The Good Blu-ray player. DLNA player. Dual-tuner PVR. Slick menu structure. Ethernet or 802.11n.
The Bad Some error messages are poorly phrased. Single-channel EPG display only. Rather expensive.
The Bottom Line LG's all-in-one media player works superbly, but it would want to for this kind of money.
|LG HR599D||Samsung UBD-K8500||Oppo UDP-203||Sony BDP-S3700||Oppo BDP-103 Darbee Edition Blu-ray player|
|Price||$1,099 Typical Price||$1,099 Typical Price||$1,099 Typical Price||$1,099 Typical Price||$1,099 Typical Price|
LG's HR599D is a grab bag of Blu-ray, DLNA media player and dual-tuner PVR. Combination units can go either way. Sometimes you get a superb mix of ingredients well presented that combine to enhance each component's strengths. All too often, however, you get a lucky dip of bubble and squeak that attempts to cover over its flaws by bamboozling you with how much it can do.
The HR599D is a plain AV device that's strongly reminiscent of LG's previousPVR, although in the HR599D's case the LED clock display is slightly off-centre. The fold down flap reveals simple recording controls and the unit's integrated Blu-ray drive and a single USB port. For practical purposes, this means that if you want to run content off a permanently connected USB drive, you'll have to leave the flap down all the time.
At first glance, the LG HR599D's remote looks like cheap plastic. That's because it is. This is a pity, as the remote design is quite clever. The main directional buttons sit on a flat pad surrounded by the key function buttons for menu control, info display, disc and title buttons. It's a very comfortable arrangement that we'd love to see on a remote with slightly better production values.
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