I have come late to the Blu ray party. Like most HD junkies I was patiently waiting for the battle between HDDVD and Blu-ray to be won, which it was in convincing fashion in 2008. Now I have arrived at the party with martini in hands, I’m happy to be here. What I have ended up with is an LG BD300 Blu-ray player with integrated Netflix streaming capabilities. If you’ve dismissed Blu-ray or streaming video you owe it to yourself to investigate this. What’s sitting in my entertainment facility nowadays is proof positive we have reached an age in which even stupid people can be dangerous with technology.
For starters, Netflix has always seemed like an alien idea to me. I hate using snail mail. Now don’t buy me wrong, I think that the US Postal service is the best bargain to be had on the world. Paying someone a few dozen pennies to hand have a sheet of paper across the nation is a wonderful deal. However, it is the major reason that I never signed up for a Netflix account. It looks like a huge hassle.
But, the built in Netflix streaming capabilities in the Blu ray professional had me fascinated. Because my XBOX is not on my main television viewing, I did not go that route after it was implemented last month on XBOX live. The surprise was just how easy of a set up this complete outfit ended up to be. It’s proof positive that even the world’s most tech-ignorant goon could be harmful with technology.
First, the greatest invention in the story of humankind to this issue is HDMI. Had I been the guiding hands in the evolution of male, I’d have skipped the wheel and also been straight for HDMI. For every woeful male that has invested a sizable part of his living moving entertainment centers and spending hours untangling wires, rerouting speakers, and basically contemplating committing suicide because of it, HDMI is great. One cable. Video. Sound. Perfect. I am not sure that there’s virtually any real quality improvement in the photograph over the old DVI format, but the hassle element is beyond measure.
Lets walk through the steps of establishing this monstrosity up.
I removed my progressive scan upconverting regular DVD player, making the HDMI cable in position. Replacing it with the Blu ray was simple. The entire time it took was a couple minutes running the power cable and the LAN cable (to use the streaming Netflix features).
Providing network connectivity was another step. No LAN interface in the family room of mine and no wireless assistance on the Blu-ray player meant that I had to purchase a Netgear Powerline system extender into an outlet near my TV. The Netgear device was very easy to install. There’s no software required for this, basically plug the transmitter into a power outlet close to the router, hardwiring it with a LAN cable to a receptive router port, then the receiver into a power outlet near the TV and run a LAN cable to the back of the Blu-ray player. The wireless extender required absolutely no soft set up. They immediately connected to my network and happened to be up and prepared to go. In truth, I make use of the phrase “transmitter” loosely. Both boxes are the same, whichever one you plug into the medialink wireless router becomes the “transmitter”. The initial financial investment was in the Netgear XE104 that functions using the power circuits in the home of yours.
The moment I booted the Blu Ray participant it had some difficulty locating the community when I went to the Netflix choice in the root menu. This was resolved quickly enough by moving into the system set up and re-affirming it as a “dynamic IP.” I am assuming this merely pushed the DVD player to restore it’s IP address. As soon as I’d network connectivity, it immediately informed me that there was clearly an update on the Netflix software program and it took less than a second to download.
I had taken the leap and went online and signed up for the Netflix 2 week trial on the $8.99 strategy, the lowest unlimited weight loss plan they offer. Although first two days are totally free along the trial, it did require credit/debit card information. In addition, it calls for you put the Netflix device ID on the Blu-ray player in when you sign up online. Quite simple, once the Netflix upgrade downloaded it gave me the ID on screen. Within seconds of entering the ID into the Netflix website the player informed me that it was authorized.
The $8.99 program entitles you to put up to 9 films in your Netflix queue, 6 of which can be streaming picks. Only selected titles are on the market for streaming to the device of yours, and almost none are new releases, however this plan allows you to do mail as well as streaming in any mixture. Film streaming vf can still find thousands of streaming titles. Once you complete the sign up, you can add any “instant titles” into your queue and they show up soon in your DVD player Netflix selection. From the player’s menu you can also take out the films within your Netflix queue instantly or even hope between several features on similar title. It is actually incredibly cool.
All-around, from not having the seals on the boxes broken to build and ready to go was about fifteen minutes. Another noteworthy plus on the LG BD300 is that it that my Toshiba LCD picks up the point that the Blu-ray player continues to be turned on and automatically adjusts the input setting on my television over to it. I discovered this particularly interesting because the this wasn’t the situation with my LG upconverting standard def DVD player, connected to the exact same input and making use of the same HDMI cable.
The distinction between the upconverting 1080P standard DVD and also the Blu ray is considerable. The Hi Def picture is far better than you get through your cable or satellite provider (most networks aren’t broadcasting 1080p but anyway). The very first disc we watched in Blu ray on our 52inch Toshiba LCD was The Dark Knight, which was stunning. The IMAX sequences, mainly the lengthy cityscapes, were mind-bogglingly sharp. It is really an ideal first choice film to get started with.
Pixar’s Wall E was another mindblowingly well-defined presentation. It’s peculiar today that if you have a seat and watch a film like Wall-E, you are watching a product that in spite of being referred to as a “film” truly had absolutely no film involved. Straight digital transfer to a 1080P image that is sharper than the 3rd blade of a brand new cartridge in my Gillette Fusion Razor.
With all the lessons of XBox Live/Netflix issues conveyed in the content referenced above, I did start to be somewhat concerned about the picture quality of the Netfix streaming. And sure enough, the very first film into the queue of mine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, was not providing us HD quality.
Here it came as described, the “cheesecloth” quality video, suddenly I was watching YOUTUBE on my big screen TV. It was very disappointing. Then about thirty minutes into the beginning of the movie, we lost relationship completely. I was getting steamed about the stream of mine. I went back the DVD player HOME menu and re entered the Netflix queue of mine and then tried to start Spotless Mind where we left off of. Then, suddenly poof, the signal meter zipped all the way up informing me that I was becoming total HD quality. We watched the remainder of the film as well as the picture quality seemed ok.
Subsequently though, every title we chosen looked as hell. After doing a bit of research I found the many tech sites as Endgadget basically said the Netgear XE104 typically could not deal with the bandwidth of an HD signal and in average operating conditions tried by the reviewers generally didn’t really manage the bandwidth for regular def quality.
Further investigation led me on the XDH111, Netgear’s greatest and latest powerline Ethernet adapter tested to as well as promoted to handle the bandwidth of an HD signal. The practical advantage of this was that not just did I get to upgrade to a much better device, but it was $10.00 cheaper at Fry’s Electronics than the substandard XE104 was at Best Buy, where it was originally invested in. Fry’s in store had it for $119.99. The lowest I could find online was $113.99. Good classic Fry’s Electronics.
The XDH111 improved the situation instantly. The signal meter shot to it is highest for the first HD title we streamed and also to the best level of the standard def point on the non HD titles. The Hi-Def titles look impressive over the Netflix streaming, although standard def titles still appear a tad soft although the signal meter on the player is showing the best signal. I’m going to experiment by transferring the location of the Netgear station to a different location in my house on similar electrical circuit as the professional – fortunately, I’ve some options here because I’ve hardwired Ethernet jacks at several locations in the home of mine.
Stupidly, when I built the house 5 years back, I never considered requiring an Ethernet jack behind my TV. I really mean, after all, game consoles wouldn’t offer online play and there is no reason to end up with a computer in my living room…Ugh, what an idiot I was.
As for Netflix, though new releases are typically unavailable for streaming, there’s one large piece of the Netflix instant queue which I immediately zeroed in on: TV Box Sets galore. I could get new and classic Doctor Who, thirty Rock, The Office (both the UK and US versions), Charles in Charge, Heroes, The Tick (the live action series)….you name it, and there it was immediately watchable on my TV. In my eyes, which requires installing a bedpan and refrigerator in my family room couch. For $8.99 per month this is potentially the discount of the century (next to the US Postal service). In truth, I simply enjoyed watching the pilot episode of The Tick, that I had not seen since, well…since the damned thing originally aired. I also noticed the they had Heroes Season three available for streaming even though it’s not available on DVD yet as well as the season’s not over. Probably the most recent episode is nearly a week or perhaps two behind.
I guess I’m nonetheless of the viewpoint that Netflix by mail is going to be a significant pain in the ass, but we will certainly be giving that your shot with newer releases.
I have to say that now’s the time. Blu-ray is a phenomenal thumbs up. Oddly enough though, I would have to say that this big streaming Netflix characteristic may be a little more beneficial than the disc player itself. It’s good to have both. If you have FIOS or a Wideband Cable connection (Docsis 3.0) you have to be set. I’ve neither at this time, but I’m still able to get HD quality across, but I picture we are on the cusp of the bandwidth not anymore being a problem for HD streaming. Time to sell your kids off for scientific experimentation and finance yourself a Blu ray Home entertainment system.
On a side note, there have been some moments in which the investment in a PS3 was considered as opposed to a standalone Blu ray, but in all of honesty, I’m not sure I would need to stop the Netflix option, especially with the small number of PS3 exclusive titles which usually intrigue at the moment. Also, it’s an additional check mark on the list of horrific mistakes that Sony continues to create with the advertising and marketing of the PS3. Netflix needed works with Microsoft and Sony. They did not give a flying flip exactly how they got the content of theirs into the house. Sony’s John Koller basically told them to have a flying leap. “Our consumers like to own the content,” he commented. What the hell?
Effectively, with the $10.00 I saved upgrading 2 products levels higher on the Network Adapter I managed to pick up Evil Dead 2 on Blu-ray on sale for $9.99. Thank you Fry’s Electronics! I am dining with Bruce Campbell tonight.