"Nice Blue-ray Player but poor Hard Disk Implementation."3.0 starson by DigitalFilmWorker
Pros: Excellent Blue-ray player and streaming quality. Nice line up of Internet based media options (Vudu and NetFlix). Decent remote control. The wireless radio works well.
Cons: No way to play a movie purchased from Vudu and then downloaded to the hard drive directly from the player. Poor upscaling quality of regular DVD's.
Summary: The Good: Excellent BD picture and sound quality. The wireless networking works well and the rich network media offerings put this unit over the top when compared to other BD Players that do not offer services like Vudu. The wireless networking features were easy to setup and worked as advertised. Streaming 1080p is possible with this unit if you have adequate Internet bandwidth. The remote is useful and even provides buttons that can be programmed to operate other devices in your Home Theatre setup.
The Bad: The Hard Disk implementation is a disappointment and IMHO seriously limits the potential of this unit. I understand that consumers will use the HD functions of this unit for different reasons so my review focuses on my intended usage and subsequent testing so other users may find the HD functions perfectly acceptable.
I purchased Avatar from Vudu in 1080p (HDX) and downloaded it to my LG 590 hard drive. Once the download was complete I attempted to verify that the movie file was on the hard drive using the LG file browser and to my surprise the file did not show up in the file directory. At first I thought the download failed so I reconnected to Vudu and found that you have to play the movie from the Vudu. The quality was great with no streaming issues. As it turns out the file on the hard disk is hidden by design. The rub is that there is no way to play movies downloaded directly from the LG 590! If your internet connection is down you cannot play any of your downloaded movies. Say what?
I contacted LG support and was told that this was intentional by design. OK, I understand that there are copyright and piracy issues at play here but with a little thought and clever programming LG and Vudu could have figured out a way to empower folks who pay the entry price for this machine.
I did not try this test with NetFlix because they have no 1080p content available for download at this time so this may or may not be an issue with content purchased from NetFlix .
The ability to store photos on the hard disk is hampered by the poor Picture Viewer implementation. This may only be an issue with folks like me that have higher end Nikon or Cannon DSLR?s. The LG really has a problem with Color Space and size and I had to down sample and modify .jpeg files so that the 590 could display them correctly.
The Ugly: You cannot backup downloaded media content from your hard drive. If the hard disk goes belly up you are out of luck and the only option is to download/upload your content again. Once again, I understand the piracy issues involved but LG should develop and implement a backup function through the LG interface. I know of at least on competitor that markets a BD player with an internal hard drive and has a simple back up function so LG does not have any excuses for this omission in my book. This is yet another missing feature that precludes folks like me from investing in and building a 1080p media movie library.
Conclusion: A Good Blue-ray offering if you can live with the Bad and the Ugly. I communicated the issues I found to LG. Hopefully LG will provide a software update in the future. If you don?t need the advanced features you are going to love this unit.