443 of 449 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bargain BD player
Update 11/26/2012: This review was written more than 2 years ago. Technology move very fast. So this player is ancient now. It was good for its time. I've moved to using my PS3 as my media center (it plays DVD/BD, streams Netflix, VUDU, Amazon, Hulu, Crunchyroll, plus DLNA content off my NAS).
I am a hardcore geek and have also worked...
Published on May 5, 2010 by T. Le
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware!
I purchased this player after reading the positive reviews and I didn't pay attention to the negative reviews that talked about skipping and freezing. Unfortunately, the negative reviews are correct. I tried to play 4 different blu-ray movies and all of them skipped or froze completely. Two of the movies were brand new and never used. I downloaded the latest software,...
Published on September 27, 2010 by Jzirb
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443 of 449 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great bargain BD player,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)Update 11/26/2012: This review was written more than 2 years ago. Technology move very fast. So this player is ancient now. It was good for its time. I've moved to using my PS3 as my media center (it plays DVD/BD, streams Netflix, VUDU, Amazon, Hulu, Crunchyroll, plus DLNA content off my NAS).
I am a hardcore geek and have also worked in the streaming video industry the past 4 years. So you may be surprised to hear that this is the first BD player I ever own. I've tested plenty of BD, DVD, streaming boxes, so I know all their strengths and weaknesses.
I waited till now because the early generation of BD players are underpowered (that's why people complained about slow startup, slow to load BD, sluggish menu/UI, etc.). Knowing the performance of that generation, plus having tested the up-n-coming ones, I waited for something that is worth spending money on.
I almost bought the LG BD-390, but that was still too expensive. So I waited for the next gen after, which is the LG BD-5XX series. Since I have wired ethernet to where my entertainment console is, I pick the BD-550. For streaming video, I never want wireless (attested by people commenting on quality, stutters, delays and re-buffering). If I absolutely had to go wireless, I would use 802.11N (not G) and one that supports the 5Ghz band. But that is another topic.
The 550 does everything I need and want. Fast CPU, boot up less than 10s, load BD in about same amount of time (except for a few that has BD-Live and more complicated content). Btw, to use BD-Live, you will need to plug in a USB flash stick (I use a 4GB USB flash, one of those tiny one. Make sure it is formatted as FAT or FAT32.).
Netflix - good UI, fast (I have 25Mb down/10Mb up). So no problem streaming HD. Netflix requires 3.6Mb down for HD. Nice thing about Netflix is that it dynamically adjust quality so you can actually watch the movie. That does mean you won't always get HD if your internet connection is not reliable, e.g. you are using wireless (see why I stick with wired?) Also love the 550 ability to let me view Netflix movie menu and add movies direct on the player (you don't need to go to a computer to add movies to your Instant Queue! This is an awesome feature on the LG BD!
VUDU - good UI, sluggish, there is a lag between pressing buttons and getting results. I kept overshooting or getting wrong choice because of this. Different selection of movies, cost more if I watch a lot of movies (pay each time). So depending on your watching pattern, could be expensive.
Pandora - good, although I don't want to turn on my TV just to listen to music. That's what my stereo is for.
Youtube - good, fun for times when you have parties. Pain having to enter URL via the remote. Wish I can connect a real USB keyboard and use that.
I think the 550 is a bargain for the price. Very happy with it. Stay away from the 3D BD players and TVs. Bleeding edge stuffs, wait at least a year for that to settle before wasting your money.
Last but not least. Make sure you update the firmware! And check regularly. They fix various issues and add new features. I updated twice within the first day of opening the box.
211 of 218 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best netflix streaming experience among other four similarly priced devices.,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)Recently I have tried four BD players which have Netflix streaming capability. LG BD370, Samsung BD P-1600, Sony BDP N460, and LG BD 550. Earlier I also tried Roku HD player for netflix streaming. Except Roku, all the BD players I tried all use wired Ethernet, no wireless.
(I have wired Ethernet in my house so I don't need wireless network.)
I could tell you guys: LG BD 550 is by far the best when it comes to Netflix streaming. I ended up returning all the others. BD550's Fast forwarding, fast rewinding is just way faster than any other unit I tried. It is even faster than Roku! Among these units, Samsung BD P1600 is the slowest. Also BD 550 not only shows your movies in the netflix instant queue, it also gives you option to pick movie you may like, what you've recently watched (even after you removed it from your instant queue), new arrivals, etc. It's just a perfect Netflix player. If you like Netflix's GUI interface, then just don't buy Sony N460! Sony completely screwed Netflix's GUI but Sony's GUI is just too awkward.
For other streaming sources, BD550 has Vudu, Roxio CinemaNow, Youtube and Picasa. Among all the units I tried, this is the only unit that has Vudu. Its Youtube and Picasa application UI and load speed is just awesome. I am so happy I finally find one netflix streaming device that works well.
As for BD player performance. Be honest, I really can't see much difference in terms of image quality.
If you didn't get a chance to try other players, let me remind you that all of them are SLOOOOOOW in loading BD disc. As for Blu-ray playback video quality, actually to me as a normal user, they all perform similarly well. For loading speed, I am not sure if it is because the players all try to contact Internet first before playing (BD link) but I feel it is just way too slow than DVD. Since I found none of them outperform each other significantly, I landed on this LG BD550 becoz of its streaming speed and ease of use in GUI.
105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very pleased with the BD550,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)Let me get this out of the way up front: This is my first Blue-Ray Disc player.
I'm very pleased with this LG BD550 product. I wanted a product that would (a) play Blu-Ray Discs, and (b) let me watch streaming movies/shows over the internet using my Netflix account. This does both.
I considered the higher-end BD570 but decided against it because I did not need the built-in wireless capability, so I got the BD550 which just has the ethernet port, but no wireless (and saved about $70 doing so). I already had an Apple Airport Express behind the media stand for streaming music from iTunes to my stereo, and I was able to configure it as a simple wireless ethernet bridge, so in order to connect the BD550 to the internet all I had to do was connect an ethernet cable from the Airport Express to the BD550. Once that was done, everything internet related simply worked "out of the box".
Blue-Ray audio/visual quality seems good to me.
The user interface is adequate and is reasonably responsive. I have no complaints with the remote.
One thing I didn't expect - the BD550 defaulted to 1080i. I'm not sure if that is normal for BD players, but I switched it to 1080p for playing BD discs.
Since it's connected to the internet, it will occasionally ask me if I want to update the firmware/software.
The unit does not generate much heat, and has no vents in the top or sides of the case, i.e. no vents to block, so I figured it was OK to place my Cable/DVR box on-top of it.
Of all the internet enabled functions (I think this is called "Netcast") I've tried four of them:
1. Netflix - Works as advertised. I have a 3Mbps internet connection and I'm pleased with the quality of streaming netflix video. Certainly it's not high-def quality, but good enough given the convenience. I wish it were easier to search for titles though. I can't really complain, it is good enough.
2. Pandora - This is really great. I'm a computer pandora user though on the computer it will occasionally throw in an ad or pause to ask you to confirm that you're still listening. I don't get either of these when playing music through Pandora on the BD550. I do wish, however, that one you've started a channel going that the interface would show a different graphic (like a near full screen CD artwork, a la iTunes, or any option besides the default screen).
3 & 4. Youtube and Picasa - I tried these out just for the heck of it, and they work, but I do not envision using these on a regular basis.
UPDATE: I recently upgraded from a 3Mbps internet connection to a 7Mbps internet connection. While Netflix was certainly usable with a 3Mbps connection, it is markedly better with the 7Mbps internet connection. I read that Netflix requires 5Mbps or greater to stream HD video.
UPDATE 2: I've tried out the Vudu service. As a new user, they were offering a free rental for a while. I never got round to trying it before they changed the free rental to a $20 credit (which gets you four rentals at "HD" quality - even better). Just in case this is useful to other users here is what I found. Vudu currently supports 3 levels of streaming quality: SD (480p), HD (720p), "HDX" (1080p). What I've found is that with about 7Mbps I just don't have enough bandwidth to reliably stream HDX/1080p video. I've watched 2 full movies at HD/720p quality and there were no problems, glitches, or stops to buffer whatsoever. Of course SD works fine (requires even less bandwidth). Vudu allows you to watch trailers for free in HDX, so that's an easy way to tell if you've got enough bandwidth (if you don't, it will periodically stop the video to buffer the stream). There appears to be an option to 'downgrade' (e.g. from HD to SD) in the middle of a rental if you need to. I think the Vudu HD stream looks better than my Netflix stream (to my knowledge, Netflix sets video quality based on available bandwidth, so you don't know what quality you're actually getting from them). Vudo offers more recent titles than Netflix has, so I can see myself occasionally using Vudu from time to time in addition to Netflix.
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware!,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)I purchased this player after reading the positive reviews and I didn't pay attention to the negative reviews that talked about skipping and freezing. Unfortunately, the negative reviews are correct. I tried to play 4 different blu-ray movies and all of them skipped or froze completely. Two of the movies were brand new and never used. I downloaded the latest software, changed all of the settings and it still skipped or froze. I normally do not write reviews but I was so annoyed that a company would make such a lemon. I also have a PlayStation 3 in a different room and I have never once had it skip or freeze on me. If you are looking at purchasing this product I would suggest that you do a search online and see how many people are having the same issue with this player.
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't really recommend,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)Ordered this based on the good reviews here. Amazon service got it here quickly, setup was a breeze, and I think it has relatively quick load times. Picture and playback is great; however, I watched 4 Blu-Ray movies, and while watching, each of them skipped at some point during the movie to a different chapter. It usually only happened once during each movie. One of them was brand new from the store, so these were not scratched discs.
I exchanged the player for another one through Amazon, thinking I had received a faulty model. Hooked it up, inserted a disc, and halfway through, it skipped to another chapter again. Rewound it back and it went through flawlessly. This happened in all cases mentioned, so as I said, this was not caused by a scratch in the disc.
Based on this, I can't really recommend this player.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buggy, Defective Mess of a Machine,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)Trust me, I don't take the harsh words of that title lightly, especially considering I'm actually a major fan of the LG brand. I own two LG HDTVs (a 47" and a 42"), both of which strike a perfect balance between low price and high quality. I've not the slightest negative word for either set. The Blu-Ray player for my 47" is a PS3, but all I required for the 42" was any machine that plays Blu-Rays. I found this LG BD550 appeared to have the lowest price point whilst still offering a myriad of features, in addition to carrying the name of a brand I trust. However, for a product that touts itself as a Blu-Ray player, this thing has a hell of a problem actually playing them!
Let's start with what LG got right with this player. The setup is extremely easy and it includes a detailed card explaining how to update the fireware (not that it helps much). The overall design is beautiful in its simplicity. The remote is well-crafted and also includes buttons to control the power and volume on an LG HDTV. Though I bought this player purely to play Blu-Rays, it carries plenty of internet-specific features, which is always a plus.
Now, the bad: the "floating ice cubes" interface is clunky, ugly, and overly-simplistic. Several sites, including Amazon and Blu-Ray dot com, claim the BD550 will play video files (it will NOT). Worst of all, even with the latest firmware, this machine is extremely selective when it comes to Blu-Ray playback. Here's couple of personal examples: if I pressed the pause button during playback of "King Kong", without fail, it would refuse to resume playback. I could rewind, fast forward, and stop the disc. But the only way to resume to playback was to press stop, then go through the menus again and select the scene I was on.
During playback of "Anchorman", the player frequently skipped entire sections of certain chapters, at always the exact same moment during playback. My player has the latest firmware and even fiddling with the options shed little light on the subject. I suppose I could've wrangled with LG's tech support to figure out these issues, but I haven't the time nor the inclination for that nonsense. If a product doesn't work as advertised, I'll find one that will.
I'll continue to buy LG televisions, but I'll never take another look at their Blu-Ray players.
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning before purchasing,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)This particular unit, the BD550, does *NOT* support USB video playback as mentioned / advertised in the Amazon product description.
When attempting to play back a video file from USB you'll get a no sign and it will refuse the operation.
Called LG support- they promptly informed me that I purchased the wrong unit.
"Sir only audio and picture playback is supported via USB from the 550"
Only the BD570/590 support *VIDEO* playback from the USB Media Host function.
Doesn't matter the file type
BD550 will never support video file playback from the USB host.
Quite a shame given the fact the 570/590 will do it out of the box.
Mine's on it's way back to Amazon
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rarely get through a disc,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)Bought this as my first blu ray player. I have played everything from blu rays to standard discs, both new and used condition. This player will rarely play a disc from start to finish without some sort of a hiccup or an all out freeze. Very frustrating. It's going back to Amazon and I really don't recommend this player unless you are playing a brand-new disc every single time.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this!,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)I tried 3 of these - and all 3 went back to Amazon (one more reason for dealing with Amazon). It played SD videos OK, but started and stopped on blu-ray videos. LG product support said a software "update" would fix the problem - it didn't. Compatibility shouldn't have been a problem, since it was cabled to a brand new LG LED LCD.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst player - skips and pause the bluray discs,
This review is from: LG BD550 Network Blu-ray Disc Player (2010 Model) (Electronics)It didn't actually play Blu-Ray discs. Sure, they'd load up, but then it'd randomly skip trailers, get jumpy, hang up in random spots. We tried five discs, including a brand new one and had the same problem every time. I decided to just trade it in for the Panasonic bd85.
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