LG Electronics forges ahead with its initiative to meld streaming content with Blu-ray playback. At the Consumer Electronics Show Wednesday, the company introduced two Blu-ray players that offer access to on-demand streaming content from Netflix, CinemaNow, and YouTube. LG also took the wraps off three new Blu-ray Disc Home Theater Systems.
The new players are the LG BD370 and LG BD390 Network Blu-ray Disc Players, which are follow-ups to the BD300 released last fall. That player let you access streaming content from Netflix; the new players all feature LG's "NetCast Entertainment Access" for on-demand streaming content from Netflix, CinemaNow, and YouTube. Millions of YouTube videos can be accessed via the players and the nterface makes it easy to search, preview, and watch YouTube videos.
All of the new models support BD-Live. Among the standalone players; the BD370 requires you to bring your own 1GB flash memory drive for use with BD-Live, while the BD390 comes with 1GB of on-board memory. Both of these models support Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential; and both have a USB port for viewing multimedia files via a mass storage drive. The BD390 adds wireless networking and discrete 7.1 channel audio outputs. No pricing as yet, but the BD370 is expected in the second quarter of 2009, while the BD390 is due out in the third quarter of 2009.
The new home theater systems are the LG LHB954, the LHB977, and the LHB979. The LG Network Blu-ray Home Theater System LHB954 features BD-Live support, a 1000W 5.1 channel spherical speaker system, as well as NetCast Entertainment Access, Netflix streaming, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential, and iPod Direct Docking. This system is due in the second quarter of 2009.
The LHB977 adds two HDMI inputs; and the LHB979 bumps the 1000W speakers up a notch thanks to two wireless rear satellite speakers and an overall loudspeaker design by Mark Levinson.