Although 3D blu-ray players are getting more ubiquitous, LG is giving consumers more options by introducing the LG BD640 for those who do not want to pay for something they may not need. Even without 3D support, the BD640 has more than enough features to keep you entertained. Wireless Wi-Fi capability and the new Smart TV are pleasing improvements from its predecessors. The affordably priced BD640 delivers lucid image quality and is topped off with an efficient loading and starting system.
Design & Connectivity
The LG BD640 looks sleek in a matte black outer housing. Built quality is good for an entry level player. The front panel is simple in design and features a slide out disc tray in the center. To the right is a digital display and playback controls. Boot up and disc loading is appreciably faster than last years players.
Connections are more than adequate with one HDMI output, component and composite video outputs, stereo analog audio outs, and digital audio coaxial output. Access to the internet is available via the Ethernet port or wirelessly through an USB Wi-Fi adaptor (included).
The LG BD640 is made for those who are not going to go the 3D way. 3D titles are still few and far between and even then it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Other than that, the BD640 is one peach of a player.
It has all the features you need for integration into a home entertainment center. It plays all blu-ray discs (including 3D titles except that you will be watching it in 2D), upsamples DVDs to 1080P, CDs and other disc formats including BD-ROM, CD-RWs etc.
Once connected to the internet you can access a variety of content from Netflix, CinemaNow, Vudu, and YouTube direct to your projector or TV. You can also view your family photos, watch videos and listen to music from USB storage devices using the built-in the USB Media Host.
Utilizing LG’s proprietary Simplink connectivity the BD640 links all HDMI-connected equipment via the TV remote. Simplink automatically powers up the player and toggles between the relevant TV video input. Movie menu navigation and most playback controls can be performed directly from the TV remote.
Support for audio decoding of DolbyTrueHD Digital Plus and DTS-HD Master Audio is also provided.
To take full advantage of the Blu-ray format, the BD640 also provides access to BD Live that provides interactive content such as movie extras, previews, synopses and ability to rate movies. Included as well are Bonus View features that offer picture-in-picture access to blu-ray’s special features, so that you can toggle between movie scenes and bonus features on the disc.
We put the BD640 through the paces using the recent The Social Network blu-ray release.
In typical LG fashion, the video performance was outstanding. Detailing deserved a special praise for its vivid intricacy. From every strand Eisenberg’s tresses to the century old Harvard buildings, each minor detail was lucidly captured. Bright colors had limited chances to shine in this film, but black levels were terrific. An example would be the outside shots of the campus at night, which helped to set the tone of the drama.
Audio wise, the BD640 decoded the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track competently. The award winning soundtrack was deeply immersive, laying down the foundations for the mood of the film. Despite the lack of action packed sound effects, dialog managed to hold its own with its crisp clarity. Bass was exceptional as well, especially so in this dialog driven movie.
The truth that most people do not own a 3D ready TV or receiver makes the LG BD640 a welcome introduction. For some, it is pointless to pay more for a 3D blu-ray player without actually enjoying that feature. That’s when the BD640 comes in. It delivers impressive 2D image quality and its smooth performance comprehensively justifies its attractive price tag. The entry level BD640 goes beyond its main purpose of playing your movies and functions as a full multimedia machine.
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