MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
LG BP620 3D Blu-ray player
LG’s top 3D Blu-ray player has the Smarts we’ve been looking for
- Quick to respond to inputs
- Simple but attractive and intuitive interface
- Excellent range of features and apps
- No rear USB port
- Some interface niggles
As 3D, Smart Blu-ray players go, the LG BP620 is one of the best. It’s not especially expensive, it’s got all the features we want, and it’s generally easy to use and quick to operate. Apart from a few small issues with the interface, we found the BP620 to be a great product.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
LG has made a name for itself in the past few years offering products that are competitively priced against bigger names like Samsung and Sony, with similar features and the occasional impressive innovation.
We’ve been consistently impressed with the company’s range of Cinema 3D TVs like the LM9600 and the LM7600, which are cheaper than competitors without sacrificing quality or features. The BP620 is the first LG Blu-ray player we’ve looked at this year, and it’s got some stiff competition from the Samsung BD-E5900, Sony BDP-S790, and the Panasonic DMP-BDT320.
LG BP620: Design, connectivity and setup
The LG BP620 hasn’t had the same attention lavished upon its design as the Sony or the Panasonic we just mentioned, but it’s still well built and thoughtfully laid-out. The front fascia of the BP620 is finished in a glossy, mirrored black, with the ‘Blu-ray 3D’ logo in the centre more prominent than LG’s own, which is off to the left.
A small, green single-line display shows the status of the BP620, including the current playback time of whatever Blu-ray, DVD, or compressed video file you’re watching.
The BP620 is a tray-loading Blu-ray player, with the left-side-mounted drive pushing down a flip-down door as it extends in the same way as the Samsung BD-E5900. A front USB port for connecting a flash drive or portable hard drive is hidden behind a small cap on the front right of the player. Four touch-sensitive buttons for power, disc eject, play/pause and stop are near the USB port on a small lip at the top front of the BP620.
Around the back, it’s the usual story for connectivity. Like most other 2012 Blu-ray players, the LG BP620 has one HDMI port — our preferred HD audio/video connector — as well as composite video and stereo analog audio, digital audio output (for connecting an external audio receiver or DAC) and an Ethernet LAN port. We were surprised not to see a second USB port — the advantage of having a rear USB port is being able to permanently connect an external hard drive full of music or movies without having a cable running to the player’s front. Wi-Fi is also built into the LG BP620.
Setting up the BP620 is as straightforward as it can be for a Blu-ray player. We used HDMI to connect our test TV — a Panasonic VIERA ET5A — and hooked up the power and wired Ethernet network connection. After a quick introduction to the BP620’s menu system, we were ready to go.
The remote control that the BP620 is bundled with is a simple unit. It’s not backlit, but this can’t be expected for the ~$200 price tag. Buttons are generally well labeled, and there are only a few cryptic pictographic symbols in place of labels on some buttons.
LG BP620: Features and performance
The LG BP620 is a very quick Blu-ray player, with speedy start-up, disc load, and media loading times. We never felt like we were waiting for the BP620 to complete tasks — it generally kept up with our remote control inputs.
All our DVD and Blu-ray discs hit their title menus within 30 seconds, with some loading in quicker. These numbers represent good but not uniquely fast performance. We had no problems with discs not loading or not being recognised.
The LG BP620’s menu system largely mirrors the Smart TV layout of its Cinema 3D TVs — large icons with colourful designs and clear labelling, and easy access to any stored media through the Movie, Photo and Music tabs. The Premium folder has direct access to YouTube, ABC iView, and a few other video on demand services and utility apps like weather and Picasa online photo storage. We did expect some apps to be in the LG Apps folder when they were in Premium, so you’ll need to spend some time learning the ins and outs.
The LG BP620 is a 3D Blu-ray player, and all the test discs we tried in it were played back successfully with the 3D option selected by default. 3D playback relies far more upon your television than your Blu-ray player — it’s the TV that stitches frames together and gets your 3D glasses to do the hard work — so we have no reason to doubt the 3D capability of the BP620.
In addition to playing discs and compressed media files from a connected hard drive, the BP620 can also access any DLNA servers on your home network and stream media files — movies, music and photos — on the fly. We had no problems streaming 1080p and 720p MKV files over both wired and 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless connections.
If you’ve got a recent smartphone or Ivy Bridge Intel laptop, you’ll appreciate the LG BP620’s inclusion of Wi-Fi Direct. We didn’t test the service, but its inclusion means you can share content between your devices and your TV (via the BP620) without having to fiddle with cables.
LG BP620: Conclusion
The LG BP620 did everything we expected it to, and didn’t present any major impediments during our time with it. If you’re looking for a Blu-ray player that’s got a competitive feature-set and that is easy to understand, the BP620 is a solid choice.
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