LG's 100" HECTO Laser LCD TV Projector and 55" curved OLED TV provided the brand’s major highlights at this year’s CES trade show in Las Vegas. However, the company’s new 2013 lineup of DVD/Blu-ray players and home theater systems offered an equally progressive and inspired vision from one of the consumer electronics industry leaders. Even though LG’s latest DVD/Blu-ray players and home theater systems are less impressive in person, they were still quietly well received—although without the fanfare that followed the brand’s major television and display unveilings.
This article provides a closer look—and listen—to LG’s full line of 2013 DVD/Blu-ray players and home theater systems. When it comes to the latest consumer-electronics trend toward more pervasive and flexible connectivity options, LG has been one of the industry frontrunners. Most of their new high-end Blu-ray players feature built-in Wi-Fi, for access to premium online content.
These high-end models also support NFC pairing technology, DLNA home network sharing, wireless MiraCast Android device streaming and more. You can control these top-tier Blu-ray players with your compatible iOS or Android mobile device as well. LG's own advertising tagline this year is "Touch the Smart Life," which suggests that the company is fully committed to pushing forward the idea that smart mobile device integration is the future of home entertainment.
Let's look at the DP122 first. It is the only standard DVD player in LG's 2013 lineup that doesn't have any "Smart" connectivity features. Besides DVD playback, the DP122 also supports CD/CD-R/CD-RW and DivX playback, and it provides a USB 2.0 port for connecting a USB flash drive. This allows you to play back select photo, video, and music files from a USB drive on your large TV screen.
The DVD player supports USB direct recording as well, which lets you transfer files stored on a CD to a USB memory device. Supported file formats include MP3, JPEG, WMA, AVCHD, and VOB. The DP122 connection interfaces include an analog video output, as well as both analog audio and digital audio outputs.
|LG DP122 DVD Player|
Dual Disc (DVD+CD)
|Video Formats||MPEG-1 / MPEG2 PS/TS / MPEG4 / DivX / VOB|
|Audio Formats||LPCM, Dolby Digital 2-channel down-mixed, MPEG 1/2 L2 / MP3 / WMA|
|AV Inputs / Outputs||Composite video output x 1
Digital audio out (coaxial) x 1
Analog audio 2-channel output x 1
USB 2.0 x 1
|Convenience||Zoom / Less than 7-second loading time / Firmware update / Last Scene Memory / Screen Saver / Auto Power Off / Parental Lock / USB Direct Recording|
|Tray type||Single disc horizontal|
|Power requirements||120 VAC, 60 Hz|
|Power consumption||Operational: 11W
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||10.6 x 1.5 x 8" (26.9 x 3.8 x 20.3 cm)|
|Weight||2.1 lb (0.95 kg)|
LG's trio of new Blu-ray Disc players all feature built-in Wi-Fi for wirelessly connecting to your home Wi-Fi network. They also support wired Internet connectivity via an Ethernet cable. In addition to Full HD 1080p playback for Blu-ray Discs, all three models also support playback for DVDs and CDs. Some models also support 3D Blu-ray playback, as well as Ultra-HD 4K up-scaling via HDMI.
A closer look at these Smart Blu-ray Disc players reveals that they’re very similar to the average Internet media player. They utilize LG's Smart TV platform, which affords access to online entertainment, including thousands of movies on demand, customizable entertainment apps, and more. These devices are able to stream online media from a variety of Internet services including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Vudu, CinemaNow, Pandora, Picasa, and more. Some models even support an all-in-one search function that displays search results for Video-on-Demand content and entertainment apps in the same browser for easier access to the media you want. One new model also includes a full web browser so you can surf the Web from the comfort of your living-room couch.
Additionally, LG’s new Smart Blu-ray Disc players are all compatible with the LG Remote App for iOS or Android mobile devices. This allows you to use your compatible smartphone or tablet as a remote control for the device. You can even use this app to wirelessly stream audio from your television to your mobile device, or you can use it to connect a pair of headphones for enjoying your entertainment privately. LG calls this feature Private Sound Mode, and it is ideal for when you’re watching TV late at night, or any other time you don't want to disturb anyone.
Each new LG Smart Blu-ray Disc player is Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compatible as well. This means you can stream music, photos, and video from your home network through the Blu-ray player to your television. Each model is also equipped with a USB 2.0 port that supports select photo, music, and video file playback from a USB memory device through the player to your connected TV. Other connectivity options shared by each model include an HDMI port and a digital audio output. As an added bonus, these players each support quick booting with a loading time of less than 10 seconds.
Within LG’s new lineup of Smart Blu-ray Disc players, the BP330 is a basic entry-level model. It supports a stripped-down version of LG’s Smart TV platform without a web browser or the all-in-one search function.
The mid-level BP530 supports 3D Blu-ray Disc playback and a few other upgrades over the basic BP330, including NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, which allows you to “tap” and pair compatible mobile devices with the player by bringing them into close proximity to each other. This works faster than traditional pairing procedures. The player is Wi-Fi Direct certified as well, so it can play movie, music, and photo files stored on a Wi-Fi Direct certified device. Wi-Fi Direct technology allows you to bypass your network connection and connect the player directly to another compatible device. In addition to LG’s Smart TV premium content, this model also supports LG entertainment and social networking apps, as well as the all-in-one search function.
The flagship Smat Blu-ray Disc player model in Lg’s 2013 lineup is the BP730. It’s equipped with a dual-core processor and it supports 2D to 3D conversion, as well as Ultra-HD 4K up-scaling. The device is compatible with LG's optional Magic Remote as well. The Magic Remote, which is included with certain LG 2013 Cinema 3D Smart TVs, allows you to control the player using intuitive hand gestures, an integrated scroll wheel, or select voice commands. The optional Magic Remote is also compatible with certain set-top boxes and sound bars, which is sure to simplify your setup process, while simultaneously eliminating the need for multiple remote controls.
The BP730 also supports MiraCast streaming, which allows you to wirelessly mirror up to Full HD 1080p video and 5.1-channel audio from a compatible Android device on your TV screen, using the player. This model supports the full suite of LG Smart TV features including a full web browser. Plus, unlike the two previous models, which have a standard disc tray, the BP730 provides a slot-loading disc drive that makes it even easier to load and play discs. Given this rich feature set, it's not hard to see why the BP730 3D Smart Blu-ray Disc Player received an International CES Innovations award.
|LG BP330 Blu-ray Disc Player||LG BP530 Blu-ray 3D Disc Player||LG BP730 Blu-ray 3D Disc Player|
|Profile & Playable Discs|
|External HDD Playback||Yes (via USB)||Yes (via USB)||Yes (via USB)|
|Playable Discs||BD-ROM / BD-R / BD-RE / DVD-ROM / DVD±R / DVD±RW / Audio CD / CD-R / CD-RW / DTS-CD||BD-ROM / BD-R / BD-RE / DVD-ROM / DVD±R / DVD±RW / Audio CD / CD-R / CD-RW / DTS-CD||BD-ROM / BD-R / BD-RE / DVD-ROM / DVD±R / DVD±RW / Audio CD / CD-R / CD-RW / DTS-CD|
|LG Smart TV|
|Full Web Browser||No||No||Yes|
|2D to 3D Conversion||No||No||Yes|
|Dolby Digital downmix||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Re-encoder||Yes (DTS only)||Yes (DTS only)||Yes (DTS only)|
|LPCM Conversion (DTS HD, Dolby TrueHD)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dynamic Range Control||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Video Formats||MPEG-1/MPEG2 PS/TS / SMPTE VC1 (VC-9) / DivX / MKV / AVC Rec / AVCHD / M4V / WMV / 3GP / MP4 / MOV / FLV / VOB / TS / DAT||MPEG-1/MPEG2 PS/TS / SMPTE VC1 (VC-9) / DivX / MKV / AVC Rec / AVCHD / M4V / WMV / 3GP / MP4 / MOV / FLV / VOB / TS / DAT||MPEG-1/MPEG2 PS/TS / SMPTE VC1 (VC-9) / DivX / MKV / AVC Rec / AVCHD / M4V / WMV / 3GP / MP4 / MOV / FLV / VOB / TS / DAT|
|Audio Formats||LPCM / Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus / Dolby TrueHD / DTS / DTS-HD Master Audio / MPEG 1/2 L2 / MP3 / WMA / AAC / FLAC||LPCM / Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus / Dolby TrueHD / DTS / DTS-HD Master Audio / MPEG 1/2 L2 / MP3 / WMA / AAC / FLAC||LPCM / Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus / Dolby TrueHD / DTS / DTS-HD Master Audio / MPEG 1/2 L2 / MP3 / WMA / AAC / FLAC|
|Photo Formats||JPEG / GIF/Animated GIF / PNG / MPO||JPEG / GIF/Animated GIF / PNG / MPO||JPEG / GIF/Animated GIF / PNG|
|Loading Time||< 10 seconds||< 10 seconds||< 10 seconds|
|LG Remote App||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Last Scene Memory||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Auto Power Off||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USB Keyboard/Mouse Compatible||No||Yes||Yes|
|NFC (Near Field Communications)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Optical Audio Output||0||0||1|
|Coaxial Audio Output||1||1||0|
|Tray type||Single disc horizontal||Single disc horizontal||Slot loading|
|Remote control||Yes||Yes||Yes, Magic Remote compatible|
|Power requirements||120 VAC, 60 Hz||120 VAC, 60 Hz||120 VAC, 60 Hz|
|Power consumption||Operational 11W / Standby 0.5W||Not specified by manufacturer||Not specified by manufacturer|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||10.6 x 1.5 x 8" (26.9 x 3.8 x 20.3 cm)||14.2 x 1.6 x 7.9" (36.1 x 4.1 x 20.1 cm)||16.9 x 1.6 x 7.8" (42.9 x 4.1 x 19.8 cm)|
|Weight||3.0 lb (1.36 kg)||3.7 lb (1.68 kg)||3.0 lb (1.36 kg)|
LG's new 2013 home-entertainment lineup also reveals the company’s foray into the arena of home theater in a box audio/video systems. Like their disc players, these are all "Smart" systems. They range from 5.1-channel to 9.1-channel speaker systems and they all include an LG 3D Blu-ray Disc player.
Each model also features built-in Wi-Fi and compatibility with the LG Remote App. These systems support Wi-Fi Direct connectivity, as well as DLNA home network sharing. Additionally, they all provide Bluetooth wireless connectivity, for streaming audio from compatible Bluetooth devices.
Each of these new home theater systems has a 3D Surround Processor feature as well, which analyzes audio content so the system can distribute sound in multiple directions while maintaining balance. The new home theater systems’ additional features include integrated FM radio, Dolby TrueHD decoding and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. Each system is also equipped with a USB port that allows you to connect your iPod, iPhone iPad, or other USB device for direct digital playback. All four home theater systems share these features. The only differences between each one are the number of audio channels supported, the total power output, and the types and shapes of included speakers.
The LG BH6730S is a 5.1-channel home theater system that supports 2D and 3D Blu-ray Disc playback and Full HD 1080p up-scaling. It also supports LG Smart TV premium content, LG apps and the all-in-one search function. The system includes a center speaker, four satellite speakers, and a powerful subwoofer that combine to deliver 1,000W of total power. Connectivity options include an HDMI 1.4 output, a digital optical input, a L/R analog audio input, an 1/8" (3.5mm) auxiliary input and an Ethernet port.
The BH6830SW is also a 5.1-channel, 1,000W system, but it provides wireless rear speakers so you can eliminate a few wires in your setup. It also features sound cones that are made from high-resistance, yellow Aramid fiber that helps to deliver more precise sound with minimal harmonic distortion. The angle of the speakers on this model can be adjusted as well, so you can fine-tune your sound.
The BH9230BW is a 9.1-channel home theater system that delivers 1,460W of total power. It also supports 2D to 3D conversion, Ultra-HD 4K up-scaling, NFC advanced pairing technology and MiraCast streaming technology for compatible Android mobile devices. The system’s nine directional speakers feature yellow Aramid fiber with silk dome tweeters for more accurate sound reproduction, minimal distortion, and clearer high-end frequencies. This system also provides a full web browser and dual HDMI 1.4 inputs.
The BH9431PW is another 9.1-channel 1,460W system and it also shares the same feature set and connections of the BH9230BW. However, it incorporates LG’s multi-directional, tall-boy tower speakers that provide an enhanced soundscape to fill even a large room with cinema-quality surround sound. This system is also available with yellow-accented speakers.
All of these disc players and multi-channel home theater systems support LG's SIMPLINK as well, which allows you to use a single remote to control multiple compatible LG devices. Fluid connectivity and control options like SIMPLINK and flexible mobile device connectivity allow most of these systems to bridge the gap between portable entertainment and home entertainment. LG's Smart TV platform for access to online entertainment, and the company’s use of multiple advanced connectivity and advanced pairing technologies, provide a look at the future of home entertainment, which increasingly offers connectivity and compatibility with a wider array of multimedia sources.
For more information about these disc players and home theater systems, stop by the B&H SuperStore in Manhattan, check out the website or speak to a sales professional by calling 1-800-606-6969. You can also go online for a Live Chat session with a home entertainment expert.