LAS VEGAS--All the focus is on 3D in the home theater space, but LG appears content to take a wait-and-see approach to the new 3D Blu-ray format. Instead of getting on the bandwagon, LG has gone in a different direction with its new flagship Blu-ray player, the BD590, which includes all the features that made the BD390 a hit, plus a 250GB hard drive that can be used to rip your music collection and store photos. Let's take a quick look at its feature set.
Key features of the LG BD590:
- 250GB built-in hard drive, capable of storing music, photos, and videos transferred via USB
- Can rip CDs directly to the hard drive, with metadata automatically handled by Gracenote
- Online streaming media services include Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow, YouTube, Pandora, Picasa, AccuWeather
- Purchased Vudu movies can be stored directly on the hard drive
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- DLNA-compliant, allowing you to stream music, photos, and videos from a connected PC
- No release date or pricing announced
While the lack of 3D capabilities may make LG a loser in the CES hype wars, it's likely that the BD590 will actually be a more useful product in 2010, since 3D will likely require a new TV, and the initial selection of 3D Blu-ray titles will be meager. A simple way to rip CDs and access them from a central location is a feature that consumers can use right away. Another slight change from 2009 is that LG's new Blu-ray products will feature the latest iteration of Netflix's streaming interface, which allows you to browse some titles that aren't in your instant queue (nearly identical to the experience of Netflix streaming on the PS3). The BD590 doesn't make any huge technological leaps, but if it can improve on the already excellent BD390, it's likely to have success in 2010.