“ Brand: LG Electronics „
This past Christmas, I decided to buy my husband a Blu Ray player. Not that he's really into Blu Rays over DVDs but I know that he really wanted the Star Wars box set on Blu Ray. After quite a lot of looking online, I went with the LG BP125 model which was £49.99 at the time of purchase. I had no experience whatsoever with Blu Ray discs or players so I really didn't know what I was looking for when I bought this. However, it seemed to get good reviews and it was a good price.
== What comes in the box ==
The player comes in a standard box for this kind of product with the actual unit cased in polystyrene so it doesn't move about. Inside the box was the unit, AC adaptor, small remote control and a very basic instructions manual. I say manual but really this is a fold out piece of paper which doesn't give the largest amount of information. When folded up the paper is A5 sized while it is A2 sized when unfolded. It is printed on both sides but tells the buyer to go to the LG website to download the full owner's manual. I think it is a bit cheap to not include the full manual as it means either printing it out or saving it to a computer if you wanted it.
Another thing that is quite frustrating is that you don't get everything you need to use this Blu Ray player straight away. The player does not come with a HDMI cable which is necessary for using it. Without it, you have a box you cannot use. Luckily, you do get one AAA battery with the player which is for the remote control. The control is small with plenty of buttons but luckily they are all spaced out quite well and so far, I have never had a problem with pushing the wrong one. They are also clearly marked so you can see what you are pressing.
The player itself is quite a bit smaller than I had expected it to be and at 19.8 x 27 x 3.9 cm, it is a fair bit smaller than your average DVD player. It is also extremely light and weighs 1.6 Kg. The player is easy to move about should you want to change where it is or what room it is being used in and it is also easy to pick up when you want to clean around and underneath it. The player is made from black plastic but it seems to be quite robust. As it is light, it can easily be placed on top of other devices such as DVD players or modem etc, without it being too heavy to sit on top.
== Initial set up ==
Firstly, lets assume that you have a HDMI cable already when you go to set up the BP125. Pretty much, you plug in the player and connect the right ends of the HDMI cable to the right places. One end in the HDMI out port in the back of the player and one end in the HDMI in port in your television. After turning the player on, you are required to set the language. This is explained on the instructions leaflet and it tells you which buttons you'll need to press on your remote. It is all extremely simple. After that, you're ready to watch whatever you like.
== Using the player ==
The player either turns on by a button on the remote control or on the unit itself. The unit only has two buttons (on/ off and eject) so it would be very hard to be confused as to which one to push. Next to the on/ off button on the unit is the eject button so pressing one then the other will turn the unit on and open the disc tray ready for you to pop in a disc. The disc opens nearly silently and in a really smooth motion. I have accidentally pressed the button on the remote a couple of times and not noticed the tray was open until I looked at it.
Once you have a disc in the player, you can choose the movie option from the main menu and it will play straight away. The BP125 does also have other features though and you are able to do much more than play Blu Ray and DVD discs. The front of the player has a USB port and you can connect external hard drives and memory sticks. If you want to use either of these, you choose the USB option from the main menu instead of movie. The player supports DivX so you are able to watch movies downloaded from the internet or bought from iTunes etc. You can also play music stored on a hard drive or see photos you have taken on your big screen. This was partly why I chose this model compared to others as I have loads stored on an external hard drive and I wanted to be able to watch them on the television.
Blu Ray and HD are supposed to give a crisper, more defined picture than regular television or DVDs. I have to say that I was certainly impressed with the quality of everything with this Blu Ray player. Films and television programs were much better quality than if we had watched them on cable or through a DVD player. I didn't really think that a Blu Ray player would make such a difference but it really has. I couldn't believe the difference in quality. But, there is a reason why DVDs are £10 and Blu Ray players aren't.
Now comes the problems. We bought quite an expensive HDMI cable as I didn't want anything to go wrong. Whenever we play anything on this player, whether it be a DVD, Blu Ray or file on external hard drive, it skips to blue screens. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't but most of the time it does. It can be in intervals of every couple of minutes or every couple of seconds. Obviously, this seriously interrupts our viewing and is an absolute pain. We initially thought maybe it was a problem with the HDMI cable after doing a bit of research online so we bought another one. The skipping kept on happening. After multiple emails to LG, we still have no idea why the skipping happens. We have gotten through a couple of things without it skipping to the blue screen once but I think that was just a fluke. Now, we have to get someone from LG to pick up our BP125 and take it away to hopefully repair whatever might be wrong with it.
== Overall ==
While I like the actual BP125, the playback is absolutely terrible for the price we paid. As I said, we have barely been able to get through watching anything without it skipping to the dreaded blue screen. Nothing we have done, or that LG have suggested have fixed the problem so I hope we just got a dud unit and this isn't the case with more of them!