LG BX580 review

Full review: LG 3D Blu-ray player with web apps and 1080p upscaling

Image 1 of 2 LG LXB580
LG LXB580
Image 2 of 2 LG BX580 SLANT
LG BX580 SLANT

LG's first 3D Blu-ray deck is slick, stylish, but lacking somewhat in substance

LG is leading the 3D charge with its active LG LX990 and passive 3D TV sets like the LD360 which are now joined by the brand’s first 3D Blu-ray player.

And like the alluring Infinia TVs, this deck is a looker too. The moody smoked mirror front flap looks superb and it hides the main function buttons and a useful front USB port. The remote looks no less flashy but it’s the new on screen interface that makes the most impact.

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Instead of the usual static menu page, LG has adopted an animated GUI with six icons bobbing gently in clear ice cubes on the home page. It’s inviting you to dive in using the glossy handset and explore the features.

The first of these is Netcast, a collection of online apps that includes YouTube, AcuWeather and Picasa. It’s a modest collection of web content that opens relatively quickly, but no match for some of the other brand’s web offerings.

The USB port is limited to flash memory devices too, so you can’t plug in an external hard disc drive, but this deck is DLNA compliant and it comes with bundled PC software to enable you to stream data from your computer.

LG BX580: PERFORMANCE

It is 3D enabled of course and it will output a compelling 3D image at Full HD resolution through its single HDMI port. You just need to supply the 3D TV, a pair of active shutter glasses and a 3D Blu-ray like Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

Feed this deck a 3D Blu-ray and it takes a while to load and play the feature. A flag is sent to the TV and you’ll be asked if you want to view the feature in 3D or 2D. There’s a bit of a hit in brightness and colour stability when you select 3D, but the effect is generally worth the compromise. You’ll see the cartoon landscape of Cloudy stretched seemingly on both sides of the TV screen. It’s an engaging effect that adds to the enjoyment of the film. And using LG’s lightweight and rechargeable 3D glasses, it’s not uncomfortable to watch for long periods as the old anaglyphic system used to be.

Switching back to 2D Blu-ray and the image seems a little sharper and lighter. There’s an element of picture grain in the background with this deck, which stops it competing with the premium quality machines, but it’s a very stable and vivid picture on the whole.

LG BX580: CONCLUSION

DVDs are upscaled accurately enough and it does a decent job of playing CDs and MP3s too. And the thing that ties it all together so well is the intuitive UI. In short, this will make a fine partner for your flashy new 3D TV, but you can find more polished performers for this money from the rival brands like the Panasonic DMP-BDT300 and Sony BDP-S470.

The LG BX580 is out now, find out more from LG

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SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 1920x1080p
24p: Yes
Disc playback:
BD-ROM, BD-R/RE, DVD Video, Audio CD, VCD, DVD, CD-R, Divx, Divx HD, DTS CD
Connectivity: HDMI, Composite, Component, Audio L/R, Coaxial, Optical, WiFi
Audio: Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS-HD
Dimensions/weight: 430x200x45mm

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