LG BD670 3D Blu-ray Player Review

Steve Withers takes a look at LG's flagship Blu-ray player

Home AV Review

27

Recommended
LG BD670 3D Blu-ray Player Review
SRP: £150.00

Introduction

We've managed to review a number of Blu-ray players this year but we have yet to take a look at one from LG. Given that we have largely been impressed by the quality of their TVs over the last couple of years, we were equally interested in seeing how one of their Blu-ray players performed. The BD670 is their flagship player and offers 3D playback, as well as an impressive set of features including built-in WiFi, LG's Smart TV platform, DLNA streaming, DivX HD, MKV and AVCHD playback, access to the Gracenote Media Database and a smartphone app.

We tend to find that any well made Blu-ray player should be capable of delivering excellent high definition images and audio over HDMI but what tends to set them apart is the quality of the video processing with standard definition content. Since we have been impressed with the video processing on LG's TVs we were very interested in seeing how one of their Blu-ray players would perform in our standard tests. Well there's only one way to find out, so let's fire the BD670 up and take a look...

Styling/Build/Connectivity


The BD670 won't be winning any design awards but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. We've always been of the opinion that audio and video equipment should be subtle and understated and ideally black. The BD670 certainly fits all those criteria with a matt black chassis and black brushed metal strip along the top at the front. The BD670 follows the modern trend of leaving a very small footprint, with the chassis measuring 43cm wide, 20cm deep and 5cm high.

LG BD670

The disc tray is situated to the left hand side of the front facia and is behind a flap that drops down when the eject button is pressed. There is a display screen - just to the right of centre - and then some basic control buttons on the right hand side. These controls are for eject, play/pause, stop and on/off and are small hard buttons in the shape of that control's specific icon. We found them quite small and fiddly to use and rather sharp and uncomfortable to touch. On the far right there is a USB socket behind a black plastic cover. The player is decidedly light and there is a very plastic feel to the whole construction, with a build quality that was somewhat lacking considering this is LG's top of the line Blu-ray player.

LG BD670

At the rear of the BD670 you will find the standard connectors for a Blu-ray player, including a HDMI (v1.4a) output, an optical digital out, a LAN socket, a composite video out, a component video out and an analogue L/R out. There is also a hard wired cable connected at the back which measures 1.5m long.

LG BD670

The supplied remote control is a variation on the one that LG use with their TVs and it is actually quite attractive. The remote control is made of solid black plastic and has a brushed metal effect on the front. It is comfortable to hold and intuitive to use and the buttons are sensibly laid out. These buttons include all the usual Blu-ray player controls, as well as some basic controls for a LG TV. There are also a couple of additional controls including Home which provides access to the Smart TV functions and a button titled Music ID which controls access to the Gracenote Media Database. As is often the case these days there is also a smartphone app which is easy to download and use, although with there being less need for the keyboard on the smartphone it isn't as useful as with some other devices.

Setup/Menus

Setup of the BD670 couldn't be easier and with the player connected to a display and the built-in WiFi connected to our network we were ready to start going through the menu system.

LG BD670

As is the case with LG's latest line-up of TVs, everything is based around the Home screen. Here you can watch movies, view photos or listen to music from either attached devices or your local network. You can also access the Premium content, the LG Apps store and the Setup menu. There was also a Search function listed, although when we tried to use it we were informed that it was 'coming soon'.

Within the Setup menu there are a number of sub-menus, the first of which is Display, which obviously allows you to optimise the BD670 for your specific display. Here you can select the TV Aspect Ratio, the Resolution, the 1080p Display Mode, the HDMI Colour Setting and the 3D Mode. There are also controls for selecting the Wallpaper on the menu screens, as well as the Hone Menu Guide.

LG BD670
LG BD670

The next submenu is Language where you can select the language for the Display Menu, as well as for the Disc Menu and Disc Audio and whether to have the Disc Subtitles on or off. Then we have the Audio sub-menu, where you can select what audio to send via HDMI, as well as via the Digital Output. You can also select the Sampling Frequency, as well as set the Dynamic Range Control (DRC) and where appropriate turn DTS Neo: 6 on or off.

LG BD670
LG BD670

The Lock sub-menu allows you to set a password, the DVD Rating and the Blu-ray Disc Rating if you want to restrict the access for children. You can also select the Area Code, which in this case is GB of course. Within Network you can setup the WiFi or LAN connection, check the Connection Status, allow access to BD-Live content and also set the country setting and registration code for the Premium/LG Apps pages.

LG BD670
LG BD670

The final sub-menu is Others, where you can setup the DivX HD Video-on-Demand service, activate the Quick Start function, select Auto Power Off, select Network Play and upgrade the player's firmware.

Features

As you would expect from a flagship player, the BD670 comes with an impressive list of features. Obviously it can play both 2D and 3D Blu-ray discs and it can also play DVDs and CDs. The BD670 also has built-in WiFi for accessing BD Live content as well as your home network. The BD670 has DivX HD Video-on-Demand, as well as DLNA for streaming content and playback of a multitude of different media files including MKV and AVCHD. There is a USB socket for playback via an external HDD, as well as a smartphone app for remote control of the BD670. The BD670 can also access the Gracenote Media Database (as long as you are connected to the internet) which allows you to identify music tracks from CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, as well as music and movie files.

LG BD670
LG BD670

The BD670 includes LG's Smart TV platform which means that as well as providing disc playback it could also be used as a way of making your TV smarter. The various Smart TV functions are found in two different pages which can be accessed via the Home page, the first is called Premium and includes all the video and catch-up services such as the ubiquitous BBC iPlayer and YouTube. There is also vTner, Acetrax, Daily Motion, Picasa, Viewster, I-play TV, Funspot and Google Maps, to name but a few. The second page is LG Apps, where you can download various apps, covering subjects such as games, life, entertainment, education, news and info.

3D Playback

As we have mentioned in previous Blu-ray player reviews, any 3D Blu-ray player should be able to output the content on the discs equally as well over HDMI because it is a digital signal. It should therefore come as no surprise to discover that the overall 3D performance of the BD670 was excellent with the content playing flawlessly on a number of different 3D displays. The BD670 handled the high definition audio equally as well and the resulting experience was incredibly immersive with the added dimensionality of the 3D image and the enveloping surround sound. We tried a number of 3D Blu-rays and they all played first time without any compatibility or handshaking issues.

1080p Playback

As with the 3D performance, the digital nature of the content means that any Blu-ray player capable of outputting 1080p24 should be identical to any other when using the HDMI output. The BD670 performed equally as well as all the other Blu-ray players that we have tested and it correctly output the video without any issues as demonstrated by the multiburst and zone plate patterns on our Spears & Munsil disc. The images produced were excellent with all the Blu-rays we watched showing plenty of fine detail and appearing free from any judder or unwanted video processing.

1080i Playback

When it comes to 1080i content the opportunity for the player itself to add value is far greater than it is with 1080p content. The ability of the player to detect film content inside the interlaced signal and correctly deinterlace it, without introducing artefacts, is dependent on the quality of the processing in the player itself. Luckily the BD670 uses LG's proprietary video processing which is exceptionally good and the player passed all the popular cadence tests on both our Spear & Munsil and HQV Blu-ray discs.

We also used the HQV Blu-ray disc to check the quality of the video deinterlacing. This disc has a jaggies pattern that uses three rotating bars and, with the BD670, all three bars were smooth with no jaggies. The BD670 also had no problems with the video resolution loss test, correctly processing the moving portion of the image and leaving the background free of artefacts. The BD670 was also able to handle discs with film content that is encoded at 1080i/50Hz without any problems.

480i/576i Playback

As with the 1080i content the BD670 benefits from LG's excellent video processing when dealing with both NTSC and PAL content. Using the HQV DVDs the BD670 was able to fully reproduce the SMPTE colour bar tests for both PAL and NTSC, correctly scaling the full 576i/50Hz and 480i/60Hz images without any loss of detail or unwanted ringing. With the video deinterlacing tests the results were also excellent, the BD670 reproduced the rotating line without producing any jaggies, even at the most extreme angles. In the motion adaptive deinterlacing test the performance remained superb with all three moving lines being reproduced correctly, even on the bottom line. The BD670 also had no problems in resolving all the fine brickwork in the detail tests on both the PAL and NTSC discs.

The BD670’s performance was equally impressive with the film detail test, correctly locking on to the image resulting in no aliasing in the speedway seats behind the race car. In the cadence tests the BD670 also performed flawlessly, correctly detecting the most common types 2:3 (NTSC - USA/Japan) and 2:2 (PAL - European). The BD670 also had no problems with the test displaying film material with scrolling video text, the text was always clearly readable without any shredding.

Subjective Audio Tests

Unlike the video performance, which can be measured using a series of established tests and viewed on a calibrated reference monitor, things are a little more subjective when it comes to the audio performance. As with video, the audio will also be subject to the quality of the system being used, how it is setup and how it has been calibrated. In addition, since most people will be sending the audio as a digital bitstream over HDMI, this means that the digital to analogue conversion is actually being handled by their receiver or audio processor.

However, we tried a number of different audio formats on the BD670 including multichannel PCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA soundtracks from Blu-rays and Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks from DVDs and DTV. We also tried different methods of connecting the BD670 to our Denon amp, including HDMI and optical as well as switching between bitstream and PCM. The result of all these tests was that we could not detect noticeable differences between any of these modes and every format sounded very good. The BD670 was also able to detect all the different discs and audio formats without any problems and played each one back without problems.

Disc Load Times

With Quick Start engaged, the BD670 could start up in an impressive 5 seconds. The load times for Blu-rays were reasonably fast, with most discs showing the copyright warnings within 20 seconds and another 10 seconds to the menus. Obviously these times were dependent on how much Java programming the studio has used with Fox and Disney being the worst offenders. Sony, Warners and Paramount tend to get straight to the point but Universal discs are often slowed down by useless BD-Live features.

Verdict

8
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

The Good

  • Excellent disc playback for 3D/HD/SD
  • Very good scaling and deinterlacing qualities
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Smart TV
  • Gracenote Media Database
  • Smart Phone App

The Bad

  • Flimsy build construction

LG BD670 3D Blu-ray Player Review

The LG BD670 is a tidy little Blu-ray player that delivers excellent performance in the areas that count. It played back 3D and 2D Blu-rays perfectly without interfering with video or adding any unwanted processing. The video and audio delivered via HDMI was excellent and based upon our experiences with LG's TVs, it came as no surprise to discover that the video processing was first class. Whether you are watching a Blu-ray or a DVD or listening to a CD, the BD670 is a very capable and neat little player.

We found the build quality to be a little flimsy but the disc mechanism wasn't too noisy and the load times were quite nippy. The remote control was well designed, intuitive to use and comfortable to hold and there were the usual set of connections at the back. The BD670 also comes with built-in WiFi and there is a remote control app that you can download for your smartphone.

The BD670 has an impressive set of features, including DivX HD VoD and DLNA for media streaming, as well as a USB socket for playback via an external HDD. The BD670 can handle most of the popular media files, including MKV and AVCHD and you can also access the Gracenote Media Database, in order to identify songs from CDs, Blu-rays, DVDs and music or movie files. The BD670 even includes LG's Smart TV platform which means you can add these functions to your TV if it is too old to already include them. The Smart TV platform offers Premium content through video and catch-up services, as well as a host of apps to download via the LG Apps store.

The LG BD670 is an accomplished Blu-ray player that offers 3D playback and a multitude of features including Smart TV whilst being competitively priced and easy to use. Anyone thinking of buying a new Blu-ray player can certainly add the BD670 to their list of possibilities.

Recommended

Energy Consumption

The BD670 proved a relatively efficient performer, considering all that it does, in consuming an averaged 15W in use and 3W in standby

Scores

Picture Quality

.
.
8

Sound Quality

.
.
8

Features

.
9

Ease Of Use

.
9

Build Quality

.
.
.
.
6

Value For Money

.
.
8

Verdict

.
.
8
8
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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