|LG BD-300 Blu-ray Player|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Julianne Stilson|
|Monday, 26 January 2009|
This Blu-Ray player is somewhat of a letdown, both in sound and video quality as well as its feature-set. It retails at a suggested price of just under $400, but offers few frills or even many standard features in mid-priced Blu-Ray players of its class. It is a Profile 2.0 player, so it is capable of accessing BD-Live content, as well as playing BonusView video.
The Blu-ray picture quality is decent for this price range. Load times are fast for both streaming videos and Blu-Ray discs, which is a relief when considering the agonizingly slow speed of some of the other mid-range devices. The menu is fairly simple to navigate which makes it a breeze to use.
Although the BD-300 can stream all high-resolution audio in its native format, it can only internally decode Dolby TrueHD. This is a setback for LG, as many newly released Blu-Ray players in this price-range are offering both Dolby TrueHD and HTC-HD Master Audio decoding.
The Netflix compatibility may sound great, but most of the functionality still requires the use of a PC. While you can play Netflix streaming video on the TV, you still need a PC nearby to access title and queue them up. There’s no built-in menu support or browsing ability for Netflix’s site.
The layout of the remote and the buttons on the device itself is cluttered and confusing until a few uses have warmed your fingers up to the awkward placement. The LG BD-300 does have a serious problem rendering black levels. Our Pirates of the Caribbean test material didn’t offer the inky blacks that we are used to with most players.
There are only a few Netflix-capable devices on the market, so if that is your number one criteria, then the LG BD-300 may be a good investment. However, be forewarned that this device is wired for playback only and requires a PC to access Netflix content. For everyone else, this is a mediocre Blu-Ray player that could have displayed better picture quality and more audio functionality in order to compete with other mid-range players on the market.