If somebody comes back to this world after a break of ten or may be even five years, he/she would certainly be shocked to see the immense technology that is being used currently in every walk of life. New features that are never seen before are sprouting everyday in order to boost up the performance of the electronic goods and also to widen their range of utilities. Blu-Ray players, which are an extension to the already pretty famous and well established DVD players, have become one of the revolutionary brainchildren that have, in some way or the other, changed the outlook of entertainment. The latest BD players are not there for simply playing the BD ROMs, but they have other magnificent functions too, which make them one of the most wanted devices.
LG has been one of those companies that have been right at the top when it comes to the production of goods that meet the global standards. After releasing a few BD players in the past, it has unleashed its latest one, the LG BD 390. This one is undoubtedly the best till date from LG and stands among the best in the business. Let us see its details so as to find out how good it is.
The products from LG are normally associated with good design. The BD390 is not an exception to this. There are some remarks that its design is lifted from the Sony’s BDP S550 that came out last year. But the BD 390 has its own attributes to boast about. First of all, the overall look of the player is cute and more formal. Unlike Samsung that is pretty much renowned for producing uncanny and very innovative designs, LG always tries to keep is simple and smart. The measurements are also fine, with a width of 17”, a depth of 10.9”, height of 2.2 inches and the unit weighs about 6 pounds, which is just about normal for a DVD/BD player.
Exploring a little bit more on the aspect of the overall design, the front panel looks glossy and reflective. The LCD screen is near the centre of the fascia. This LCD gives you very good digital display that is clear and bright and it is viewable from anywhere in your room. But the issue is that, its brightness level cannot be altered and always stays bright. There are the four common playback buttons, by the side of the display screen. Then there is the USB port, to the extreme left of the player. This is used to quickly plug in the USB 2.0 and play the media files instantaneously. The port is covered by a plastic lid that is removable. Hence, the player is very decent on the outlook and will well compliment your expensive LCD TV. In short, your home theatre is complete with the LG BD 390.
The LG BD390 introduces some of the very best features you have ever seen in a Blu Ray player. As discussed earlier, this is not only a Blu Ray Player but is has many other utilities. So, it certainly has to be loaded with features. These features are also better than the ones found in the previous BD players from LG and are also ranked very high.
User interface will be the first thing that will grab your attention when you switch on the BD390 Blu Ray Disc Player with wireless connectivity. The user interface has suddenly become so better and with scores of options in your hand. The most striking feature of this interface is that they look so posh. The user interface screen appears very colour ful with very good graphics and stylish looking icons. Although LG has always provided good user interfaces before, it is much better now because of the new options on offer. There are a lot of improvements made in this sector too. When you go to the home menu, you will find a neat array of icons giving you different options including Movie, Photo, Music, My Media, NetFlix, YouTube, Cinema Now and Setup. Scrolling through these options, you will be feeling that this menu looks great and very graphical like the ones in the PlayStation and Xbox.
You will find that the remote that has come with the BD 390, is one of the better ones for a Blu Ray Player. There is nothing fuzzy there and all the buttons are neatly grouped. This means that you will find that the more frequently used buttons are on the upper portion of the remote. There is a big direction pad at the top and a few other useful buttons like the home button and the disc menu button. Obviously, they are of much importance when compared to the other buttons that perform inferior tasks. Some of the additional controls are beneath a slide down cover so that the remote looks fine from the outside, without the crowding of the buttons, but important functions like channel and volume controls are also available beneath which makes it difficult to operate at times as these controls are to be used regularly.
WiFi is yet another one of those you will find everywhere in the world. This Wi-Fi or the wireless internet is now deeply rooted into our lives. All the entertainment devices like form the small music players to the large HD televisions feature Wi-Fi as one of their top lineaments. With this Wi-Fi facility in the BD 390, you can simply connect to the internet and then browse for music, pictures and videos. You can also save these videos and play them in the future. The receiver of the BD390 Blu Ray DVD Player is so good that it connects and works well even with the slow wireless connections. It is like a strong man who can survive even with a little supplement of energy.
There is also an option for you to connect the LG BD390 Blu Ray Video Player to the internet using wireless LAN or an Ethernet port. You can avail this feature if you feel that the wireless internet connection is too slow and the videos are buffering for a lot of time. There is a port at the back side of the player that can be used for connecting the cable. This is in particular, a very interesting feature. This one makes no difference when it comes to the BD 390 and a computer. Both of them actually function in the same way when it comes to the internet connection and also browsing for videos. There are also a lot of connectivity protocols like IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n (draft), IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi), IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet), and IEEE 802.3u (Fast Ethernet). There is also the DLNA type sharing of the home network media. This means, you have many an option to choose in order to connect to the internet.
YouTube has become one of the prime features everywhere nowadays. You will find it in the music players, in pocket PCs, in the mobile phones and even in the high definition televisions. As it is such a vital force when it comes to video watching, LG has also come up with the YouTube feature. You will find this feature right on the home menu screen and when you select it, you will be seeing a few options for you to select, just like the ones you will see on the web. It shows you the videos that are recently played, the featured videos, the videos that are most viewed, the top rated videos, the videos that are being watch at present and also there is a search option that enables you to search for the videos of your interest. You will be getting an array of videos on the screen and you can select any one of them and play it. Just like in your computer, the videos are first played in a small window and you can always turn this window to full screen by pressing the display button. The quality of the picture does not deteriorate when playing in the full screen mode. This feature is very simple, user friendly in nature and is also very responsive.
The recent Blu Ray players released by LG have all featured the Netflix option. Netflix is a unique feature introduced by LG. With this feature, you can stream anything on the web using the Wi-Fi. When the Netflix option that appears on the Home Screen is selected, you will be seeing a screen which contains the instant queue of the videos that are available. Most of them are actually movies so that you gain instant access to movies. There is an option called ‘Watch Now’ in the Netflix. In this Watch Now section, you can browse for videos and watch them instantly. While there are minor blemishes in this feature, it is an excellent experience of browsing through this feature and watching videos. In the beginning, there were very few videos to watch but now, there are many options for you to select from, as Netflix has recently signed deals with Disney and CBS. This is a very sweet news for movie lovers.
The LG BD390 has an internal memory of 1GB to provide you some space while downloading the videos. You do not normally associate this feature with the BD players and it is not as common as in the phones or music players. Previously, the BD players required an external memory stick in order to instantaneously provide some memory to it. This necessity is now removed by the introduction of the internal memory. Even though 1 GB is not a big thing, it is certainly better than nothing.
This is pretty much one of the unique features of the BD 390. The Cinema Now feature gives you the option of streaming the videos across the web. Just like cable television or the satellite television that you have, you can select the channels that you would like to watch and then pay for them on a monthly basis. It is like the pay per view and is very useful for the lovers of movies and videos. This feature brings you more movie releases, mostly new ones. Even then, it is not as good as expected at least when compared to the Netflix option that is detailed above. Although it is a pretty option in the BD 390, it is not as powerful as being the decisive factor for you in order to choose this particular BD player.
Quick start up:
The response time of the BD 390 is top notch. LG BD390 loads the discs in just about 11 seconds when the player is switched on. When the player is switched off, it took about 25 seconds to load and read a disc that is already inside it. This is almost like icing the cake. To start up in such less time and that too with so many features included in it, is really a commendable effort put in by LG.
The facility to upgrade the firmware of the player is also a good idea. You can, for example, upgrade the latest firmware in order to utilise the Cinema Now feature to the optimum extent. This is a fine option to have with you because LG can release a few updates in the future regarding features or other firmware so that you can upgrade your player.
In short, these features are all very utile and at the end of the day, they only add to the elegance of the BD 390.
When we talked about all the features, it is quite natural that anyone would expect the performance of the player. But the player beat the expectations and it produced more than good performance. All the design part of it and the special features, which seemed to be the main facets of the player, are now humiliated by the picture quality of the player. It is guaranteed that you will enjoy sitting in your couch and watching excellent movies and videos on the BD 390. There are in particular three aspects that you will have to concentrate on when you are looking for the performance of a BD player or any electronic device for that matter. They are: Video support and performance, Audio performance and the connectivity of the player. The BD 390 has passed all the tests relating to these performance aspects and stood as one of the best performers.
A Lot of Video Support:
The LG BD390 not only plays the Blu Ray format, but it supports a variety of audio, picture and video formats through the USB connection. It can play almost any format of media like: MP3, JPEG, PNG, WMA, AVI, XVid, DivX-HD and the MKV. Particularly, there are a lot of files that are encrypted in the MKV format and not many players can play them. Even in the computers, you will find that only the VLC media player can play such rare file formats. The MPEG-2 files also played very well on the BD 390. So, LG has done a world of good by making its BD 390 to play even the MKV format. So, with such an array of file formats, you can now watch anything on the BD 390 without ever converting the videos into simple formats.
There is not only a great support for the video formats, but there is also the technology with the BD 390 that can provide the highest image quality. It provides you upscaling up to about 1080p. So, with the BD 390, you can watch great pictures. Normally you get great picture clarity from the BD discs. But the BD 390 can even play the DVDs very well and it draws out every little detail out of the pictures and gives you the optimum output.
You need a good audio support from your player in order to accompany the excellent picture quality that we have already seen above. The Blu Ray players from LG have always been very good decoders of audio. The BD 390 decodes onboard for soundtracks like the DTS High Definition Master Audio and also the well renowned Dolby True HD. This tells you that the audio can be decoded from almost any of the receivers from the HDMI cable. But if you want the decoding to be done in your Audio Video receiver, then it can do the same by the Bit Stream output.
The BD 390 supports audio formats like AAC, MP3, WMA and PCM. This also means that the player can decode audio from the DVDs too, many of which have the files in DTS formats like Neo 6, ES matrix, ES, and DTS 96/24. This is very good news because there are very few BD players in the market that have such an audio decoding range. A dynamic audio range of 95 dB, a signal to noise ratio of 100 dB and the total harmonic distortion of about 0.008 %, all of these statistics show you how great the player’s audio range is. So, the audio part of it has been up to the mark and it complements the videos very well.
The connectivity of the BD 390 has been very good, to say the least. There are lots of ports available at the back side of the player, allowing you to have numerous connections from the BD 390. First of all, when you turn towards the back side of the player, you will see a slot for the HDMI connection. This slot allows you to connect to the HD TVs. Then abreast it is the LAN port that helps you to connect to the Ethernet modem using a cable. This is a good facility. Then if you move to the centre of the panel, you will see a series of ports available for the component video out. There are also two channel speaker ports at the bottom, by the side of the Video out terminal. The former is used to connect to the external speakers and the latter is for the connection to the television. Then you have the 7.1 channel analogue output. With these ports, you can connect to the 7.1 channel speakers and hence get the optimum 3 D surround sound and home theatre experience.
Overall, the BD 390 is a very good performer. Both the audio and video are very good and there were no problems reported while testing it. You will certainly get a pretty good value for your money. Life is really good with the LG BD 390.
The rate of power consumption of the BD 390 is comparatively low. It consumes only 21 watts of power on an average. The power supply is internal type.
LG offers warranty to the LG Blu Ray player 390 against any flaws in the craftsmanship or in the device. Persistent to the warranty details given below, LG will repair the product or replace it with a new piece, depending on the situation. There are two types of warranties for the LG products and in particular, the LG BD 390.
The first one is the warranty for the parts of the device for 1 year and the other one is the labour warranty which is for 90 days. To obtain any of the warranties mentioned, you must either take it to the service centre or mail the device to the LG service centres with the packaging conditions almost equal, if not same, to the original packaging. A receipt of the product must be produced at the centres to avail the offer of warranty.
The BD 390 is excellent for a BD player. Even though there is a good value for your money, it is quite common that one feels it is a bit costlier than normal. You almost get a PlayStation or a Microsoft Xbox game console for the same rate. So, the cost of the player is a bit on the high note. This may lead many customers to drop out because one, they may not afford that much for a BD player and two, they may not feel it necessary to spend too much on it. But other than this, one cannot complain of anything in the BD 390. The design is pretty, the features are really good and the performance is tiptop. The connectivity of the player is peculiarly very good. All these make the LG BD 390 very buyable and one of the best Blu Ray players. You cannot expect any more from any player for that matter. The LG BD 390 has got it all. What else do you need in your player?
LG BD390 Blu-Ray Player – Technical Specification Table
|Model Name||LG BD390|
|Display type||Front Panel|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||17 x 10.9 x 2.2 inches|
|Media Types||CD, DVD, CD-R, BD-RE, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, BD-ROM,
DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM
|Audio output||Dolby Digital and Analogue stereo and DTS HD Master Audio|
|Network Ethernet||BD Live|
|Upscaling||Yes (up to 1080p)|
|Additional Features||Cinema Now , YouTube, Netflix, JPEG photo playback,
Progressive scanning , x.v.Colour technology
|Power Consumption||21 W (AC 220-240 V)|