Review: LG BD690
May 19, 2011
The LG BD690 represents the high end Blu ray player from LG’s 2011 Blu ray player line up. As expected, the BD690 comes packed with features and very good overall performance. True to LG’s past Blu ray players, the BD690 comes packed with great internet streaming contents. Being one of the first to introduce internet streaming contents on the Blu ray players, LG has always been one of the top manufacturers to include internet streaming platform on their Blu ray players. The internet streaming contents added to the overall value of LG’s already great performing players.
As befitting the top of the line model, BD690 is packed with features. The Profile 2.0 player comes with 250GB internal storage. You will not need the external storage device to fully enjoy the BD-LIVE contents that require storage spaces. 250GB should be plenty for BD-LIVE contents as well as other media you want to store on the Blu ray player. Aside from the design and the internal storage, the BD690 is nearly identical to the BD670 in terms of features and performance. The BD690 is Profile 2.0 player with onboard decoding of most audio formats. It can natively decode Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, and DTS-HD Master Audio. It can also decode MP3, AC3, and AAC for your downloaded or converted music files. If you do home video editing or convert various video files, you will enjoy having the ability to play them on your BD690 without having to convert them to other standard formats. The BD690 can decode MPEG TS/PS, AVCHD, DivX, and MKV file formats. You can enjoy internet streaming contents via LG’s Smart TV platform. You can easily download and customize streaming contents via the Smart TV. Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow, YouTube, Pandora, Picasa, and AccuWeather are part of the overall platform. There are various other apps you can download as well. The BD690 comes with Built in WiFi or you can connect to internet via Ethernet port.
As befitting the top end status, the BD690 does stand out from other players in its design. It has more polished and upscale design compared to the other models. Like some of the older Sony models, the BD690 has the flip down front face plate that covers the entire frontal face of the Blu ray player. The disc tray is located on the left side of the player with playback buttons and LCD on the right side. The USB port is also located beneath the playback buttons. While nothing radical, the flip down front face plate does add some class to the overall design. The included remote control is pretty standard affair. The button layout is logical and big enough for most people.
Performance and Video
In terms of performance and overall speed, the BD690 is nearly identical to the BD670. The overall video processing of Blu ray and DVD discs were flawless. The usual video defects like moiré, jaggieness, or motion blur were absent from the playback. The DVD upscaling was also very good. You will be hard pressed to differentiate between the BD670 and BD690 in video processing. The slower than expected loading and operational speed is present on the BD690 as it did on BD670. You can definitely see some slowness compared to other 2011 Blu ray models from Sony or Panasonic. Never the less, it is not as bad as first or second generation loading speeds. It is still very competent player even with little slowness.
There were no problems with audio processing. All the formats decoded without any problem. The high definition audio formats all decoded without any problems. MP3, AAC, and AC3 all played perfectly. I’ve yet to see any player that really had problem with audio decoding in 2010 or 2011 models. You shouldn’t have any problem with this player either.
The BD690 is an impressive player with built in storage. You can rip CDs directly to the hard drive on the player as well. You might have problem with copy right protected media to rip properly. Otherwise, it is a great feature to have. Also, the BD690 is a DLNA certified device if you are looking for a proper networking of the devices. The BD690 can be bought for around $280 at this time. However, if you don’t really need the internet streaming or the internal storage space, you can easily buy the lower end model and still end up with a stellar Blu ray player.
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