LG's 2012 Blu-ray lineup doesn't have many improvements over last year's players, with no major changes occurring to the Smart TV platform.
LAS VEGAS--If you had the feeling that Blu-ray players have "peaked" as a product type, LG would tend to agree with you.
At least that's the feeling I get looking at LG's newly announced line of Blu-ray players at CES 2012. Not much has changed from last year's line, except that built-in Wi-Fi is no longer a premium feature, appearing on the nearly entry-level BP320. The chart above has most of the important details summarized, but the breakdown is essentially:
LG BP220: Smart TV (Ethernet-only) LG BP320: Smart TV + Wi-Fi LG BP520: Smart TV + 3D + Wi-Fi ready (requires dongle) LG BP620: Smart TV + 3D + Wi-Fi
When CNET was briefed on LG's 2012 home theater plans, we were told there would be little changes to LG's Smart TV platform in terms of services supported or the look of the interface. You'll be able to customize the main dashboard more, but otherwise it will look pretty close to last year's Smart TV portal. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since LG had the best overall streaming-content portal in 2011, but it's disappointing that LG hasn't put effort toward creating a better cross-platform content-browsing and -searching solution for the Smart TV platform.
Also of note is that LG will no longer be offering a CD-ripping Blu-ray player, like last year's LG BD690. That's not surprising, considering its relative high price and the waning popularity of CDs in general.
The early information I got from LG didn't include release dates or images of the actual players, so I'll be updating this post as soon as I get them. It's a safe bet that the Blu-ray players will be coming out around February, as they have in years past.