Blu-ray players are so inexpensive now, and their image quality so similar, that you might be tempted to just buy the cheapest one and call it a day. But there are still advantages to shopping around and maybe paying a couple of bucks extra.
The LG BP350 is a 2015 model that is still available in the US for $79, the UK for £66 and Australia for AU$159. It's one of the cheapest Blu-ray disc-spinners around, and it comes with hefty compromises. It's one of the slowest players we've tested at loading both discs and streaming videos, and it's missing all but the most basic connections. If you only want to play Blu-rays and very occasionally watch Netflix, this will do the job. But we think it's worth paying a bit more for something like the $80 Sony BDP-S3700 or the $100 Samsung BD-J9500.
Design and features
With its cross-hatched finish the BP350 looks more like a lemon zester than a Blu-ray player. A power button, a tiny eject button and a USB port adorn the front panel, while 'round the back there's just a power input and an HDMI port. That's a sparse rear even compared to other players at the price -- usually you can expect at least an Ethernet port and a coaxial digital port as well. At least it has Wi-Fi.
There's a small selection of the most-popular streaming services onboard, namely Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Spotify and Pandora. While that selection is dwarfed by the dozens on offer from Sony players, at least they're all preloaded on the LG, so you don't need to trawl through lists to find new services.