"Great promise, terrible execution"2.0 starson by gersteinvendor
Pros: the promise of netflix and vudu AND blu ray
Cons: Netflix and Vudu image quality
Summary: I bought this as a replacement for a 1st generation Sony Bluray and separate ROKU box (both of which are moving to the bedroom). I was especially intruigued by the promise of VUDU. BUT, It's going back to the store.
The Netflix image is very low quality. Compared with my ROKU box (from summer 2009), the picture is very degraded/pixilated. It always looks at least one step lower in quality than what the ROKU box outputs with exactly the same variables (location, Harmon Kardon AV receiver, Samsung LCD). Speedtest consistently puts download speed at 18-22 mbps, so that isn't the problem. I've spoken with Netflix support (terrific, though unable to help) and LG (awful, from a script and a waste of time). Vudu usually looks pretty good, though sometimes it too seems degraded. Multiple software updates haven't helped.
I find the overall ergonomics of this machine terrible. Contrary to many reviews, I find the remote unintuitive and sluggish. The cursor controls have no clear delineation by touch (contrast this with the ROKU, on which the cursor buttons are actually separate and easily distinguished by feel). The system is amazingly sluggish responding to any command. Push a button, and then a slight delay in which you wonder whether it has "heard" the command (it often hasn't)--VERY FRUSTRATING.
Also, the picture occasionally flickers or goes out momentarily, even on menu screens. It seems to be having trouble with my combination of AV receiver or TV. Straight connection to TV seems to help, but not entirely.
This is the 2nd unit (I returned the 1st, which behaved exactly the same), but I'm afraid it's going back to Best Buy. I had such high hopes for this, but it has failed completely. I guess I'll get a second ROKU box. Can anybody recommend another Blu ray that also plays VUDU?