LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Player Comparisons & Conclusion
The BD300 shares many features with the Samsung BD-P1500 and the Sony BDP-S350. Pricing is comparable, though the LG is slightly less at $349. The Netflix feature is the big plus, especially for existing Netflix members, though it needs some upgrading to rival disc-based content. (According to LG, the streaming content is intended to supplement its disc-based library, but quality is quality no matter where it comes from.)
The LG tested a bit better than the Sony when upconverting standard DVDs, while the Sony tested better on all the jaggies test patterns. However, in a real-world comparison, they seem to be on par with each other. The BD300 is a quality source device, and with a price tag $50 less than the Sony and Samsung as well as Netflix streaming, the balance tips toward the LG in my view. That said, I would recommend using an external video processor or even the internal processor of your display for better video performance, particularly when upconverting standard DVDs.
You don't need a crystal ball to see that streaming and downloadable media are the next generation in home entertainment. So, like the PS3, which combines a game console, a Blu-ray player, and the Playstation Store in one device, the LG BD300 bundles divergent content (Blu-ray, Netflix, access to photos and music) into a single unit, delivering more value and functionality. This makes it a compelling choice.
Still, Netflix streaming has a way to go before I would consider it a worthy option. I've been called an HD snob, and I own up to that characterization. I look forward to evaluating the Netflix feature again when HD content is available. Now, if you are already a Netflix user, and you don't mind watching SD video, the BD300 is probably a slam dunk for you.
Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA bitstreams
High-quality decoding of Dolby TrueHD
Streams content from Netflix
Least-expensive dedicated Blu-ray player
USB access to media files
No DTS-HD MA decoding
Deinterlacing and upconversion tested poorly
Netflix streaming is SD only; limited titles