Top critical review
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Flawed Device That Locks Frequently.
on August 26, 2013
After my kids previous Blu-ray player gave up the ghost, I wanted to replace it with a device that also included wifi, as they like watching Netflix shows and their previous player did not have wifi access, and we don't have internet cable run into their room. I headed to Best Buy and purchased this model instead of a similarly priced Samsung model that was reported to freeze up a lot. I've now had this device for a couple of days, and will be returning it to Best Buy.
First and foremost, the player doesn't come with an HDMI cable. That for me wasn't a big deal, as I still had one hooked up to that TV that we had used with the previous player. But, if you don't have a spare HDMI cable lying around, you'll need to make sure you get that at the same time. I've gotten used to manufacturers being increasingly cheap and making you pay extra for cables or plugs, even Amazon does this with their Kindle now, where you get the USB cable but need to pay extra for the wall plug adapter.
While some people seem to have experienced issues hooking up the wifi, that just worked for me. It did not ask me for a wifi dongle, and I was able to just fill in my network settings and password and have it connect.
I did have some issues connecting to Netflix, which revolved around the fact that you use the remote to type in your username and password on the screen. In previous input screens (like for the wifi) you use the number keys like you would a phone, multiple button presses cycle you through the number and uppercase or lowercase letters. This method doesn't work on the input screen for Netflix and pushing the number button only typed the number. Trying to type your email address then becomes a baffling mystery not addressed at all in the manual. I had to do an internet search to find out that in order to access an onscreen keyboard you have to hold the OK button down for several seconds. It would have been nice if that was in the manual, especially when this device is very specifically marketed to be for Netflix usage, and even has a dedicated Netflix button on the remote control. It wasn't a huge problem, but it's a kind of glaring omission that you'd expect someone to have noticed at some point in the testing or technical writing stage.
My biggest problem with this machine, and the reason why I'm going to be returning it, is the fact that it just doesn't play like it ought to. It frequently freezes up, usually when you're trying to access a service or disc, and sometimes during playback of a disc. Sometimes it won't respond at all to commands either from the remote or pressing the Eject and On/Off buttons on the device. It has refused outright to play some of our movies, including plain old DVDs, not even/just Blu-Ray discs that I know some cheaper players can have issues with (and these discs were not dirty or scratched). In the past couple of days, I think I have unplugged this thing at least two or three dozen times, sometimes per day. I've had to unplug it as a way of turning it off on more than one occasion too, and I haven't even owned this device a week.
For what it's worth, I won't be purchasing from Best Buy again either. They've changed their return policy to be 15 days, unless you pay them for an additional extended warranty/service plan ($11+, and paying an additional 1/6th of the price of the machine seems steep). I feel lucky that my device gave me headaches so soon, so I can still return it without having to deal with that on top of everything else.
I don't expect the world from a cheap player, it's not that expensive after all (but at almost $80 it's not super cheap either, in my opinion). But at least the previous "cheap" LG machine I had for my kids' room just worked without any major issues, I had expected this one to at least play the things I wanted it to.