LG BD390 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

LG BD390 Blu-ray Player Reviewed

LG was the first manufacturer to add Netflix streaming video to a Blu-ray player, the previously reviewed BD300. The company has now announced two more Netflix-enabled players. The higher-end BD390 sports integrated WiFi and multichannel analog audio outputs.

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LG's second-generation line of Netflix-enabled Blu-ray players includes two models: the entry-level BD370 and step-up BD390. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BD390, but we did review the first-generation BD300), and Blu-ray and Netflix performance should be similar between the old and new models. The new models are both Profile 2.0 players that support BonusView/picture-in-picture playback and BD-Live Web functionality, and they offer internal decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Whereas the BD370 lacks internal memory and only allows for a hard-wired connection to your network, the BD390 offers Wi-Fi support and 1GB of onboard memory, as well as 7.1-channel analog audio outputs.

Additional Resources
• Read high end and top performing Blu-ray players from Sharp, Oppo, Samsung, Sony, Sony ES, Denon and many other top brands here. 
Read more LG HDTV and Blu--ray player reviews here.

In addition to the ability to play streamed content from Netflix, this year's models also support YouTube playback and will soon be able to play content provided by CinemaNow. The CinemaNow function will include the option to rent titles, which are streamed in a manner similar to Netflix, or to purchase content and download it to a DVD. The latter is a desirable option for people who have slower connection speeds, which lessens the quality of streamed content. The BD390 also allows you to access and play digital files streamed over your network from a DLNA-compliant media server.

In terms of video connections, the BD390 offers HDMI, component video, and composite video outputs. For HDMI, the output-resolution options are Auto, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, and 1080p/24. The setup menu includes an option to enable 1080p/24 output if your TV accepts this signal type; once you enable the feature, the player will always output 1080p/24 when it is available on Blu-ray discs. For component video, the output-resolution options are 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. If your TV's picture adjustments are limited, the BD390 offers the ability to adjust contrast, brightness, sharpness, and block/mosquito noise reduction.

The BD390 has the full suite of audio outputs: HDMI, optical and coaxial digital, and both 2- and 7.1-channel analog. (The BD370 omits the 7.1-channel analog audio outputs.) The inclusion of multichannel analog audio outputs makes this model a good choice if you own an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver. As I mentioned, the BD390 has onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and it also passes these high-resolution audio formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The setup menu includes options to set speaker size and level for the analog outputs.

The BD390's disc drive supports BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx, MP3, WMA, and JPEG playback. You can add the player to your home network using either the back-panel Ethernet port or the internal 802.11n wireless module. The BD390's 1GB of onboard memory is used only for storing BD-Live content; you will not be able to download purchased CinemaNow content directly to the BD390. The player still has a USB port to add extra storage or to play digital movie, music, and photo files. It lacks advanced control ports, such as RS-232 or IR.

Read Page 2 for The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion

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Highs Points
- TheLG BD390 supports 1080p/24 playback of Blu-ray discs.

- The player has internal Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and can pass these formats in bitstream form over HDMI. It has multichannel analog audio outputs for use with older A/V receivers.
- It supports BD-Live Web content and can play picture-in-picture bonus content.
- It offers access to a lot of Web/network features: Netflix, YouTube, future CinemaNow support, and streaming from DLNA servers. 
- The built-in Wi-Fi is 802.11n, which is better for streaming video.
- The player has its own internal memory, so you don't have to invest extra cash in an external storage device for BD-Live features.
- The USB port allows for easy playback of digital movies, music, and photos.

Low Points
- The BD390 lacks RS-232 and/or IR ports to integrate into an advanced control system.

Conclusion
This full-featured Blu-ray player is competitively priced with other mid-level models that offer access to some type of streaming VOD service. LG further sweetens the deal by adding wireless network connectivity, onboard memory, and (coming soon) CinemaNow support to purchase VOD titles.

Additional Resources
• Read high end and top performing Blu-ray players from Sharp, Oppo, Samsung, Sony, Sony ES, Denon and many other top brands here. 
• Read more LG HDTV and Blu--ray player reviews here.

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