Geek Gifts 2012: LG BD670 3D Blu-ray Player

Wally Bahny says LG BD670 3D Blu-ray player's ability to play media from Netflix and VUDU on the device over Wi-Fi was a big selling point. Read his review of the LG BD670.

The LG BD670 network ready 3D Blu-ray player has nice features that enable it to connect to many online services. Other than 3D playback, the biggest feature is the built-in Wi-Fi. I paired this Blu-ray player with the LG 50PZ550 50-inch 3D plasma TV, which was wired network ready but required an additional purchase for wireless. Since this Blu-ray player has Wi-Fi, I'm connecting to my favorite online services, including Netflix and VUDU, via this instead of the TV. It's an additional device to power on and control, but with Simplink that's not as difficult.

Simplink is LG's implementation of HDMI-CEC, which allows one device to control another device via HDMI cable. In addition to Simplink, the LG BD670 also has Home Link and USB video playback. Home Link is LG's technology that allows you to stream video from other devices in your home, like your PC. This player has several video formats it supports via Home Link and USB.

Other than the Simplink technology, my other main reason for choosing this Blu-ray player was its high rating in Consumer Reports. It scored 78 out of 100 on the overall rating, suffering mainly in the "disc load time" category. It was second in last year's Blu-ray player rankings, beaten out only by its own big brother the LG BD690.

Product specifications and features

What I like

  • 3D: Since I purchased a 3D TV, a 3D Blu-ray player was almost essential. Nevertheless, the 3D signal to the TV via HDMI was flawless.
  • Online services: The ability to play movies and TV shows from Netflix and VUDU on the device over Wi-Fi was a big selling point for me. There are also many other services and LG Apps available.
  • Simplink: LG's implementation of HDMI-CEC that allows for commands to be passed from the Blu-ray player to the TV and vice versa. Simplink is supposedly compatible with other manufacturers' implementations of HDMI-CEC, but I don't have another device to test that theory.

What I don't like

  • Menu: The menu system is a little cumbersome. The only additional services I'm really interested in are Netflix and VUDU, but there is no way to dock them to the Apps bar on the home screen - you have to drill in to the Premium menu each time. LG Apps are completely different services that can be docked on the home screen's Apps bar.
  • DVD compatibility: Several of our DVDs freeze or skip, usually at chapter changes. LG is updating the onboard software all the time, so this may be fixed eventually. In the meantime, I've left my DVD player hooked up for compatibility purposes.

Geek bottom line

If you're looking for an inexpensive, baseline 3D Blu-ray player, the LG BD670 is definitely a model to consider. While the menu may have more steps than necessary to access the additional features, the player does what it does best: play Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray discs. When paired with a TV, like the LG 50PZ550, it becomes a good start for a home entertainment system.

Geek Gift score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: *****
  • Geek factor: ****
  • Value: *****
  • Overall: *****

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