If you've been following the Blu-ray market, it was getting obvious toward the end of 2008 that standalone players needed to innovate, since previous step-up features, like Profile 2.0 and DTS-HD Master Audio, were becoming standard. LG was the first company to break the mold by releasing the BD300, which was the first Blu-ray player with built-in Netflix streaming--and it did it well. The LG BD370 is the entry-level successor to the BD300, and it's very similar with the main upgrades being onboard decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio Essential and faster load times.
The BD370 has a unique look, with no exposed disc tray and a silver square dominating the otherwise glossy black front panel. The disc tray hides behind a small automatic door on the left hand side, an arrangement we liked much better than the Samsung BD-P1600's flip-down door. The front panel controls aren't obvious at first, because controls like open/close and play are activated by pressing the corners of the silver rectangle in the middle of the unit, and power is the silver circle in the center. These controls aren't easy to figure out by just glancing at the unit, but they do keep the front panel looking sleek.
Additional front panel controls, along with a USB port, are accessible under a flip-down panel. It's the only USB port available, so if you keep a flash drive in there for BD-Live functionality, you'll need to leave the front panel down.
The BD370 has onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential. That means it can decode those soundtrack formats so they can be played back on almost every HDMI-capable AV receiver. Bit-stream output is also supported, if you'd rather the decoding be done in your AV receiver.
Connectivity is standard. There's an HDMI port capable of outputting 1080p HD video, and high-resolution multichannel audio. Component video, which can output Blu-ray movies at 1080i and DVDs at 480p, is also available.
For audio, there's a standard stereo analog output, and we were happy to see that the BD370 includes both optical and coaxial digital audio outputs--most players have cut down to just optical. There's also a USB port on the front panel and an Ethernet port on the back, but there's no Wi-Fi option, like the Samsung BD-P1600 offers.
The included remote is one of the better ones we've seen on a Blu-ray player. Buttons like Disc Menu and Home are appropriately separated, and playback controls fall comfortably under your thumb. Additional seldom-used buttons are hidden under a slide down cover on the bottom half of the remote; we actually liked those buttons out of sight as it makes the remote simpler.