Price: $350 At A Glance: Blazing-fast loading of discs, even on Java-intensive titles • Netflix, YouTube, and CinemaNow streaming • Built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi
Established in South Korea in 1958 under the name of Goldstar, LG Electronics has been manufacturing home appliances and electronics for more than 50 years. In 1995, it acquired Zenith (the company that invented the remote control) and started to gain market share in North America with cell phone technology, digital set-top boxes, and televisions. When the format war was in full swing in 2007, LG became the Switzerland of electronics companies by releasing the BH100 dual-format Blu-ray/HD DVD player. It received tepid reviews due primarily to playback glitches on HD DVDs, but you have to admire the company for attempting to appeal to a wider range of consumers.
Thankfully, with the format war behind us, manufacturers can concentrate on making great Blu-ray players, and LG hasn’t stopped its innovation. It was the first to release a BD player with Netflix streaming (BD300) and has upped the ante with its latest player by adding YouTube, CinemaNow, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.