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LG BD650 Blu Ray Player Review

Review: We go hands on with the LG BD650

Introduction

Clearly some very worthy soul (albeit a globally short sighted one) knelt against the bed one night and prayed to the heavens for a Blu Ray player that cost £57 with free delivery. It seems that this selfish and morally dubious prayer was answered, because the LG BD650 2D Blu-ray player is just that. But is it a gift from above or some sort of infernal jest? We put a rusty old bear trap outside our reviewer’s office, then knocked on the door and ran like hell. Somehow he remained conscious long enough to let us know which it was…

THE SPECS

The LG BD650 is small and compact, weighing in at a standard (maybe slightly chunky) 2.3 kg. It has a quiet, innocuous presence under any TV and doesn’t draw unnecessary attention to itself. The design is perfunctory, not flashy in any way but still manages to look modern and streamlined.

Blu Ray offers high quality picture and sound, around six times higher than the average DVD, but it is worthless without an HD TV (1080p screen resolution) and up to date speaker system. For those of you considering a Blu Ray player for an older TV, you’re wasting your time, it will connect, but with no discernible increase in quality.

This is a standard, ‘vanilla’ Blu Ray player. It won’t do 3D, it won’t connect to the Internet in any way (so no apps, downloads or streaming) and it has no extras worth writing about. It does, however, have two USB ports that will play media from external hard drives, memory sticks and cameras, which is a nice addition, but pretty standard nonetheless.

THE PRICE

Less than £60 (and some even list it as low as £40) for a Blu Ray player is a bargain, (even if it’s not top of the range) and the free delivery is a real pound saver. Because it only costs £57, we won’t judge this model too harshly. The LG BD650 is an entry-level Blu Ray, nothing more, so let’s judge it on its merits, rather than its drawbacks.

THE PERFORMANCE

The first thing you’ll notice is that the LG BD650 boots up fast, really fast. This is a wonderful surprise, as most budget models take an absolute age just to recognize that there’s a disc in there somewhere. It also doesn’t make much noise during operation, there’s the odd ‘clunk!’ (Something you can expect from even the most expensive models), but other than that, its calmer than a pig in a Synagogue. Of course, there are better players, but hey, this one only cost you £50.

The sound and picture playback is nice and the upscaling is generally good as well. Annoyingly it doesn’t come with an HDMI cable, which is maybe one budget cut too many.

WHAT OTHER USERS SAY

‘M.Tidd’ on Amazon gave this player a glittering 5/5 review, one that is very worth reading in its entirety if you do want to buy this player. (S)he posits that many of the 3/5 (and lower) reviews are mainly concerned with the lack of Internet connectivity or 3D playback, which is actually an accurate assessment of quite a few of them. (S)he then goes on to say that as a budget Blu Ray, this is a really impressive product.

‘M. Kearney’ from Northern Ireland praises the generally silent running and fast boot up in a thoughtful and considered 4/5 review.

‘Nigel Mc’ offered a detailed 5/5 review, again commenting upon the quiet, smooth running of this player. He also said that it was “a breeze” to set up and use. ‘HarshLee’ was not so harsh when (s)he gave the BD650 a perfect 5/5 score, making a point of saying that it easily played all USB media (s)he could find.

On the negative side, user ‘Chris’ (no, not me!) stated that he bought one for his mother, only to find it freezing up completely at regular intervals. When he bought a replacement, the exact same thing happened. ‘Andy B’ said that the sound cuts out on his player for 5-second intervals; he replaced it only to find the exact same problem occurring. Reading between the lines, I would suggest that the HDMI connection in the LG BD650 is extremely sensitive (much more than most other devices) and this could be the reason for these faults.


Our Verdict

This is a damn good player for the price. It has its flaws (possibly a very over sensitive HDMI port), but they are rather minor when you consider the combination of bargain price, silent running, quality playback and speedy start up time. This is an excellent budget model Blu Ray player and a great choice if all you want to do is plug it in and watch HD movies in peace.

Features:

7/10

Performance:

8/10

Design:

7/10

Value:

8/10

Was: £79.99
Now: £69.99

Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk.

Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days

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Tags: blu ray player