LG BD370

If you enjoy watching YouTube videos, then you’re going to love the BD370 from LG. Featuring an Ethernet connection and built-in software for accessing YouTube, you can stream videos straight to your TV using your home broadband connection. The BD370 is a Blu-Ray player featuring LG’s latest GUI (graphical user interface) design across its line of home entertainment products.

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LG are continuing the current trend of glossy materials with a touch of gray and chrome to accentuate some of its key design features. The most striking design element is the circular centre button which function as the power, eject and play/pause buttons.

The front of the BD370 contains two hinged covers that conceal the messiness of buttons and disc trays. The cover pops open when you eject the tray, whereas the cover concealing playback buttons and the USB port opens with a soft padded action.

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Around the back, you’ll find a variety of modern connectors for outputting the audio and video signals to your TV and home theatre equipment, including digital coaxial and optical audio out. The obligatory component and HDMI connections are also present as well as support for older televisions with composite connectors. A LAN port is also included for connecting to the internet for the YouTube video streaming service and BD Live for interactive Blu-Ray content.

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With built-in YouTube streaming software, you can get access to millions of videos from the comfort of your couch on the big-screen. It’s a free service that taps your existing broadband connection over the Ethernet jack that you find on the back of the unit. It’s mostly plug and play as your router does most of the job in setting up the relevant IP address configurations. All you have to do is open up the YouTube menu from the main screen.

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Video quality over HDMI delivers a breathtaking picture with a sharpness that DVD’s could only wish to achieve. With support for 1080p video output and a true High Definition movie (as in one that was shot in HD as opposed to upscaled), you can see incredible detail in some of the scenes in Dark Knight. Blu-Ray comes in to its own when you get outdoor city shots that show Gotham City and the Hong Kong city skyline.

Bringing in more innovation is the inclusion of a USB port that works not just for audio and photo slideshows but we’re now starting to see an increase in devices that also have the ability to view video files. I loaded up a flash drive with some HD TV shows like Entourage in 720p resolution and was able to effortlessly play them back on the big-screen. This is one of the most compelling reasons to get the BD370 if you have a lot of media encoded in digital format and you want to enjoy it from the comfort of your couch rather than the desk.

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At the £150 price-point, you’ll be hard pressed to find a Blu-Ray player that comes with this many features that are so well combined in a simple and attractive design both on the in and outside. The bonus features that make the BD370 that bit extra special is that it includes YouTube streaming and USB video playback support – and it’s all in a reasonably priced box that will deliver you stunning Blu-Ray content to your living room.

2009-08-27 Onwah Tsang

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