|LG BD570 Blu-ray Player Review|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Wednesday, 15 September 2010|
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Music, Media and Streaming:
LG’s BD570 can access media files in three separate ways, starting with disc-based playback. 2L Nordic’s Reference disc tested the player’s capacity for both high-definition and standard CD fare, amounting to an underwhelming but meekly satisfying experience. Stringed instruments in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 In D Major find a meaty center in the sound balance, yet the notes carry very little impressive punch in any of the high-definition or standard-definition tracks. The Gregorian chanting in Crux Fidelix fared better, showing the player’s capacity for mid-range competency, while the echoic sounds filled the space with admirable expansiveness.
The BD570 can also access music files either by the USB 2.0 port at the front, as well as by DLNA connection – which also offers photo and video support. Wireless streaming works without a hitch after locating an applicable computer within range, accessing the assorted files in a simple folder structure. The sound quality’s about what’s to be expected, loading songs in zippy fashion and structuring the files in a pleasant, soft GUI. Photo access operates as expected via the same file access structure as the music, while AVI, MKV, and WAV video file formats are supported on the video side.
In addition to disc and data file access, the LG BD570 also comes through with a fine buffet of streaming services under its NetCast function. Paramount being Netflix, activated in the same fashion as other devices by quickly typing in an access code. Along with that, the BD570 also offers support for Vudu, CinemaNow, MLB.tb, YouTube, Pandora Napster, Picasa, and AccuWeather, all of which have graphical representations. Unfortunately, LG still doesn’t support Amazon Video On-Demand.
Solid Blu-ray Rendering, Fluid Wireless Connectivity, DLNA Access, Streaming Services, Quick-Moving
There’s no doubting that the LG BD570 operates as something of a home-theater Swiss army knife. Sure, the Blu-ray playback stands out as the primary draw, which the unit handled with substantial, if somewhat middle-of-the-road, quality. But it’s the other elements that it really excels, especially the wireless connectivity – which is very easy to set up and quick to load. That connectivity also carries over into wireless PC access, where music, video, and photo files can be streamed through a sleek GUI via DLNA access. On top of that, the player supports several streaming services, while tapping into all of its features – from disc-loading to file access – at a reasonably quick rate. Plus, the addition of a PAL to NTSC decoder is always welcome.
Glitchy Playback, Contrast Issue, Awkward Design Flaws, Poor DVD Performance
Unfortunately, there are a few issues with the BD570, first being a rash of glitches – both of the disc-skipping and the odd fast-forwarding types -- in a few Blu-rays and DVDs. Some of these points are rectified by a firmware update, while others persist even with the most up-to-date software. Under the hood, the performance also affects the player’s ability to render accurate contrast, either appearing too light or just a bit too dark after tinkering with the “Brightness” in the user-defined picture adjustment. The player also suffers from a few design idiosyncrasies, such as the now-dated front flap and a flimsy curved button for the Eject and Power buttons at the top. On a performance level, even when things are operational, the standard-definition rendering leaves something to be desired. Plus, the choice of a short, irreplaceable power cable isn’t exactly a positive point.
For $220, LG’s BD570 offers fine high-definition rendering and fluid wireless connectivity into an incredibly affordable package. From an outside perspective, with knowledge of its successes and ease of use, it’s easy to recommend. However, spending a bit of time with the player shows some performances blemishes, including a handful of glitches that even the latest firmware updates cannot smooth out, along with some design quibbles. Therefore, I’m left at a bit of an impasse with a final word. It’s worth considering if standard-definition performance isn’t a paramount driver and if you’re able to be patient with a small handful of potential glitches, as the strengths that it offers can be rewarding at the price. But it’s not without discrepancies.