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LG BP620 Review
The LG BD620 is one of the best budget Blu-ray players we’ve seen this year, with tons of features and fast performance for just $150.
(4 out of 5)
- Blazingly fast
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- 3D support
- Full of networking features.
- Video processing doesn’t quite beat all comers
- Online services menu is slightly awkward.
LG’s new Blu-ray player, the BP620 (check price), is an impressive device for its price. It retails for just $149.99 (list), but it features built-in Wi-Fi, plenty of online options, and 3D support. Combine that with fast loading speeds and it’s our Editors’ Choice for a midranged, affordable Blu-ray player.
The front of the 1.6 by 16.9 by 7.8-inch (HWD), 4-pound BP620 is flat and black, distinguished only by a large 3D logo in the middle of it. The left half of the front flips down to reveal the disc tray, while the right half has an LED display hidden behind the glossy black finish. On the top edge of the right side of the player sit four buttons for pause/playback, power, eject, and stop. The right edge also houses a USB port behind a small, rubber door. The back of the player holds an HDMI output, optical audio and composite video outputs, and an Ethernet port.
The simple, well-designed remote measures 8.2 inches long and features large, flat rubber buttons. LG based the design around easy-to-find direction buttons, but there are also number, playback, and even TV-activating volume, channel, power, input, and mute buttons.
The BP620 offers a wide selection of streaming media services and both free and pay apps, accessible through the player’s built-in Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection. The Premium services are the most useful, and include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and several other streamed offerings. The LG apps are much less worthwhile, and include a middling selection of downloadable games and e-books. The vast majority of the time you spend online with the BP620 will involve the Premium services, and not the apps, which aren’t particularly useful beyond as a novelty. Strangely, you can assign the LG apps to a quick launch bar in the main menu, but not the services. It’s a strange and slightly irritating quirk we’ve seen in previous LG Blu-ray players.
We test Blu-ray players with both BD-Live and older, non-BD-Live discs, and the BP620 was impressively fast with both. With a non-BD-Live disc, Robocop 2, the BP620 took an average of 21.2 seconds from inserting the disc to first showing video (or, in this case, the disclaimer at the beginning of the disc). With a newer BD-Live disc, The Big Lebowski 10th Anniversary Edition, the player took an average of 32.9 seconds to load. Those results are roughly comparable to the much more expensive Oppo BDP-93 ($499.99, 4 stars) in speed, which takes an average just 14.7 seconds to load non-BD-Live discs and 37 seconds to load BD-Live discs.
We test Blu-ray players using the HQV Blu-ray test disc, and the BP620 passed them all. It handled both video (30 frames per second) and film (24 frames per second) capably, and there were few hiccups when dealing with motion. The BP620 stuttered slightly with horizontal motion, but every Blu-ray player we’ve seen except the high-end Oppo BDP-93 (check price) has shown jittery motion in the same test. The BP620 showed The Big Lebowski cleanly, with excellent motion tracking except for some slight jerkiness in the floating bowling pin in the “Gutterballs” scene, which is a stress test we use for precisely that issue.
At $150, the LG BP620 is an excellent Blu-ray player with features and performance that rival a player costing over $200. Its built-in Wi-Fi, 3D support, and wide selection of online services make it a great addition to any HDTV. Since we’ve yet to find a good enough Blu-ray player that breaks the $100 price barrier, the LG BP620 stands as our budget Editors’ Choice, beating the last Editors’ Choice, the Panasonic DMP-BDT110 (check price), with its faster performance and built-in Wi-Fi.
By Will Greenwald, PCMag