As a Netflix subscriber wanting to upgrade to Blu-ray, I had been tempted to order the LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player with Netflix for quite a while, but the price and the limited availability of streaming Netflix titles kept holding me back. It seemed like everything I wanted to watch NOW on Netflix was only available by ordering the DVD by mail and not through the online streaming service.
Just in time for my birthday, however, the price dropped so I received the BD300 as a gift (I was asked what I wanted and this was it!).
Overall, I like the simplicity of the unit. Pop in a DVD or CD and you are automatically taken to those features. If there’s no disc in the player, the easy on-screen menu lands on the Netflix streaming option (broadband connection required). Click on it and you are presented with a list of the Netflix programs that you dropped in your Netflix “Watch Instantly” queue (through a web browser on your computer). Just click on one to start the program.
The Blu-ray playback is very good, but I wanted this unit for the Netflix streaming, too. Quality on that feature is good, about what you’d get with a VHS tape. I see a lot of promise with this feature but am absolutely frustrated with the limited number of streaming programs available. For instance, I’m watching the first season of MacGyver through streaming, but as I write this, the other seasons are not available through the streaming option. I have to order the DVDs.
In fact, very little of the Netflix library is available for instant play. I’m guessing maybe about 1% is. Most annoying. And, I would hope in future versions of this player (if there are any) that there is some feature that allows browsing available programs from the unit. Currently, you have to go to the Netflix web site on your computer to select “Watch Instantly” programs.
So, it’s a good Blu-ray player for the money, but be prepared to be disappointed with Netflix as far as program availability for the streaming feature at this time. I’ve read where LG is coming out with large screen TVs with built-in Netflix streaming, so hopefully Netflix will start ramping up their streaming content soon.
Overall I’d give the BD300 player itself 4 stars (out of 5) and the Netflix streaming feature only 3 stars, primarily because of the limited selection of programs.
C’mon, Netflix, let’s get some of the good stuff in the streaming category!