LG HR559D review: LG HR559D

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Excellent Blu-ray player. DLNA and YouTube access. Can archive recordings. Decent sound.

The Bad Single tuner lacks flexibility. Lip-sync issues on live pause.

The Bottom Line If viewed as a Blu-ray player, the LG HR559D does a great job, though as a PVR it's simply too inflexible and too expensive.

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Design

While LG has focused its efforts on television design it seems other elements of the home cinema chain have been left wanting, especially with funny-looking, though very competent, devices like the LG BD370. But in the company's new flagship 3D "all in one device", the designers have come up with a very slick-looking player indeed.

The HR559D follows the rules of the "Blu-ray Design Handbook" by including a drop-down flap and a slim disc tray. The LG employs the same logic as Panasonic players when it comes to eject and power buttons — the power button is over the disc tray while the eject button is on the right. Under the flap you get the transport controls and a USB port.

LG has always had decent remotes but the last couple we've seen from the company have been excellent. The HR559D's remote is ergonomic, stylish and fairly easy to use. The only things we would wish for are a backlight, and an easy way to choose between the player's different functions without having to manually scroll through the "Home" on-screen display.

Features

The LG HR559D may be a 3D player and recorder, but what does this actually mean? Essentially, the LG will play back 3D Blu-ray discs and will also record 3D broadcasts. However, this last part is a bit of a misnomer as we've found most PVRs on the market will also record 3D. Furthermore, as far as producing 3D broadcasts is concerned, Australia has no 3D recording equipment to speak of, and in the case of football grand finals the broadcasters had to ship 3D cameras and crew from overseas. As a result, 3D broadcasts will likely be rare for the next 12 months.

Aside from the 3D tag, this model performs many of the functions you'd expect a PVR to do: pause and rewind live TV, record from an electronic program guide and one-touch recording. It's worth noting that the 3D Blu-ray system is a player and not a recorder. If you want to archive recordings, you can connect a USB disk.

In addition to recording and playback, the LG features a number of IPTV functions including YouTube — though not BigPond Movies — and is able to playback media from either a USB drive or over your network from a DLNA-compliant device.

LG offers two models of this recorder: the HR559 offers up 500GB of space while the smaller, cheaper HR558 offers up 250GB. Neither model should be confused with the HR599 , which is a dual-tuner recorder.

Connectivity on the HR559 include an HDMI 1.4 compliant port, a component output, digital coaxial, AV-out, USB, Ethernet and 802.11n wireless. Sadly, there isn't a 7.1 analog output to take advantage of the player's on-board HD audio decoding capability.

Performance

If there's one trap that Asian manufacturers can fall into, it's offering products that are "jack of all trades, master of none", and this is where we'd put the HR559D. It certainly offers up a lot of functionality, and it does so in a very slick way, but it's missing some core functionality.

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Where to Buy

LG HR559D

Part Number: CNETLG HR559D

Typical Price: $999.00

See manufacturer website for availability.