LG HR558D 3D Blu-ray player

LG HR558D Blu-ray player review: a 3D-capable PVR with a 250GB hard drive

  • Review
  • Specs
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  • User Reviews (3)
  • Buy Now 4
LG HR558D
  • LG HR558D
  • LG HR558D
  • LG HR558D
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.00 / 5 (of 3 Reviews)

Pros

  • Excellent 1080p image quality, 3D playback and recording capabilities, comes with inbuilt Wi-Fi

Cons

  • No A/V inputs, limited inbuilt editing options

Bottom Line

The LG HR558D combines a 250GB PVR, a 3D Blu-ray player, a set-top box with twin HD TV tuners and a media streamer: all of which performed well in our tests. If you own a 3D TV, the ability to record 3D broadcasts will be especially prized.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 4 stores)

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The LG HR558D is a 3D Blu-ray player/250GB PVR combo with twin digital HD television tuners. The LG HR558D also comes with integrated Wi-Fi (802.11n) and a front-mounted USB port with DivX HD support. In other words, it provides the functionality of a PVR, a 3D Blu-ray player, a set-top box and a media streamer — all in one lightweight device.

[Compare the LG HR558D 3D Blu-ray player to other PVR/Blu-ray reviews on PC World.]

The LG HR558D is a more affordable alternative to the 500GB LG HR559D Blu-ray recorder. Apart from storage space, both Blu-ray players share identical specifications, including the ability to play 3D movies. Other models in LG's Blu-ray player/recorder range include the LG BD550 Network Disc player, the LG BD570 Blu-ray player with Wi-Fi, the LG BX580 3D Blu-ray player and the LG HR598 Twin HD Recorder/Blu-ray Disc Combo.

With an RRP of $799, the LG HR558D is expensive for a Blu-ray player, but the added functionality is well worth the asking price. Simply put, it's one of the most feature-packed and impressive HDD recorders on the market. Everything from image quality to PVR performance is pretty top-notch, with only a few minor quirks to dampen the user experience.

The LG HR558D is handsomely crafted Blu-ray player. With dimensions of 430x49x295mm, it is surprisingly slim for such a fully featured device. An elegant glass fascia covers the playback buttons and front connections, with a flashy '3D Blu-ray' logo dominating the centre.

We found the LG HR558D to be a lot more user-friendly than the typical HDD recorder, courtesy of a helpful manual and intuitive menu interface. The inclusion of a Blu-ray drive is also bound to please — particularly by those who have yet to make the leap to HD.

Our only issue with the design is the location of the USB port, which is tucked away behind the face plate. Consequently, you're forced to fold the face plate down whenever you use a thumb drive. This spoils the aesthetics somewhat — especially if you want to keep your thumb drive permanently connected — but this a tiny complaint, really.

The LG HR558D offers composite AV, component video (RGB), HDMI and coaxial digital audio outputs, as well as a connection for an antenna. An Ethernet port is also included for users who lack wireless routers. Curiously, the LG HR558D Twin HD Recorder/Blu-ray Disc Combo does not offer any AV inputs, which means you can't transfer video from a non-USB device.

One of the LG HR558D's main drawcards is the inclusion of Wi-Fi. The advantage offered by wireless connectivity is obvious: it means you don't have to run unwieldy Ethernet cables from your network router to your Blu-ray player. We encountered no problems connecting the device to our wireless network (something that can't be said of every wireless Blu-ray player we've tested). We streamed a few YouTube videos directly to a TV using the NetCast interface and were pretty impressed with the results. The quality doesn't match a television broadcast or Blu-ray disc, but that's to be expected.

To test the LG HR558D's playback performance, we connected it to an LG 47LX9500 3D LED television via HDMI. Our Blu-ray edition of Terminator: Salvation looked flawless, with superb colour saturation and image clarity. Similarly, the lobby scene in the DVD version of The Matrix acquitted itself well, courtesy of some good 1080p upscaling.

As mentioned, the LG HR588D Blu-ray player also supports playback of 3D titles. When we played Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, we found that the disc played without any errors and that the player's 3D mode was correctly recognised. 3D movie playback was visually on par with other 3D Blu-ray players we've tested, such as the Samsung BD-C6900 3D player. Naturally, you will need a 3D HD TV and a pair of active-shutter glasses to view these Blu-ray movies. Disc loading times were solid, with menus generally loading 20 seconds after inserting the disc.

The LG HR558D also performed well as a PVR. The twin HD tuners provided exceptional picture quality on free-to-air television channels. Naturally, you can use the tuners to record two channels simultaneously; a feature that Sony's rival PVR models lack. Handily, the LG HR558D is capable of recording 3D broadcasts, which are bound to get more common as time marches on. On the downside, there are no options to edit recordings directly from the hard disk — instead, you have to transfer the data to a PC.

All in all, the LG HR558D is an impressive all-rounder that provides plenty of functionality for the asking price.

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wilthorna

1

I bought the HR558D two weeks ago and it is amazing. I haven't tried the bluray playback yet but it upscales DVD's and even t.v. content to an incredible picture. The wi-fi was easy to set up and it streams music from my computer flawlessly, although you will need to plug in a Cat5 cable to stream movie files.

The PVR function is excellent. I recorded the soccer from SBS2 (which is generally grainy) but the picture was flawless. I even acidentally turned the unit off while it was recording and when I turned it back on, it picked up the recording again.

Would be better if I could access more internet content but for what it is, I highly recommend it.

dj

2

Only has one tuner (NOT two)

JXP

3

Nice review ; shame that the HR 558D only has ONE Tuner.
Either you weren't paying attention or LG has pulled a quick one on the Aussies by removing 1 of the TWO tuners in the original model.
Could they be so mean ? Naah... Surely not...
( I got mine as a 2nd worlds special offer for $419... )

jxp

tim fraser

4

does the recording feature an epg? just wondering if you can set it to record programs in advance or if you have to press record at the time of the program. cheers

Trevor

5

Hi can anyone tell me why my recorder is telling me it is full, it will not let me record, and there is only 3 hours recorded, it also wont let me delete recording's, cheer's Trevor

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Mel Jackson

4.0

1

Pros
Looking for advice
Cons
Looking for advice
• • •

Would I be able to connect my Hifi speakers to the HR558D and play from my Macbook itunes, thru the HR558D into my speakers??

Brett

4.5

2

Pros
Quality and connectivity
Cons
lack of a SECON digital tuner
• • •

I purchased this not so long ago and was imediately impressed by the quality of the unit. Its packed with features you would normaly find in more expencive brands.
That said, I do have one big issue with this unit. The lack of a second digital tuner. If you remember the old VCR recorders, if you wanted to record a program from the VCR you just hit the record button and then turned the TV over to another program you wanted to watch. This is how you would have to do it with this unit.
The other "small" gripe with this unit and thats the lack of access to net TV and movies from the net. What a waist of a very good network / internet feature. I give it a 4.5 out of 5

Mike

3.0

3

Pros
Picture clarity
Cons
HDD playback control
• • •

How do you set it up so you can watch TV while recording?

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