LG BD670 review: LG BD670

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The Good The LG BD670 has built-in Wi-Fi and an excellent suite of streaming-media services, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Vudu, MOG, Napster, and vTuner. The user interface for its streaming-media service content portal is also top-notch, making it a good choice for nontechies.

The Bad The LG BD670 has slower-than-average disc-loading speeds and lacks onboard memory for accessing BD-Live features.

The Bottom Line Despite disc-loading speeds that are just average, the LG BD670's built-in Wi-Fi and excellent streaming-media suite make it one of the best Blu-ray player values.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Performance 7

With every manufacturer adding bells and whistles to try to make its Blu-ray player stand out from the crowd, the LG BD670's no-frills approach ironically is what stands out. Instead of adding features of dubious worth (2D-to-3D conversion, cross-platform search that doesn't work), the BD670 relies on a simple formula for success: built-in Wi-Fi, lots of high-quality streaming-media services--including standouts like Amazon Instant, MLB.TV, MOG, and Napster--and a clean, simple user interface. Its basic approach makes it one of our favorite Blu-ray players of the year, neck and neck with the Panasonic DMP-BDT210. Overall, the Panasonic has a slight edge with its faster disc-loading speeds and nifty touch-free disc tray, but the LG is definitely worth considering with its slightly superior selection of streaming-media services. If you're going to use those additional streaming services, go with the BD670; otherwise stick with the DMP-BDT210 and its faster speed.

The BD670 doesn't have any design flourishes, looking simply like a thin, glossy black box. There's a standard disc tray slot as opposed to the slot-loading design on some Samsung players. There are also physical buttons, rather than touch-sensitive buttons, which is a plus in our book. We like the LG BD670's nondescript look, but if you prefer something flashier, try Samsung.

The BD670 has a standard disc tray on the left.
The BD670 has a standard disc tray, located on the far left of the player.

The remote included with the BD670 is laid out well, but it has its flaws. The major shortcoming is the lack of a direct button for launching LG's streaming-media content portal. A Netflix button, as on Samsung and Panasonic players, would have been even better. At least LG makes it relatively easy to access its streaming services via its user interface.

The smartphone app works, but it's not that useful.
The smartphone app works, but it's not that useful.

Like most Blu-ray players this year, the LG BD670 can also be controlled via smartphone using LG's Remote application, available for both Android and iOS. The app works well enough, but you can't use it to input text in the Netflix and Pandora interfaces, which is when it's most painful to use the standard remote.

User interface

LG BD670 user interface
The BD670's user interface has a simple layout, but the labeling of the 'Premium' and 'LG Apps' sections is confusing.

Despite the simple layout of the home apps page, the Premium and LG Apps icons aren't as straightforward as you'd think. Premium brings you to LG's full suite of streaming-media services (Netflix, Pandora, and so on), while LG Apps brings you to an app store that carries five completely underwhelming programs. So, basically, when you want to access apps you might actually use, don't select LG Apps.

The LG BD670's content portal user interface
The design of LG's content portal on Blu-ray players is the most straightforward and easy to use that we've seen.

The LG BD670's Netflix interface
The LG BD670's up-to-date Netflix interface lets you search and browse genres.

Once you get into the streaming-content portal, the interface is dead simple. Unlike Samsung's cluttered Smart Hub interface, LG's streaming-content home screen has big icons for the various services. It's the best interface we've seen for streaming content on a Blu-ray player in 2011, mainly because it's easy to quickly get to the streaming service of your choice.

LG Apps user interface
LG Apps isn't worth checking out right now.

LG Apps is new for this year, but as of now, it's not a useful feature. There are currently only five apps available, with the most interesting being Boing Boing Video. Until we see more apps being developed for the platform, we wouldn't factor this into a buying decision at all.

Overall, we definitely prefer the simple approach to streaming-media services offered by LG over the more involved content portals from Samsung and Sony. Check out our full review of LG Smart TV for more information and comparisons of the content portals offered on Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony Blu-ray players.


Key Blu-ray features
Wi-Fi Built-in 2D-to-3D conversion No
3D Blu-ray Yes Onboard memory No
Other: DLNA-compatible

The LG BD670 has a few premium features (built-in Wi-Fi, 3D Blu-ray support, smartphone control), but it doesn't have 2D-to-3D conversion or onboard memory. We wouldn't worry about missing either of those. In our opinion, 2D-to-3D conversion is little more than a gimmick, and onboard memory is only used for BD-Live features, which we never find ourselves using.

Like most players in its price class, the BD670 is DLNA-compatible, which means you can stream digital media files over your home network using a DLNA server or off a connected USB drive. Supported file types include MKV, DivX, XviD, MP3, and JPEG. (A full list of supported file types is available in the user manual on Page 7. Note that M4V files (without DRM) can be played off a USB drive, but not via DLNA. While we were successfully able to play back our suite of test files, digital media files have tons of variation in how they're encoded, so your results may differ. If digital media playback is important to you, we'd recommend looking through user opinions on CNET and elsewhere to see how a player performs in real-world scenarios.

Streaming-media features
Netflix Yes Pandora Yes
Amazon Instant Yes Napster Yes
Vudu Yes Picasa Yes
Hulu Plus No Facebook No
MLB.TV Yes Twitter No
YouTube Yes Weather Yes
Other: MOG, Gracenote MusicID

Smart TV, LG's selection of streaming-media services, is the best we've seen so far overall. While it's not quite as comprehensive as what Samsung and Sony offer, it covers all of the standard services you'd expect (Netflix, Pandora, YouTube), plus a very solid offering of standout extras, such Amazon Instant Streaming, MLB.TV, Napster, MOG, and vTuner. The big missing service is Hulu Plus, which is offered on Samsung and Sony.

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