Will this slender £150 networked Blu-ray player work its magic on budget buyers?
LG's net-connected BD deck arrived too late to challenge its Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer rivals in our recent budget Blu-ray player roundup, but it's safe to say it would have slotted in comfortably with the rest of them – like its £150 shelf-mates, it's a pleasing slab of silicon without offering true levels of awesomeness.
Seemingly designed with one eye on the AV Limbo Championships, it measures less than 4cm high, and sports a rather natty two-tier chassis – in between this is the slot-loading disc tray, while the lip of the bottom half houses (touch-sensitive) basic controls. Connectivity is run-of-the-mill – you get an HDMI output, USB port, Ethernet jack, coaxial digital audio out and nothing else.
Wi-Fi is integrated, providing access to LG's Smart hub and home media streaming – the user interface is the brand's trademark colour-strewn collage of quirky, hi-res icons, and is somewhat refreshing. You'll need to delve into the Settings sub-menu to stop it outputting BD audio as stereo by default.
With Blu-rays (including 3D platters), the BP730 offers clear, detailed Full HD imagery with realistic tones, which is good as there are no player-based picture tweaks available.
The LG has two tricks up its sleeve that may appeal. One is its Magic Remote handset – this eschews many of the buttons still cluttering up rivals' zappers in favour of the bare essentials, and chucks in a motion-sensitive onscreen cursor. Change the speed setting to 'slow' and it's actually quite usable.
The second is Private Sound Mode, where audio is sent via Wi-Fi to your phone or tablet while video continues to your TV or AVR. Plug in your mobile device's headphones and late-night listening problems are solved!
Price: £150 Approx
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