The LG BD300 is a feature-packed Blu-ray Disc player, with BD-Live, a USB port for viewing multimedia. For the cost, though, we expected better-looking images.

In the Test Centre's evaluation, our judges tended to score the LG BD300's image output as Good or Very Good, but we noticed some issues. For example, we thought the scenes we looked at from the 1956 western 'The Searchers' showed too much contrast, while another judge noted artifacts in the sky.

The LG BD300 did its best with the black-and-white 'Good Night and Good Luck' and the animated 'Cars', and its worst when converting standard DVDs to 1080p. We noted in those tests that nothing about the image really popped, while another judge complained that the colours appeared lifeless.

Blu-ray players have a reputation for responding to commands like Gallipolis turtles. So it's nice to note that the LG BD300 took less than 40 seconds to load and start playing a Blu-ray Disc (most take more than a minute, and some more than two). We noticed no lag when we paused in a movie, and only a slight one when skipping chapters.

The LG BD300's native support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD lets you enjoy those high-quality soundtracks even if your amplifier doesn't natively support them.

The LG BD300's on-screen setup menu is bright, colourful, and reasonably easy to use. It would be even easier if it explained its options. If you don't want to guess what terms like 'Primary Pass-Thru' mean, keep the manual handy when you set up the player.

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The remote control is fairly well designed for your fingers, and it is programmable. But the LG BD300 offers no way for you to see the buttons in the dark.

Other extras include integrated BD-Live support for accessing the extra content available for some discs, as well as a USB port - conveniently placed in the front panel - for viewing your own pictures and music, plus storing your BD-Live data. But you have to bring your own drive for use with BD-Live, since the LG BD300 has no memory built in.

PCWorld.com

LG BD300: Specs

  • Blu-ray, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, CD, MP3 playback, JPEG image playback
  • HDMI, optical, ethernet, component video
  • HDMI upscaling
  • progressive scan
  • Dolby Digital Plus
  • Dolby True HD
  • DTS HD
  • playback discs in 1080i screen resolution
  • playback discs in 1080p screen resolution
  • CD-RW playback
  • CD-R playback
  • DivX compatible playback
  • 18/0.9watts :in use/powered-down power consumption
  • 58x277x430mm
  • Blu-ray, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, CD, MP3 playback, JPEG image playback
  • HDMI, optical, ethernet, component video
  • HDMI upscaling
  • progressive scan
  • Dolby Digital Plus
  • Dolby True HD
  • DTS HD
  • playback discs in 1080i screen resolution
  • playback discs in 1080p screen resolution
  • CD-RW playback
  • CD-R playback
  • DivX compatible playback
  • 18/0.9watts :in use/powered-down power consumption
  • 58x277x430mm

OUR VERDICT

If the price were a little lower, or the image quality more consistent, the LG BD300 would be a knockout. As it stands, it's a solid player.

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