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LG BD690 3D WiFi Blu Ray Player Review

More and more Blu-ray players are coming out with extra features that help differentiate them from other models on the market. The key selling point of the LG BD690 is the fact that it comes with an internal hard drive and CD ripping capabilities. But are these features enough to justify the higher price tag?

Key Specs For The LG BD690 3D WiFi Blu Ray Player

Retail: $349.99
3D Ready
Wi-Fi? Yes
Online Streaming Services: Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Pandora
BD Live? Yes
USB? Yes
Dimensions:16.9 x 9.8 x 2 inches

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LG BD690 3D WiFi Blu Ray Player Review The Pros

Built in Hard Drive For CDs: The major selling point of the BD690 is the fact that it comes with a 250GB hard drive included. This is designed to let you rip as many as 400 CDs right to the device. This helps to save space instead of storing physical CDs in your living room, it means that you have access to your whole music collection in one place, and it's also easy to browse thanks to the fact that it automatically downloads track lists and album art to the player when connected to the internet.
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Although this is a useful feature, depending on your needs, there are a few problems with it. Firstly, it isn't that clear how to rip your CDs to the player. The menu doesn't show any ripping option, instead it's hidden under the info menu after you've inserted a CD. The process is also slowed down by the fact that you need to choose your settings each and every time you insert a new CD.

3D Compatible: Even if you don't yet have a 3D TV, the fact that this Blu-ray player includes 3D means you'll be ready for the future.

Streaming Media Services: The LG BD690 comes with a number of media streaming services built into the device, including Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Video, MLB.TV and Pandora. The interface is among the best you'll find on a Blu-Ray player, meaning that you can easily find what you're looking for. Considering the fact that a streaming media player can cost $100 or more on its own, finding a Blu-ray player with these services built in can save you some money if you know you want them.

Connectivity: There are plenty of different connections built into the LG BD690, including a USB port built onto the front for easy access. There's also an HDMI port, optical and coaxial digital audio ports, component video output and stereo analog outputs.
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Wi-Fi is integrated into the machine, so you don't need to purchase a separate dongle as with some players. This makes things easier to set up right out of the box, but you can also use the Ethernet connection if you don't have a wireless home network.

Disc Loading Time: The disc loading time on the BD690 is reasonably good. Although there are players on the market with faster loading times, this is still good for a Blu-ray player, meaning you won't have to wait long before you can start watching.

Design: Although the LG BD690 is a little on the chunky side (see below), the design itself still remains quite sleek. This is helped by the fact that there are no buttons on the front: they're all hidden by the flip-down door.

LG BD690 3D WiFi Blu Ray Player Review The Cons

Price: The BD690 is expensive when compared to other Blu-ray players on the market. If you simply wanted a device to play Blu-ray discs and nothing else, you'd be better off shopping elsewhere. However, it's the CD ripping feature and included hard drive that bumps the cost of this player up, so it's worth it if you have a need for the functions.

Size: When compared to the most modern Blu-ray players now available to buy, the BD690 certainly looks big and chunky. Many Blu-ray players are half the width, making them a lot easier to slide on top of a shelf in your living room. That said, this particular model does house a 250GB hard drive, so it makes sense for it to be bigger.

Remote Control: Although the layout of the remote control on the LG BD690 is good, and easy to find your way around, there are a few things wrong with it. Firstly, there's no button for ripping CDs. As mentioned above, this makes the whole process quite clunky and means you have to do a bit of searching before you realize where the option is. There's also no shortcut button for accessing the Smart TV functions.

The good news is that you can take advantage of the iPad/ iPhone/ Android app and control your Blu-ray player that way. However, you can't use it to input text for searching within Netflix and other media streaming services, which is a drawback as it'll make finding specific shows slower.

Is The LG BD690 3D WiFi Blu Ray Player Worth Buying?

The LG BD690 is unique in the world of Blu-ray players. The included CD ripping feature, plus 250GB hard drive, means that it can be a useful place to store all of your CDs in your living room. That said, most of us by now already own MP3 players to do the same thing. It really depends on your need for this specific feature as to whether the BD690 is worth buying or not. After all, it does cost around $100 more than similar Blu-ray players without the CD ripping.

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The Perks of Blu Ray and Blu Ray Players
Picture Quality
Superior high def resolution is a huge element of the reason why Blu Ray movies look excellent. This means you'll see a much more detailed picture: much more clearly defined features of people faces, colors of nature, close ups of wrinkles, facial imperfections, etc. The technological distinction is that Blu Ray's maximum resolution is 1920 x 1080 (1080p), while DVD is restricted to 720 x 480 (480p). Further than image resolution, Blu Ray additionally employs much better video-compression methods, producing much more contrast as well as better colors. It truly is the best quality of video you can get inb the market today, with a comparable, if note better than picture that you get at the movies, when the Blu Ray player is used in conjunction with an HDTV.

Audio Quality
Audio quality is also much better. New high-resolution soundtrack formats, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, are basically the same as the studio master, consequently you will be hearing sounds just as the director and audio editors designed.

Special Features
Blu Ray also has extra unique functions that DVD never did. The most basic innovation is the pop-up menu, allowing one to access the menu features as the movie keeps playing. Also, there is BD-Live, picture-in-picture video commentary, Internet connectivity, including models with built-in Wifi for streaming movies, videos, tv shows and all kinds of media from the Web.

Main Blu Ray Features
While most basic features of Blu Ray Players are the same, there are some specific things to consider when buying a player, especially, Internet connectivity options.

Player Options for Connecting to Internet
There are several options, depending on the player model and brand, for linking up your smart Blu-ray player to the Internet

  • A wired connection using Ethernet cable
  • Built-In Wifi Connection on the Player
  • A wireless connection using a compatible wireless adapter
  • A connection using power line Ethernet adapters
WiFi Built In - Smart Blu Ray Players - Connect to Internet and stream movies, music, TV shows and more with WiFi built in.
WiFi Ready - Means the Wifi is not built in and you will need an adapter of some sort to connect.
BD-Live is a Blu-ray feature that enables you to access content, features and activities via your smart Blu-ray player. On some movies you'll be able to download a variety of up-to-date content (for example, refreshed previews and exclusive special features). There are also a host of next generation possibilities, such as ringtone/wallpaper downloads, peer-to-peer interactions, live events and gaming activities. For example, on the Blu Ray version of Julie & Julia with BD-Live, you can bookmark Julia Child's actual recipes while you watch the movie. At the end of the film, you can e-mail yourself the recipes, pretty cool!
Bonus View
The Bonus View and lets you play back picture-in-picture content, which allows for a second video and audio stream.

Playing DVD's
The transition from DVD to Blu Ray is an easy one since all Blu Ray players play standard DVD discs. Actually, each and every Blu Ray player is also an upconverting DVD player.

Buying Cheap Blu Ray Players

There are some great ways to save money on Blu Ray players and that is by avoiding retail stores and shopping online. Cheap Blu ray players are plentiful and can really be a great alternative to spending too much at the stores. Some of the top brands of Blu Ray players can cost you as much $300, with brands like LG, Sony, Samsung and other industry leaders invemting bigger and better models regularly causing retail prices to skyrocket. Stop wasting your money and buy cheap Blu Ray players here, always bid and buy with confidence, with buyer feedback and ratings for sellers.

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