LG's 2010 Blu-ray lineup includes four new models: three standard models (the BD550, BD570 and BD590) and the 3D-capable BX580. We have not performed a hands-on review of the entry-level BD550, but here is an overview of its features. This Profile 2.0 player supports BD-Live Web functionality and BonusView/picture-in-picture playback, and it offers both onboard decoding and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The BD550 does not include the wireless network connection and DLNA media streaming you'll find in the step-up BD570 and BD590, but it does support LG's NetCast Web platform, which includes access to video-on-demand services from VUDU, Netflix and CinemaNow, as well as Pandora, YouTube, Picasa, AccuWeather, and more.
In terms of video connections, the BD550 offers HDMI, component video and composite video outputs (no S-video). This player supports both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 output resolutions via HDMI. Video adjustments include the ability to choose between several preset picture modes and access color, contrast, brightness, sharpness, and noise reduction controls. Audio outputs include HDMI, coaxial digital (no optical), and two-channel analog. The BD550 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 player lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so the only way to pass decoded high-resolution audio formats is via HDMI.
The BD550 supports the BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, WMA, MP3 and JPEG formats. You can add the player to your home network using the back-panel Ethernet port; as I mentioned, it does not support a wireless connection option. The BD550 lacks internal memory to store BD-Live features; a front-panel USB port is provided for this purpose. The USB port also supports music and photo playback. Finally, the player lacks advanced control ports, such as RS-232 or IR.
Read Page 2 for The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion
• The BD550 supports 1080p/24 playback of Blu-ray discs.