LG Blu-Ray Players Overview
LG is one of the most popular entertainment media devices manufacturers in the world. In fact, LG does offer a few cheap, reliable and feature rich media devices that have given other manufacturers a run for their money.
Out of their stable comes the LG range of Blu-Ray players for HDTV. Nowadays, almost all the mainstream Blu-ray players are feature rich, and the only difference between models being the cost and add-on features. LG has just come out with an updated range with the BP code design, and has since discontinued their BD range of devices. The LG Blu-Ray range starts at $89.99 for the base version, and can cost you up to $149.99 for the top end model.
The entire range of versions from the LG Blu-Ray player array offer full 1080p HD as standard, with the option of 1080p upscaling. The upscaling feature converts your existing 480i or DVD quality playback video into full HD using the HDMI port. Internet access is standard too, which allows instantaneous Netflix access. Every model also comes with a SmartTV feature that allows you to search, browse and watch thousands of online videos and access a range of LG apps that can offer great viewing experience. This provides you access to media channels such as Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, Amazon, NBA Live and more.
Coming to the overall form factor of the devices, LG Blu-Ray players are slim and sleek, with a high gloss black design. The proportions of the devices are such: 16.9” X 1.6” X 7.8”, and weighs 4 lbs. across the range. This ensures that the design is pleasing to the eye, and will tuck away nicely on top or bottom of your television. The only criticism is that the device may be a tad too light, and doesn’t induce much confidence when placed on an easily accessible place. You might need to conceal the device within a closed surrounding to ensure that your little ones don’t get the opportunity to access the device.
The front of the device is simple and has a user-friendly interface. You get the LG logo at the extreme left side, followed by the disc tray to the right. As you go on to the other end of the device, you will be greeted by a Blu-Ray logo, with a 3D symbol denoting the 3D capabilities for the higher end versions. Next you find a small LED screen for displaying playback information, and it is pretty standard. The power on/off, play/pause, eject, and stop buttons are all featured at the extreme right and touch sensitive. You also get the sole USB port at the front and concealed under a trap door. Overall, the device doesn’t look cluttered.
Going around to the back, you do find the usual array of ports including A/V out, HDMI out, Digital audio out and LAN/Ethernet port. But a single USB port across the range is a disappointing, and we would have expected a couple of USB ports at the back, at least for the top end devices.
The remote control on offer with the LG Blu-Ray player range is a universal remote. LG has launched the SimpLink connectivity options, which lets you set up the remote control for using the entire set of devices connected through the HDMI port. This means that you can ditch all the other devices and use a single remote control for controlling all of your media devices. The remote control is a standard device, and you can expect all the buttons that you may have come to see of a conventional Blu-Ray player. There are four different models available in the LG Blu-Ray lineup:
LG BP220 Blu-Ray Disc Player With SmartTV
This is the cheapest model that retails at $89.99, but there are online shops that are selling the device for around $60.00. If you are not much of a technical geek, and are not into top end specifications, this device is sufficient for you to watch Netflix on TV. Being a low end device, the LG BP220 doesn’t come with Wi-Fi, and you should have wired Ethernet internet connection to be able to access the internet and watch Netflix on TV. Customer Reviews
LG BP320 Blu-Ray Disc Player With SmartTV
This is the next model in the lineup and costs $119.99. It has got the same features as the LG BP220, but comes with built-in Wi-Fi along with an Ethernet port. This offers the flexibility and opportunity for both wired as well as wireless internet access to watch Netflix streaming videos. Hence, you are only paying a premium for the Wi-Fi access, without any additional features from the standard device. Customer Reviews
LG BP520 Blu-Ray Disc Player With SmartTV And Wireless Connectivity
The LG BP520 offers full 3D support, and is priced at $129.99. This might seem to be an attractive option and a steal considering the price of the lower LG BP 320, but don’t jump up and down with joy just yet; the Wi-Fi isn’t built in. You have to buy a special adapter to be able to connect your device to a Wi-Fi network. Apart from the 3D capabilities and the Wi-Fi compatibility, all the other features are at par with the standard LG BP220 device. Customer Reviews
LG BP620 Blu-Ray Disc Player With SmartTV And Wireless Connectivity
This is the top end device, and offers full 3D Blu-Ray disc capability with 1080p resolution. Unlike the LG BP520 model, the LG BP620 comes with in-built Wi-Fi, and you don’t need any dongle to connect to a wireless network. All the other features are same as the basic model, and this device retails at $149.99. This is the one to go for if you would like to watch 3D movies and streaming videos from Netflix, Blu-Ray disc and other online channels. Customer Reviews
There is also a standalone Network Media Player or a streaming device offered by LG, if you don’t want to watch Blu-Ray discs. This device is codenamed LG SP520, and comes with all the bells and whistles of a media player minus the disc tray. This is a direct competitor to the media devices from Roku and Apple TV. The LG SP520 comes with Wi-Fi, LAN, USB, Digital Audio and HDMI ports for a complete streaming experience together with SmartTV app. This device retails at $79.99, and is cheaper than Apple TV, but more expensive than the base Roku devices.
The SmartTV interface is a breeze to use, albeit a little slow while loading up queues and menus. Overall, the LG range of media devices are cheap and full of features, which more than justifies the decision of adding a LG media device in your home theater set up. There are a few drawbacks with the device, as LG has been quite withholding with their range of options such as the lack of multiple USB ports. But LG is a true contender for being one of the best Blu-Ray disc players that has the ability to let you watch Netflix on your TV.
How To Access Netflix On TV Outside The US On LG Blu-Ray Players
The LG Blu-Ray players comes with standard internet connectivity, albeit, LAN for the basic model and Wi-Fi on top end models, but it is better if you connect your device through a router. This will help you install VPN settings to bypass security firewalls. Netflix is only made available to the US customer database, which prevents users from other countries, or even US residents traveling outside the US, from accessing their Netflix account.
To watch Netflix on TV outside the US, you should subscribe to a VPN service. One of the top VPN service providers that offers the full range of features at a reasonable cost, along with Netflix streaming capabilities, is the VPN service from HideMyAss!