lg blu ray 3.jpgEvery year I am blown away by how companies like LG are able continuously push the boundaries both with picture quality and connection capabilities. Now rather than having a DVD player to play movies, laptop to write word documents and a phone to make calls, you can have devices that can wireless connect to each other with ease and catch-all media streaming devices that, with only a few touches, can let you do everything you’ve ever wanted without leaving the couch.

The LG 3D Wi-Fi Blue-ray Disc Player (BP 735) is the one of the latest disc players from LG that not only allows you play CDs, DVDs and Blue-ray discs, including 3D movies, with an ultra HD image quality, but also to sync to your wireless network to gain access to your favorite media and social apps, including Netflix and Facebook. You can also use the wireless connection to connect the player to your phone, tablet or laptop to access and stream personal media, such as videos and pictures. Need to stay silent? No problem. The Private Sound feature allows you to keep watching the media or movie on your television in crisp HD, but it plays the sound through the headphones attached to your phone, tablet or laptop.

blue ray 4 (2).jpgI had to opportunity to try the LG 3D Wi-Fi Blue-ray Disc Player this week and here’s what I thought:

What’s in the box & Initial setup

When I opened the box I found the disc player, an instruction manual and a remote (see image on left). I was really impressed by how easy the initial setup was. Remember when you used to buy a DVD player and you send hours looking at the instructions and connecting coloured wire after coloured wire to the player and then your television to eventually find out that it wasn’t connected properly? Those days are over. After unpacking the unit, I inserted an HDMI cable (see image below, HDMI cable not included) to the back of the unit and connected it to my television. After setting the country and language, I was synced the player to my wireless network and my setup was complete! The whole process took me under 10 minutes.

Wireless Connectivity & Navigation

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Once the initial setup was complete, the instructions told me to download the LG AV Remote app on my phone, tablet or laptop (it is availble through the Apple and Google Play app stores). After downloading the app on my iPad, I was then immediately asked to download the AVC 3 app. Once downloaded, I was able to easily connect my iPad to the LG disc player. This allowed me to control the unit from my iPad using a mouse icon, rather than having to use the remote (looking at the right image below, to access the mouse press the arrow image on the bottom left of the screen). When playing or streaming media, you can fast forward, stop, play, rewind and return to the menu with your tablet by tapping the corresponding symbols. In regards to navigation, I was impressed with the smoothness as I was expecting a lag between the tablet and the player. I was also expecting the tablet navigation to only work when you were on the LG menu and not on any of the apps, such as Netlflix, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could seamlessly navigate between the LG menu and the various apps and games using my tablet.

Picture Quality & Ultra HD Upscaling

The LG 3D Wi-Fi Blu-ray Disc Player is equipped with an Ultra HD upscaling, meaning that the player will automatically upgrade your 1080p HD resolution to an even higher-quality picture resembling what you can get on a 4k HD television. 

xmen 2 (2).jpgTo test the overall picture quality and HD upscaling, I started watching X-Men: Days of Future Past in Blu-ray format, because I find that action movies and movies with heavy CGI content is where you can notice the difference in picture quality the most the most. I was really impressed with the picture! The photo on the left does not really do it justice, but the picture was crisp and consistently clear, even in fast-moving action scenes. I was also impressed by the colour depth and detail, as you can see with the depth of the blue in the image on the left. However, though I was really impressed with the picture quality, it’s hard to really tell whether the HD quality is better than a 1080p image without being able to see them side by side on two different televisions. My television is also a 32″ screen so I don’t think that I wasn’t able to fully assess the upgraded colour and image quality promised by the Ultra HD upscaling on that size of screen.

The decription of the Ultra HD upscaling on the LG website says that it will upgrade the picture quality of Blu-ray discs and some media, however it did not specifiy which (ie: Netflix shows and movies, or videos streamed from your phone etc). However, though it is not confirmed, I have an inkling that my Netflix picture was upgraded as the picture was incredibly clear compared to the image I get when watching on my laptop.

In addition to DVD and Blue-ray, the LG disc player is also equipped to play 3D movies, making it compatible with every disc on the market! I didn’t have an opportunity to test the 3D quality as my television is not compatible.

Private Sound

screen shot 3 (2).pngThis is by far my favorite feature! Often, if someone is sleeping, working from home or it is too early or late in the day, it is impossible to watch television in your home because of the noise. Therefore you’re forced to watch your movie on your laptop or tablet … and we all know it’s never really the same. The Private Sound feature solves this problem. Once you have connected to the LG disc player via the app, you can press the private sound button on the right hand corner of your screen (the little picture of the phone with the silent sound symbol) and the sound will be transferred from your television to your device, allowing you to listen to via headphones and not disturb anyone! You can press this button either while the movie or tv show is already playing or before you press play. I also like that you could use this feature when watching a disc or when using an app, such as Netflix, and that you still use the pause, play, fast forward buttons when in this mode.

This ability to silently watch movies and media makes it perfect for families or couples living in a home or apartment with an open design where sound from the television can be heard in every room of the house.

Menu

The player’s home menu is divided into four categories: Smart Share, Premium, Smart World, My Apps and Settings, where you can change all your basic settings.

The Smart Share feature is what allows you to wirelessly connect your phone, tablet or laptop to access your personal photos, videos and other media. However, I had issues successfully using this feature. The disc player easily connected to my tablet’s media storage, but once synced it did not recognize any of the files and said there was no media or pictures found. However, this may have been because I was using an Apple product as in the past, I have found that Apple products tend to only compatible with other Apple media devices, such as Apple TV, when it comes to file sharing. Perhaps the disc player would have better file sharing capabilities with other non-Apple devices, such as LG or Samsung phones and tablets.

menu (2).jpgThe Premium menu category is where all the popular media apps and programs, such as Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Cinema Now, are located. For those not familiar with these websites, though you can connect to them wirelessly through the player, most of them, such as Netflix, need you to sign up and/or pay a monthly membership fee to actually access the content. I have a Netflix account so I signed into my account to check out the ease of connectivity and navigation. I was able to easily navigate Netflix both with the included remote and through the LG remote app on my iPad. Once I chose a movie, I was really impressed with the crisp HD picture quality. I was also impressed that there was no lag time when I would fast forward or return to menu, as I often find that media streaming is choppy when it is played through a third party, like a disc player.

The Smart World menu category is where the remainder of the media content is available. There are free apps that you can download, including games and new apps. Once downloaded, you can access your apps through the My Apps menu folder. Depending on the game app you downloaded, there is a game controller available through the LG remote app which I though was pretty cool (in the screen shot above you can see the controller symbol in the bottom right hand corner)! However, with only 27 apps available for download, there was a pretty limited selection. I also tried to connect to the internet through the internet icon, however it only came up as a black screen, but I could browse and search the internet using the search icon within the same menu. Once a term was searched using the pop-up keyboard in the app, it came up with a variety of YouTube and web search results, via Bing, as well as Smart World apps that met the search criteria.

All in all, I was really impressed with the LG 3D Wi-Fi Blue-ray Disc Player. This all-in-one player allows you to watch DVD and Blue-ray discs in upgraded ultra HD quality and the wireless connectivity lets you navigate the player menu with your phone, tablet or laptop and connect to various apps, such as Netflix, to stream media, or Facebook, to browse social media. With the Private Sound feature, you can watch your television without disturbing others by listening to the sound through your headphones connected to your phone, tablet or laptop. If you’re looking for a disc player that will let you do more than press play, the LG 3D Wi-Fi Blue-ray Disc Player is for you!

X-Men: Days of Future Past was the first movie I watched on the LG 3D Wi-Fi Blue-ray Disc Player, what movie would you choose to watch first?