- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 07 August 2013
The LG BP730 Blu-ray Player In Use
Once setup, the LG BP730 did a marvelous job with the Blu-ray content that I fed it. Movies that locked up on a previous LG player, like Nine Inch Nails Beside You In Time, played back flawlessly. The BP730 did a nice job with the 60i concert video with no deinterlacing artifacts to be found. Drive again looked wonderful, with the pop of the LA skyline and the amazing soundtrack proving as captivating as always. From action films like The Dark Knight to comedies like Admission, the LG BP730 did very well with Blu-ray content.
With streaming content the LG BP730 faltered a bit compared to other players. Where LG gets online content right is with their on screen interface. The menu system is clear and direct. It offers easy access to Blu-ray or local media playback, premium online content, their online apps, and settings. It is by far my favorite home screen of any Blu-ray player right now with a nice simplicity in the design. Once you leave it and start to watch online content, the experience goes downhill a little bit.
LG utilizes the standard app interfaces, so Netflix, Hulu and Vudu will all look like you expect them to. The let down is the response time that they offer. Netflix is the worst example, with onscreen elements like the keyboard and search windows being drawn much slower on-screen than with other players. The BP730 also seems slower to start playback of an HD Netflix signal and offer a slightly softer picture overall. Vudu HDX titles looked great, and Hulu played back quite well.
A larger disappointment is the absence of Amazon Instant Video. Free for those with Prime subscriptions, and home to exclusive content like Downtown Abbey, the lack of it is a big issue for the BP730. LG has promised imminent support for it but it still has yet to appear as I write this. LG offers plenty of other premium streaming features, including MLB, Rhapsody, and CinemaNow. Adding Amazon as well as Spotify would give the LG a more complete selection of streaming content.
While I am a fan of the feel of the Magic Remote in my hand, I'm not as big a fan with it in real world use. The on-screen cursor is often a distraction and there is no way to disable it. I'd be happy to use the directional pad and buttons exclusively, but the cursor keeps on appearing. There is also no dedicated Menu button, so going back to a Blu-ray or DVD menu requires pressing Info/Menu and then selecting the Menu option with the cursor. It seems fine the first few times, but gets annoying after a couple of weeks.
LG could also improve upon the Firmware Update process. If you attempt to update the firmware and there is a disc in the tray, it is ejected and you are returned to the home screen. Then you can navigate to do the Update process again, only to find there is no update available. Perhaps checking before ejecting the disc, and not dropping back to the home screen, would be an improvement.
Daily use of the BP730 is a real mixed bag. Blu-ray content plays back great and the home screen is the best designed one of any player out there today. Online content, however, suffers from a pokey interface and some apps that I consider essential are missing in action. The biggest issue for any user is going to be the Magic Remote. If you like it, then you're set. If you are me, you'll wish they also included the nice remote that comes with their BP530 player to complement it.