
- Netflix HD streaming.
- BD-Live and BonusView support (Profile 2.0).
- Good looking menus.
- Search and bookmark feature is slick with it's own scrub bar.
- Zoom is also nice for those who don't like OAR.
- USB port on front is useful for pictures and music.
Coaxial digital output is appreciated for those in need.
- DTS downmix option is a must for those without AVRs that feature the latest codecs.
- We appreciate the standard power cable that isn't permanently attached.
Discrete IR for on and off is a must have for programmable remotes.
- Resolution button on the remote makes it easy to change.
- Auto resolution setting did a good job of detecting the appropriate resolution for our display.
- HDMI and component both work at the same time as long as 1080p output isn't enabled.
- For non-BD-Java discs there is a last disc resume, which unfortunately only remembers the last disc.
- Built in screen saver after 5 mins.
- Dolby's Dynamic Range Control can be used, of those who don't like dynamic audio (loud explosions, soft voices).
- USB firmware update in addition to CD ISO and network is a very nice 3rd option.
- Low power consumption at 0 watts off, 16 idle, and 19 playing a BD (Netflix playback is also 16).
- Bitstreams all the codecs for those with an AV/R with HDMI 1.3.
- Display menu should include more info like codec and bit rate and output resolution.
- No way to tell if the TV is accepting 24p if your TV doesn't tell you.
- No resolution passthrough.
- Eject button should be near the tray instead of on the other side.
- No internal storage for BD-Live, and USB port on front is less than ideal for BD-Live storage since it has to stay there most of the time.
- Can't change the resolution while a disc is playing.
- Had problems connecting to the internet, in the end we had to use our ISP's DNS instead of our router's.
- Doesn't internally decode all the codecs which is pretty important if you need that feature.
- Second rate DVD upconverting and deinterlacing.
- Higher than average suggested retail price at $350.
A lot of fuss has been made about how slow Blu-ray player are, but it looks like those days are over. The BD300 was the first player we've ever tested that even came close to loading discs as fast as a PS3, and in fact beat it by 2 seconds in our test -- admittedly not a wide margin. But maybe more importantly, the BD300 uses less than 1 watt of power in standby and still manages to eject its tray in under 4 seconds from off (the PS3 takes 23 seconds in its lower power mode).