Pros -easy network setup, brilliant playback
Cons see below...does NOT have Amazon streaming service baked in!
Summary I only want to comment that I purchased this from Best Buy over the weekend based on this review, but there is no Amazon instant service on my machine. There is no doubt that I purchased the same exact model number...its just not there. I even "chatted" with someone from LG's website customer service who informed me that Amazon was not a confirmed feature. I explained that the CNET review actually had video and still images of the service being available and they said that no units have shipped with Amazon. SO, how did Amazon get on that machine? I've done a software update via wi-fi, but it did not add Amazon.....
Pros Good variety of features and content. Easy to setup. Interface is intuitive and easy to navigate.
Cons Often won't finish video files on USB
DVD audio glitch causes gap in audio at chapter breaks (perhaps fixed)
Online streaming regularly crashes or hangs the system
Many system updates that often don't succeed
Summary I've had this unit for around six months now. I bought it to replace an older Blu-ray player and media center PC in order to get online content. Overall, I'm really frustrated with it because there are so many annoying problems. I will be replacing this device soon and getting whatever I can on craigslist for it.
*** First the good: ***
As others have said, the setup is very easy. It recognized the network quickly and easily and I could access both online and local-network content right away.
The features list is very good. It supports Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube, DailyMotion, and many others out of the box for online content. It also has a USB port in the front to play video, music, and photos from a USB drive.
Video playback quality seems on-par with other Blu-ray players.
Updates and improvements are constantly being made to the software/firmware.
*** Now, the bad: ***
In short, none of the good works without issues...
The most frustrating is that the online video applications - what the system refers to as "Premium" content - consistently freeze (where the system will be locked on a blank screen or loading message or some other random screen, and the only way to back out is to hold down the power button until the unit shuts off) or crash (where the unit will save you the trouble and shut itself off). I've seen this in the Netflix, Hulu Plus, and DailyMotion services.
When you watch DVDs in Dolby Digital or DTS, there is a small gap in the audio stream between chapters. I can see my receiver disply flicker to "Pro Logic" and immediately back to "Dolby Digital" or "DTS". While the receiver catches back up with the stream, the audio cuts out for a fraction of a second. This does not happen with Blu-rays. I guess I didn't watch any DVDs in the first month because I didn't notice it until after my 30-day return window closed. I called LG and was asked a lot of irrelevant questions, was told that they had never seen this before, that it was probably a problem with my receiver (though my older Blu-ray and DVD players didn't have this issue), and they were of no help. I ended up putting my receiver into Pro Logic mode when I watch DVDs to "resolve" the issue. Obviously not happy about this. @time4areview mentioned in his review that a recent system update fixed this now-known problem. I have yet to try it to see.
The unit frequently announces software/firmware updates. This generally would not be an issue, and I'm happy to see that improvements are being made. The problem is that the updates fail more often than they succeed. I seem to always have an update pending, and when I allow the unit to go through the update, it sits for several minutes just to tell me that it was unsuccessful.
The USB port seems a bit buggy, too. The system will sometime hang when you put a drive in the port at the wrong time (like if it's thinking about something else). I've also noticed that many videos will cut off early (it's at a consistent time for each video but at a different time between different videos). The videos play fine on any computer in my house. Even at the best of times, the video playback is noticeably choppy.
The system does not recognize or play the native MTS HD video files that come from my video camera. I can't complain too loudly about this because support for these files is very limited everywhere.
All of these issues together leave me cursing quite a bit at my TV and remote. Roughly 3/4 of the times that we try to access online content, we experience some form of nuisance. 1/4 of the time it's bad enough that we turn off the TV and do something else.
Pros Interface, Ease of use/set-up, Picture, Sound, and Excellent Streaming Services
Cons Not the sexiest player.
Summary I have been trying out numerous Wi-Fi connected Bluray players and have finally settled on this one, it has more than enough streaming/app options to sate anyone's needs. The picture and sound are great as is the interface. So far I've yet to run into any problems, and from what I can tell I don't expect to. After a frimware update Amazon Streaming was added to the list so I would disregard any previous mention of it being MIA, yes it wasn't on the initial boot, yes it was on the box, and now it is part of the player. So far, for the money this player meets or exceeds what I expect out of a newer bluray system. Highly recommend if this is on your list of potential Bluray Players. BTW, I have yet to try out a 3D movie and actually did not consider it into the purchase, still nice to have if I decide to bite that bullet at a future time.
Pros Quick and easy setup, excellent WiFi connectivity or just plug into your home network, and easy to use interface (including nicely laid out remote). I received mine a few days ago from Amazon and it includes Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and lots of others right
Cons A very minor point, LG Apps provided are pretty simplistic. Young kids may like them. But that isn;t why I bought the player!
Summary Have owned two Panasonic BD players, both of which failed to perform as advertised (bought first based on reviews and thought I might gain something matching it to my HDTV). The second was an effort to get some of the features that were promised and never appeared before the Panasonic died just after the warranty expired. The LG delivers everything promised and more, is much easier to setup and use, and just plain does everything well. Highly recommend!Forgot to mention: the DLNA or ability to play content (music, photos, video) from other devices on my home network also works easily and well. The features important to me were high quality play back of my blu-ray and dvd discs, internet access to Netflix/Amazon/Hulu, and my home network content. It does all of these with a minimum of fuss. Thumbs up, indeed!
Updated on May 8, 2011
Pros Great Netflix interface after installed software was updated.
Cons HORRIBLE YouTube interface. (We don't use anything more than DVD, Netflix, YouTube.)
We chose to upgrade our system from one of the wireless laptops cabled to the LG plasma TV to a DVD player with (at a minimum) Netflix software already installed for eas
Summary This was the third BlueRay player with Netflix software purchased within one week (other 2 less costly, from diff companies, and returned because difficult to navigate). Netflix software installed was not as shown on CNET's video. All we could watch was only what was in Instant Queue. Acceptable to us/Did not see CNET's video until today.
The YouTube interface WAS wonderful!!! Searching was great. When we viewed a video, suggestions were provided from same channel as well as ones with same keywords, just like online. I logged into my account and watched for hours. The next day it was as if the online content just up and died. No Netflix, nothing. After hours of going through all apps menus over and over and keying in wireless codes over and over, I noticed a TINY TINY notice on the top of the screen to update software. Took a long, long time. Was worried about status because didn't see any status notifications. Left it alone and the finally the unit shut down after approx. half an hour. I turned it back on and it was fine. Netflix was excellent - just as described in video.
But YouTube ----- it went from an excellent interface to one that is absolutely beta! Now when the app opens, you are subjected to a video you did not choose to see. (Tech support tells me the opening video is changed periodically.) I was actually offended by the first default video that appeared each time I accessed the app and we are now watching the beginning of one that is either about or spoofing Pirates of the Caribbean over and over. A user must press the down arrow to go to the screen to "type" in to search for videos. No longer are my YouTube Favorites listed, nor a specific video unless I type in the exact title, character by character. To view a video within the same Channel, I cannot select it unless by chance it appeared in the search results. Cannot select another video with a similar name unless by chance it appeared in the search results. BEFORE, when a chosen nvideo was loaded, you found the video in a frame, as well as other frames info was provided just like online -- the contributor-provided as well as suggestions for additional videos, just like online. The video could be enlarged to full screen, just like online. No longer. The video loads full screen and your only options for other videos is to go back to the search results.
As far as the search results, the title is truncated unless it is a very short title, the length of the video is not provided, and after the first 6 or 8 results, the results seem to be typically totally randomized, ignoring the search.
I called customer service approx. May 2 and spoke to a rep who knew nothing about the product. To check something, he put me on hold. I hung up after being on hold 17 minutes (he did not come back to assure me he was still working).
I called back May 6 and spent about 1½ hours with another rep. He was a bit more knowledgeable and in the end we decided that he would email my issues to a back line dept and ask for help for me and that I be contacted directly instead of a front line rep being courier.
Today, May 10, I called back because no contact, even to advise that anyone else knew of my need for help. Got the first rep on the line. We reviewed the current setup and after another 1½ hours we also decided that he would do an email to a back line dept to help me.
But - one thing I realized today is that there is no advertising to watch before, during or after the videos....maybe that is why the access is severely restricted to what YouTube allows to be search results, or that you likely must type in exactly the title of a certain video to be able to access it immediately. (No complaints here if advertising is provided when accessing free online videos.)
Because of the YouTube access issue I have, I will be researching other companies' players and returning this one to the retailer if I find another that has the same Netflix interface and YouTube interface similar to the "OLD" one.
P.S. When researching on company website, no info found to help navigate these apps.