LG BD370

Cheap and very cheerful, the LG BD370 Blu-ray player is a fantastically optioned piece of blue laser finery, and a new benchmark for budget players.


8.7
CNET Rating
7.5
User Rating

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CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


It's taken a couple of years, but it seems that Blu-ray is finally gaining some ground as a format. Not only are some decent movies finally coming out, but the price and feature sets of players has made them more compelling as well. Of course, the PlayStation 3 still looms like the Close Encounters mother ship over the whole preceding, but fabulous little players like the LG BD370 are making the step to Blu-ray that much more enticing.

Design
For a company that prides itself on the design of its televisions, we found the BD370 to be curiously stodgy. While in essence most Blu-ray players look the same — squat boxes with glossy fronts — LG has tried to "pep up" the look of its player with a very 80's-looking Power/Play button in the middle.

While the build is mostly solid, it's the disc tray which we have the most issues with. The disc tray looks (and probably is) like the one you'd find on a PC DVD-RW. It also opens and closes with some difficulty — a bit more spit and polish would have helped here.

The remote, on the other hand, is great. All of the necessary functions are close to hand and it has the faux leather top that we've liked on previous remotes.

Features
For the price, the features list on the BD370 is simply phenomenal — even if it is missing the US version's coup de grace, Netflix downloads. While we are assured that LG has been in talks with local movie downloads providers to implement this feature, it will only be available in future products. However, you still get one of the best value-adds we've seen in a Blu-ray player so far: YouTube. Unlike the Apple TV that launched with a vetted list of YouTube videos, the full library of content is available via the remote, which also includes an easy search function.

The second reason to buy this player is for its comprehensive support for movie formats, not only can you play DVDs and Blu-rays but most of the most popular 'net formats including MPEG2, MPEG4 AVC (H2.64), raw VC1 files, DivX, and for you HD fans, MKV. It will even playback videos encoded in the AVCHD camcorder format.

For a budget player we were also impressed by its assortment of audio decoding options. You can either let the BD370 decode both DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD, or let them through to the keeper (read: receiver). This capability should please users who've bought a modern receiver and want the flexibility and potential improvements of letting it decode high-def audio streams.

There is a high degree of control in the menu options within the BD370, but sometimes you need to know what the options mean. For example, you can set 1080p display mode to 24Hz or 50Hz, and while this is helpful for people who want to enable Blu-ray compatibility quickly it doesn't explain what 24Hz is. The audio options also let you fiddle with the sampling frequency, offering you a choice of 48, 96 or 192kHz — again with no explanation of what this means. Presumably, it will up- or down-scale audio to the frequency you choose, with 192kHz being the highest quality option. As a comparison, DVD is usually sampled in 48kHz. Moving on from audio, a small degree of interface customisation is also offered — while you can't change the appearance of the menu options you can change the wallpaper. Woot!

Outputs are limited to HDMI, component and composite for video, and an optical and coaxial digital, and a stereo out. No 5.1 or 7.1 audio outs unfortunately.

Performance
Given the budget nature of this player and its rather plain-Jane looks, we were actually surprised by how well it performed once we had it plugged in. It's a confident Blu-ray player, and in some ways better than our benchmark player: the PlayStation 3. While the BD370 wasn't able to render movement as smoothly as on the PlayStation 3, it threw up more detail in the opening garden "chase" scene in Batman Begins — the tracking shot as the young Bruce runs through bushes showed out more of the foliage on the LG but was jerkier than the Sony console. The LG also has the advantage of outputting native HD audio streams where the PS3 doesn't, and it's half the price. To further cement the LG's credentials as a Blu-ray player, it was able to ace the HQV Blu-ray test disc — a good test of a player's capabilities.

DVD replay was almost as good as its Blu-ray performance, while not as impressive as a stand-alone player for image depth. Nevertheless, it replayed the King Kong DVD with no image noise, and yet still a usable amount of detail. Black levels, while not as inky as some players, were still very good and full of shadow detail. Colours weren't as eye-popping as leaders like the Marantz range.

Now the player has been sent back home, the one feature we've found ourself missing the most is the YouTube feature. If only more devices did this! We would have preferred a QWERTY keyboard in the search but this doesn't really matter. The player features a great looking interface, with five videos across. It's a little slow to navigate, as it takes about five seconds to populate the next page, but it's not a huge problem. However, some search queries are more effective on the web than through the interface. For example, we tried searching for a song by The Lonely Island (language warning), and couldn't find the official videos in the first five pages, whereas a quick YouTube search on the web brought it up as first.

While the player sadly isn't able to stream files from your network, plugging a memory key in was relatively straightforward. To test the player, we used a 720p MKV movie file, which it recognised straight away and looked fantastic. If you've specifically been looking for support of codecs other than bog-standard DivX this could be the player to get.

Finally, the first generation of Blu-ray players were Jurassically slow — taking a minute or longer to play a disc from a cold start. While the PS3 is still lightning quick, the LG is leading the way for the stand-alone players with its "Quick Load" feature — it took Mission Impossible III just 22 seconds to play from standby.



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servicio.tecnico2200
8
Rating
 

"Recomendation"

servicio.tecnico2200 posted a review   

The Good:Everything Ok

The Bad:Nothing

Hi guys,

I just bought a service manual for my LCD TV LG 32LH200C-TA from: www.manualsparadise.com
They delivered in less than 20 minutes, the price was fair, and their service was really good compared to other sites where I have bought manuals in the past. And, they seem to have a huge collection of manuals!
Recommended.

 

farout posted a comment   

The Good:good player

The Bad:will not play back mp4 larger than 4 mg

video breaks up with mp4 videos larger than 4 mb. is there firmware to correct this issue? i cannot play back any movies in that format.

 

Bonni posted a comment   

The Good:Straight forward setup, goog img quality, fast boot, no noise

The Bad:Has issues with MKV, doesn't read external hard drives, limited network support

I made some MKV-files from my collection of DVD's, using Handbrake. They don't play very well on the BD370. Using latest firmware. Plays very well on my WDTV.

 

jnihil posted a reply   

try using the AppleTV profile. I modified the standard settings and was able to come up with a good settings for Handbrake and the BD370.

 

avi posted a comment   

just wondering if the models sold in aussie will play DVD's from the us , i.e multi region

 

mp posted a comment   

No you can not use at HDD formated with NTFS

However if you have files like MKV that is bigger than 4 GB (maximum size for FAT32) you can use the MKVToolnix (freeware) to spilt the file in chunk of 4 Gigs. With that tool you can also add subtitles and much moore

bdgeek
9
Rating
 

bdgeek posted a review   

The Good:Price, Plays allmost anything you throw at it, youtube and external hdd capable.

The Bad:fat32, not handeling full hd .mkv files and not wifi possibility.Cant play .mov files.

Over all good job LG!

 

Bobbo Bobson posted a comment   

The reviewer states that "While the BD370 wasn't able to render movement as smoothly as on the PlayStation 3, it threw up more detail in the opening garden "chase" scene in Batman Begins — the tracking shot as the young Bruce runs through bushes showed out more of the foliage on the LG but was jerkier than the Sony console."

This sentence alone has put me off buying this model. Firstly, a standalone player should perform better than a PS3 in terms of rendering movement smoothly, and no BD player should suffer from "jerkiness".

Wobblebottom
6
Rating
 

Wobblebottom posted a review   

The Good:Solid,ease of use,value for money,uncomplicated

The Bad:seriously,for the money,there just aren't any

I bought me LG BD370,as part of an,LCD/Blue Ray package.I was really more interested in the 42" LCD flat screen and what it could do.I thought the blue ray player would be the poorer of the two because of the package price.However,for 999.00 euro,I have bought a pretty pair indeed.I was amazed how easy the blue ray was to use,and operate.I have it a month now and Im still finding little gems on its menu...Regular DVDs are a whole new experience and Blue Ray movies are stunninning.For the price and to be honest,I'd pay more for it..it's a true gem of a product. Well done LG.

Chuck
5
Rating
 

Chuck posted a review   

The Good:Netflix/youtube

The Bad:US version does not play divx, does not play any video from USB

No ability to play video from USB drive on the US version... My 40 dollar philips standard dvd player that is 2 years old plays video fine from USB connection, one would think a player that costs 7 times as much would at least have that feature. Taking mine back.


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User Reviews / Comments  LG BD370

  • servicio.tecnico2200

    servicio.tecnico2200

    Rating8

    "Hi guys,

    I just bought a service manual for my LCD TV LG 32LH200C-TA from: www.manualsparadise.com
    They delivered in less than 20 minutes, the price was fair, and their service ..."

  • farout

    farout

    "video breaks up with mp4 videos larger than 4 mb. is there firmware to correct this issue? i cannot play back any movies in that format."

  • Bonni

    Bonni

    "I made some MKV-files from my collection of DVD's, using Handbrake. They don't play very well on the BD370. Using latest firmware. Plays very well on my WDTV."

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