LG has announced its first 3D Blu-ray player, the BX580 ($399.99). Not surprisingly, the BX580 lands at the top of LG’s 2010 Blu-ray line and has most of the coveted Blu-ray functions. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BX580, 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 BX580 features built-in 802.11n for a wireless network connection, and it allows you to stream digital media content from a DLNA-compliant server. The player supports LG’s NetCast Web platform, which includes access to video-on-demand services from VUDU, Netflix, and CinemaNow, as well as Pandora, YouTube, Picasa and more.
In terms of video connections, the BX580 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, optical and coaxial digital, and two-channel analog. The BX580 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 BX580 supports the BD, DVD, CD audio, AVCHD, Divx, WMA, MP3 and JPEG formats. You can add the player to your home network using either the back-panel Ethernet port or the internal 802.11n wireless module. The BX580 lacks internal memory to store BD-Live content; a front-panel USB port is provided for this purpose. The USB port also supports music, photo and movie playback. The player lacks advanced control ports, such as RS-232 or IR.
Read about the high points and low points of the BX580 on Page 2.
• The BX580 supports 3D playback, when mated with other 3D-capable components.
• The BX580 supports 1080p/24 playback of Blu-ray discs.
• The player has internal decoding and bitstream output of high-resolution audio sources.
• It supports BD-Live Web content and can play picture-in-picture bonus content.
• You can add the BX580 to your network via a wired or wireless connection and stream content from a DLNA server.
• The NetCast Web platform offers access to VUDU, Netflix, CinemaNow, Pandora, YouTube and more.
• The USB slot allows for easy playback of digital media files.
• The BX580 lacks multichannel analog audio outputs, so it’s not the
best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• It also lacks an advanced control port like RS-232.
• This 3D player does not include a second HDMI output to send audio to an A/V receiver that lacks 3D compatibility.
Competition and Comparison
Compare LG’s BX580 3D Blu-ray player against its competition by reading our reviews for the Samsung BD-C7900 Blu-ray player and the Panasonic DMP-BDT350 Blu-ray player. Another source of information is our All Things Blu-ray Player section, as well as our LG brand page.
In addition to its 3D capabilities, the BX580 has a number of
worthwhile Blu-ray features, like built-in WiFi, DLNA media streaming,
and video-on-demand service. However, it lacks some things you can find
in the comparably priced Samsung and Panasonic 3D players, such as
multichannel analog audio outputs and dual HDMI outputs (Panasonic
model only). The main question with this player is the same one I asked
with the other 3D-capable models: Is it worth the extra money to get 3D
capability right now, even though 3D content is sparse at best? Keep in
mind that you’ll also need to buy a 3D-capable TV and 3D glasses, which
will run you about $180.