Aside from the price break, the BD570 hasn't changed much from the BD390. Yes, the BD570 doesn't have 7.1 analog-audio outputs, but there's still NetCast streaming services (including Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, and Picasa), built-in Wi-Fi, and it has an excellent image quality. What has changed is that the competition has caught up; nearly every manufacturer is offering a Blu-ray player with Wi-Fi and Netflix at this price in 2010. There's also 3D Blu-ray looming on the horizon and the BD570 isn't compatible; Sony is promising a firmware upgrade this summer for its competing BDP-S570. Don't get us wrong--the BD570 is a still great Blu-ray player, but it's not the standout product that last year's BD390 was.
Last year's LG BD390 looked slick but was a relatively bulky player, especially compared with players like the Sony BDP-S360. The BD570 has a more slimline profile, coming in at just 1.7 inches tall by 8 inches deep by 16.9 inches wide. The front panel has a glossy black finish, and it flips down to reveal the disc tray, front panel's buttons, and a USB port. It's a reasonably attractive looking player, although it doesn't quite have the same high-end feel as the BD390. If you plan to keep a USB drive connected, you'll have to keep the panel flipped down, which makes the player look considerably less slick.
LG's included remote control is a complete redesign over last year's clicker. The main surface is glossy black, which looks sleek coming out of the box, but being a remote, it naturally accumulates fingerprints quickly. Its button layout is mostly straightforward with its playback controls having a "hill" that runs underneath them, making it easy to find by feel; there are also nubs on the rewind/fast-forward buttons. The remote's main directional pad is surrounded by six buttons, which is a little more cluttered than most Blu-ray remotes we use, but we didn't find it that troublesome in use. Along its bottom are a few buttons for controlling a TV.
We loved the dead-simple user interface on last year's BD390, so we were a little dismayed to see that LG has given this year's model a complete interface overhaul. Gone are the simple squares with labels like "My Media" and "Netflix," replaced by floating ice cubes with more ambiguous titles like "Home Link" and "Netcast." We really don't get the point of the new interface and how it makes the BD570 easier to use; it doesn't look especially cool to us, and it feels slightly slower to navigate.
Netcast is what LG calls its suite of media-streaming services. Luckily, once you enter the Netcast section, you're greeted by large tiles with the names of services. We found this design more to our liking, navigating the streaming services feels speedy and there are large buttons for each service. LG's YouTube layout is also one of the best we've seen and we found it quick and easy to browse for videos. However, the exception, as always, is using the onscreen keyboard to input search terms; perhaps we'll see QWERTY keyboard remotes on future players to alleviate that problem.
We have one last design gripe, though--unlike nearly every other Blu-ray player we review, LG's players come in 1080i video mode by default. That's unfortunate, since many users won't realize this and change to 1080p, which means they'll be relying on their HDTV to do some of the serious video processing.
|3D Blu-ray||No||Onboard memory||No|
Like its predecessor, the BD570 has built-in Wireless-N; however, it's not a unique feature in 2010 as competing players like the Sony BDP-S570, Samsung BD-C6500, Toshiba BDX2700, and Insignia NS-WBRDVD also have the feature. However, Panasonic's DMP-BD85 still requires a separate USB adapter.
According to LG, the BD570 is not upgradable to support 3D Blu-ray playback. While we have not had a chance to test any 3D Blu-ray products yet, it's worth mentioning that Sony has announced that the competing BDP-S470 and BDP-S570 both will receive a firmware update in the summer to enable 3D Blu-ray support, as well as the PS3 Slim getting an update to support it. We expect LG to announce a 3D-compatible Blu-ray player later in 2010.
|Amazon Video on Demand||No||Pandora||Yes|
Online streaming media services continue to be a major strength for LG's Blu-ray lineup. The BD570 includes the same NetCast features as last year--like Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora--but also adds Vudu, Picasa and weather. Vudu is the major addition, as it adds a pay-per-view movie watching option to supplement Netflix's subscription offerings. We consider Vudu to be a worthy alternative to Amazon Video on Demand, which some competing players also offer.
The BD570 is DLNA-compliant and capable of streaming video, audio, and photo files from a network-connected PC or viewing them from USB drive. The full list of supported formats are available on the specifications portion of LG's Web site. We had no trouble playing a couple MKV and DivX HD files off an attached USB drive; however, like last year's BD390, MKV files won't stream over the network. LG includes Nero's MediaHome 4 Essential software, which worked well. We were also able to use the built-in media server in Windows Media Player, after turning the sharing options on.
|Dolby TrueHD||Yes||DTS-HD Master Audio||Yes|
|Dolby Digital Plus||Yes||DTS-HD HR||Yes|
|Bit stream output||Yes||SACD/DVD-Audio||No|
Like nearly every Blu-ray player available now, the BD570 offers onboard decoding for both high-resolution Dolby and DTS formats. If you're looking to play back SACDs and DVD-Audios, you'll need to look to Oppo's competing players; Sony's competing BDP-S570 also offers SACD playback.
|HDMI version||HDMI 1.3||Stereo analog||Yes|
|Component video||Yes||Multichannel analog||No|
The BD570's AV output selection is standard. The only surprise is the lack of analog multichannel outputs, which were available on last year's BD390.
|Ethernet||Yes||SD card slot||No|
|USB ports||1||RS-232 port||No|
Like virtually every other player, the BD570 also includes an Ethernet port if you prefer the stability of a wired connection. We would have liked to have seen an additional USB port on the back panel, like on the Sony BDP-S570 and Oppo BDP-80, but it's a minor quibble.
Blu-ray image quality
Overall, we were impressed with the BD570's Blu-ray image quality, as it passed all of the most important test patterns and program material tests. As usual, the most dedicated videophiles will still prefer the very slightly better Blu-ray image quality of the Oppo BDP-83, but the vast majority of high-definition movie fans will be perfectly satisfied with the BD570's Blu-ray image quality.
All our testing was conducted via HDMI at 1080p/60, with the Sony Bravia KDL-55XBR8 display and Oppo BDP-83 and Sony BDP-S570 for comparison. For more information on our testing procedure, consult our full guide to how we test Blu-ray players. Home theater enthusiasts can also see more detailed testing results in our 2010 Blu-ray players comparison chart.
|Film resolution||Pass||Dynamic range high||Pass|
|Video resolution||Pass||Dynamic range low||Pass|
|Text overlay on film||Fail||Luma multiburst||Pass|
|Cadence tests||1/8||Chroma multiburst||Fail|
|Chroma bug test||Pass|
The BD570's performance on test patterns was largely solid. First off, it passed the two most important tests--the film and video resolution tests--that generally indicate the player will have no issues on the vast majority of Blu-ray titles. We did notice the BD570 slipped a bit on the film resolution test, showing moire for a second, which is something we didn't see on our reference Oppo BDP-83. However, we didn't notice any issues in actual program material.
The tests the BD570 failed--text overlay, the majority of the cadence tests and the chroma multiburst--are comparatively minor tests that don't have a major impact on image quality. In the text overlay test, while the text itself was free of artifacts, the video in the background suffered from comb-like shredding, visible on the top of the newspaper, and anytime one of the edges of any of the actors when they're in motion. However, the issue isn't visible with subtitles on standard Blu-ray movies like "Mission: Impossible III." Yes, the BD570 failed some of more esoteric cadence patterns, but we've seen almost no program material on Blu-ray using those cadences, so we don't consider that test very important.
The LG BD570 also failed the chroma multiburst, as the most detailed section of the test pattern was darker than the rest. However, we couldn't notice any difference resolution or color in actual program material, so it's hard to ascribe much to the BD570 failing this test. Videophiles may also be interested to know that the BD570 does clip whites in "standard" mode, but movie mode passes all "whiter-than-white" signals without a problem.
|Ghost Rider||Pass||Tony Bennett||Pass|
|M:I:III||Pass||NIN Live; chapter 3||Pass|
|Sunshine||Pass||NIN Live; chapter 4||Pass|
The BD570 passed all our Blu-ray program material tests, which gives it an edge over the competing Sony BDP-S570, which had some trouble with the video-based "Tony Bennett: American Classic" disc. However, the image quality difference between the two players isn't that large, as most movies are film-based and look nearly identical. We felt the difference between the BD570 and the Oppo BDP-83 was even smaller.
|"M:I:III" | player on||13.69||"POTC" | until movie||83.57|
|"M:I:III" | player off | quick start||n/a||"Spider-Man 3" | until movie||67.72|
|"M:I:III" | player off | no quick start||23.92||"Sunshine" | chapter skip||13.71|
|"POTC" | past loading||30.24||CNET speed rating (composite score)||89|
The BD390 was one of the fastest Blu-ray players of 2009, but our testing indicates that it's likely to compare less favorably in 2010. The CNET speed rating of 89 means it's somewhat slower than last year's speed champ, the Oppo BDP-83. Some of its slowness is because it lacks a quick start mode, but it also took longer to load more complex movies like "Pirates of Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl." Its chapter skipping speed is comparable to most other players, but the competing BDP-S570 made us readjust our expectations with its lightning fast operation. The BD570 doesn't feel slow on its own, but when we had it side-by-side with the BDP-S570, it seems a little pokey.
There have been many reports online about playback problems on movies like "Up" and "Terminator: Salvation", and we've been able to confirm the issues on those movies, but only in 1080p/24 mode. Since the movies play fine in 1080p/60 mode and LG has stated it's working on a fix, we don't consider it a major issue, although we'll continue to monitor user feedback. For more information, see our blog on the issue.
|Video resolution||Fail||"Star Trek: Insurrection"||Pass|
|Text overlay on film||Fail||"Invite Them Up"||Pass|
While the BD570 failed some of our standard test patterns, we didn't notice major issues in any of our program material tests. It's worth pointing out that while the BD570 did technically pass the 2:2 resolution test, it took much longer than the Oppo for its processing to kick in and eliminate the moirÃ©. Again, we'd give it a slight nod over the Sony BDP-S570 for doing a better job handling niche video content, and pure videophiles will prefer the Oppo BDP-83 if DVD image quality is a high priority.
|Netflix | "Lost" | "Some Like it Hoth"||Good|
As with most devices, we saw no major issues with Netflix streaming on the BD570. That gives the BD570 an edge over the Sony BDP-S570, which suffers from some streaming image quality issues.
|Standby | quick start off||0.14 W||Standby | quick start on||n/a|
|Power on | watching movie||15.31 W||Power on | idling||14.79 W|
|Annual cost; quick start off||$1.07||Annual cost; quick start on||n/a|
Unlike many newer Blu-ray players, the BD570 lacks a quick start mode and therefore by default uses very little power in standby mode. In comparison, the Sony BDP-S570 has an annual cost of $7.35 with its quick start feature enabled. The downside with the BD570 is that you don't have the option of faster load times if you're willing to pay the extra cost.