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981 of 995 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 18, 2011
I was pleasantly surprised with the LG BD630! You get a whole LOT for the money! I am going to try and pick this thing apart somewhat in this review , so if you are interested then Read On Mc Duff!

I purchased this unit for my 81 year old father who has taken to watching Xvid and MKV files from the internet, usually documentaries on WW2 and other history programs. Of course he also watches DVD's but has not until now delved into Blu Ray or Netflix streaming. I needed something for him that had a very easy to follow menu system and worked WELL with a minimum of glitches.

The player itself is very basic on the outside. The BD630 features an on/off , eject, play/pause and stop buttons on it's face and a USB slot covered with a little rubber trap door on the right hand side with the disc drawer in the middle. It doesn't exactly exude high build quality on first glance, but what makes this little player SO good is the software inside. (more on that very soon) Mind you, it isn't totally cheap looking and as the saying goes good things can and DO come in small packages.

This is a very small (not very deep) unit and also a very lightweight one. It came packed with a decent PRINTED manual , basic cabling (you will need an HDMI or Component cable) and a functional remote that uses only 1 AAA cell, also included. It comes with a couple of printed adverts for Netflix and even a small sticker on the top of the unit that screams NETFLIX at you. (easily removed) The power cable is attached. You get composite video out, stereo RCA audio outs , Component Video and HDMI Out , a Coax Digital Audio out and a LAN port for connecting to your home network if you wish to use the Netcast features such as Netflix and You Tube.

Being at the low end of the LG food-chain, this particular player is NOT DLNA enabled and to play your video files (other than blu ray and DVD) you must stream from a USB device be it a thumb drive or external hard drive. You can not connect this unit via the Ethernet connection to your computer. LG starts including THAT feature a few more models UP from this one. I guess that is understandable given the price point.

The connectivity is very good really, you can use this device with everything from an analogue standard TV all the way up to 1080p HDTV and your audio options are just as good with the analogue stereo outs, or the Coax digital which can handle up to 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS and the HDMI which can pass thru the uncompressed Dolby TruHD or DTS Master Audio tracks that accompany much of the blu ray releases. You can set the Video output to match your TV resolution, set picture aspect ratio to play 4:3 programs as is or to stretch them to fill your screen. The USB port can be used to connect a USB thumb drive or even an external hard drive. It isn't too picky about the formatting of the drive and can also support up to 4 drive partitions. That alone is amazing for the price and a nice touch.

This brings me to my first and only MAJOR complaint about this machine. It is SO lightweight than when you plug in your USB drive or cable to it, the unit itself tends to push backwards. Perhaps adding some non slip little rubber feet to the bottom with a couple drops of super glue would easily solve that.

Just be aware that if you are not careful, you run the risk of knocking the thing over when accessing that feature. Note: To access any BD Live features you may wish to download and view, a USB drive is required as there apparently is minimal onboard memory. I personally disable BD Live on every machine I have as this tends to slow loading times.

Set up took less than two minutes after connections were made. The machine boots quickly. Easily as quickly as my Oppo BDP-80. Things got VERY interesting when I loaded a Java heavy Blu Ray disc and it loaded VERY quickly. I can honestly say this machine loads a Blu Ray disc FASTER than my Oppo (a nice fast machine) and that blew me away just to see it happen. Playback was as expected. GREAT! DVD up-conversion to 1080p was average for a new machine today, but better than average for machines only a year or so old. And the disc tray itself is solid and goes in and out without any sort of loud rattle of worrisome grinding noises. (a complaint for some Oppo BDP-80 and 83 users)

The Netflix GUI is about the same as on the current crop of LG TV's. Your performance is going to depend more on your internet connection and speed than the LG software which in my opinion is very good. Navigating my Instant Queue was a bit sluggish but I have the same problem on ANY of my Netflix enabled devices. Once you start playback and it loads, things work just the way you would expect and want them to.

It is noteworthy to mention I had NO problems at all playing DVD-R and CD-R discs. Discs containing Xvid and other video file types also loaded quickly and played perfectly. Just for fun I put in a region free Pal disc and it spit it back out with an on screen message telling me it was the wrong region. (I had to try) So basically, this thing will play ANYTHING I or my Dad owns EXCEPT for Pal. OH well, you can't have everything!

Basically, it works and works well. You can update the firmware via the LAN port or by downloading from the LG site and burning a disc or putting it on a USB drive which is what I did before attempting to play anything. Time will tell if LG continues to support this machine with further firmware updates as they become needed to play some of the more Java intensive titles such as the new Alien discs. If updating firmware intimidates you, find someone you know who is an old hand at it and let THEM do it so you don't accidentally 'brick' your player. Really, it isn't that difficult. (just don't turn the machine off while updating)

I personally own an LG 47 inch LE 5400 television and as expected the software in the BD630 is almost identical for playing computer files, mp3's looking at photos, etc. IN some aspects , they have improved the software and I was duly impressed. It is smooth, easy to see what you are doing with logically laid out screens , easy to identify the individual file names and the transport controls are solid and responsive when playing everything from an Xvid to a 720p or 1080i Mkv file. We didn't have any 1080p files to test so I can only speak for the others. They all loaded reasonable fast and played glitch free. Pause and resume worked perfectly. You can access the info screen while playing the file. Audio synch was a non issue. Basically this is everything a person could want in local media file playback. (6-7-11 EXCEPT playing Divx files, see my update below) Try as I could, I encountered NO glitches of any type other than having to set our Harmony remote response time to shorter as it was giving double commands for the left and right direction buttons.

Just the local media file playing ability of this unit alone is worth the purchase price. Add THAT with great Blu Ray playback, VERY fast loading times (depends on the Blu Ray title as some discs will load quicker than others) more than decent DVD up-conversion , Netflix streaming and much more and I think LG has a winner at a price point you just can't argue with. I remember just a few years ago Sony was selling their flagship Blu Ray Player for 999.00 and it didn't do 25% of what THIS machine can do. Good stuff and a FULL one year warranty for Parts AND Labor!

Oh yeah, my 81 year old father is having NO trouble making this thing work at all. I just caught him playing a HD video file that he had loaded himself and I thought to myself "now THAT is user friendly" !! If I run into any future problems or software glitches with this thing I will update this review and add whatever else I have learned.

UPDATE 5-13-11 The LG is still going strong. We have yet to run into any file that will not play and unlike some reviewers have not experienced any player malfunctions with standard DVD playback including my Lord of The Rings extended editions. NO freezes, disc jams or failure to loads encountered so far. I still stand by my earlier statement regarding the Blu Ray disc load times. They ARE faster than my Oppo BDP-80 which is pretty fast to begin with.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 6-7-11 I found out the hard way last night that this player does NOT support any Divx files. I should have read the spec sheet more carefully as they do not list Divx as a supported codec. SO if you want to play any Divx encoded files you will need to 'trans-code' them using a program like 'Handbrake' or 'Any Video Converter' which is MY favorite (freeware) and change it into a codec the player DOES recognize. I was surprised to find this out as my LG HDTV WILL PLAY files with the Divx file extension. Go figure! SO FAR this is the ONLY type of video file I have run into that will not play. (Apparently LG didn't want to pay the licensing fee to Divx)

FINAL UPDATE 9-20-11 Just wanted to say this LG player is still going strong and plays the new Blu Ray Star Wars set without issue or glitch. For the money I'm convinced it's a real bargain. My 81 year father has been happily playing Xvids, MKV and H264 files easily like he has been doing it all his life and has not once come to me for any help with a disc or file that won't load. I purchased this same player for my lady friend and she gives me nothing but glowing reports. As with all electronics I am sure at some point it will be obsolete, but for now it is a solid contender and I stand by my full review. Cheers! Marty Gillis
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280 of 301 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2011
I bought this player to replace an existing BR player because I wanted the Netflix streaming. That worked perfectly when I got it and we used it for 6 weeks with no problems.
Then, it decided to update the firmware. Now it will not connect on the network. It has no error messages, nothing you can adjust (other than static IP), and you cannot revert the firmware.
I contacted LG, who are good about answering the phone. They admitted that some firmware version had a problem and had me manually upgrade. That did not help.
I contacted Netgear and through the logs from the router, they say the player is generating a lot of crc errors.
I contacted LG again and they had me send it to them. They sent it back with a note saying that they saw no problem. I tried it and still no luck. So, it is worthless for the purpose.
I have no idea if this would work better with another vendor's networking, but I have 20 different kinds of devices connected wired and wirelessly with no problem (from PCs and Macs to PS3s and Wiis and music players and mobile devices). So, I believe that LG has made some terrible change in their firmware but will not own up to it.
So, be forewarned and be VERY careful about taking any new firmware from LG.
NEW INFO: after getting a network snooper, I was able to see that the LG is using bad DHCP messages. Some routers can accept them, but the netgear cannot (and I suspect others cannot either). I switched to static IP (and setup the assignment in the router) and now it works. You should not have to do that, but that is what it took.
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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2011
Great deal for only $125. Set up is way to easy. Plug the HDMI cable in, plug the ethernet cable in and plug the power in. Turn on the Blue-ray and you are ready to go. The menu is user friendly. Movies look great. Regular and blue-ray movies.
The interface working with Netflix is top notch. It offers the instant queue and all other choices like your on the computer. Loads very quickly with crystal clear picture.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2011
Edit - November 26, 2011
It's been a few months since my last edit so I'm checking in again.

LG took back my original defective player and sent a refurbished unit. This has been working fine for a few months. The customer service rep was going to charge $70 labor for them to take a look at it. I refused, saying I could get it new for $80 (which I could), and LG waived the fee as a "one time curtesy".

The TV's Regza link still isn't working.

The major annoyance now is the Netflix application. It works nicely for movies, but only lists up to about 100 episodes of any TV show.This is a real problem for any TV series that lasted four or more seasons. I keep hoping for a software update to fix this and the Regza link, but I am giving up hope.

I'm lowering my rating to four stars. It's not as good as my first impression, but still well worth what I paid.

Edit - August 25, 2011
Well, I'm back to comment on this item after owning it for about four months.

1. After a firmware update (not sure which one) my Regza-link from my Toshiba TV stopped working. Not a big problem but it's annoying having to use two remotes when I was using one earlier.

2. Just now, putting in a blu ray disk, the player spun up noisily for a couple of minutes, then spat out the disk with the message "check disk". Same thing with three other Blu rays that played fine at the weekend. DVDs and CDs work. Network is fine. I'll be contacting LG to see what they say about this and will come back.

Depending on the outcome, I may be changing the rating.

--- Original Review ---
This Blu-ray player has features that were premium not so long ago. For what you pay, you get a lot. Network support and Netflix is the new baseline for Blu-ray players.

Setting up the player was a breeze, as was Netflix set up. It automatically detected my 1080p TV and switched to its resolution. I haven't tried Vudu or CinemaNow yet, but I'm looking forward to trying out HDX streaming from Vudu. It also comes with YouTube, and as always with such device, search is difficult but not impossible.

The speed of opening the tray to viewing your Blu-ray disk is surprisingly fast (especially if you were one of the early adopters with an older Blu-ray player). In comparison to the Blu-ray functionality, Netflix access can seem laggy, but this is due to it having to communicate with the Netflix servers.

Remember, this is not WiFI enabled or even WiFi ready. If you need internet support, you need to have an internet connection either near the player, have the ability to string a cable to it, or buy and install a wireless access point. I was fine since my AT&T UVerse connection is right beside the TV.

One of the 1 star reviewers returned two for being defective, in that it would keep switching on after power down. This is likely due to its CEC support (eg. REGZA Link on my Toshiba TV) - it will turn on if it detects that the TV is switched to the Blu-ray input or if you keep the TV on the same input. It will remain off if you switch off the TV or choose a different input source. Or you can probably disable CEC on the TV. It's not a defect.

There are really no cons - it's a great deal if you're not concerned with what currently differentiates premium Blu-ray players, 3D or wireless. You would have paid $200-300 for this a year ago.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2011
I put this player through its paces immediately and it did not disappoint. Ethernet connection to my DSL router enabled an immediate, if very time consuming, software download and driver/system update. The user manual and quick guide enable trouble free setup and the feature set is more than adequate for limited network applications. Video and audio controls are substantial, but not overwhelming. Upscale SD DVD playback is really very good. The BD630 lives up to its good reviews and I recommend it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2011
I had a Samsung BDP4600, costing twice as much, that I returned to the factory once and worked intermittently since receipt of it over a year ago. I disposed of it! This unit boots MUCH faster and has performed flawlessly since receipt! I was leary as it was so inexpensive but---no worry!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2011
The first one of these units I purchased lasted 2.5 months before it started saying "No Disc" when inserting any DVD; it would still play a CD/BD, and if you opened and closed the tray 50 times you might get a disc to read once. I returned it to the store I purchased it from and got an identical unit. It suffered the same fate 7 weeks later but worse: it would only read Blu ray, no CD or DVD would read and would give the "No Disc" message. I've also found out that LG will only cover parts and labor for 90 days from purchase, despite having a one year "warranty."

I bought this with the intention of using it with a USB HDD to watch Divx and xvid files. The unit does not support divx. I found that 75% of what I tried to play would give a "not supported format" message. I was using a 500GB with NTFS.

I gave up and just bought a Samsung unit that played all my files just fine and has all the same functionality of this unit at a price point that was $20 less (although a less friendly remote control).

There are multiple people asking if this unit has WiFi. It does not; only ethernet. The BD640 has a wifi adapter included.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2011
Bought this to go along with my new LG 46LD550, had it up and running in a few minutes, felt like I was at the theater watching The Departed (which came with a $5 movie credit for VUDU, so I got to watch The King's Speech for free). Hasn't skipped or given me any problems since I bought it. I had no need to use the Netcast features because I've already got them on the TV. Just bought it as a basic, affordable Blu-Ray player and it hasn't let me down. Can't go wrong with this brand at this price.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2011
We were looking for a multifunctional well-priced blu-ray player that could 1) offer great picture quality; 2) play reasonably well the most popular online media formats, such as avi, mkv, mp3, mp4, etc., and 3) offer a decent Netflix streaming experience. So far the player has performed very well in each of these categories, excelling especially in maximizing the quality of watching instant movies from Netflix. It has a USB port and accepts connection to various external flash cards or hard drives and so far has played most formats (avi, mkv, etc.) that we have thrown at it. It has no wireless adapter, though, so you will need an ethernet cable to hook it up to the internet. Blu-ray movies load quickly and so does its Netcast software.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2011
I bought this a week ago and I love it. It goes great if you have an LG television because you can turn on the Tv as well. I hooked up my external harddrive to the front USB slot and it plays my divx movie files seamlessly. I really appreciate that it supports the .AVI format which is what most of my digital files are. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, no internal drive its just a simple player with great features. You can connect to Netflix super quick, and also play your old DVDs as well; win win. It is a must have for any home theater.
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