LG BH100 Combo Player Quick Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 368 Old 01-19-2007, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, got my LG BH100 today to review, and there are some pro's and con's, and some of the con's are pretty damn big, and not the one thing everyone has complained about: iHD or HDi.

Pro's:

1) EXTREMELY fast. The power-on time destroys the Samsung, Panny, Pioneer and Sony, and definitely the HD-A2 as well. The load times are on par if not faster than all as well for both HD-DVD and BD.
2) Ease of use. Very easy to setup and use. Picture quality is outstanding at 1080i and 1080p.

Con's:

1) Cheap build quality like the HD-A2
2) No ethernet for direct networking or updating. The RJ-45 is a service port only.
3) No 24P (at least for now)
4) Even though this is the first player with DTS-HD MA decoding internally, LG screwed the pooch as the HD decoding only decodes 2-channel over HDMI. Only the 5 analog outs decode 5.1 for HD. This should be an easy fix via firmware, but again, this is the biggest mistake I have seen on any of the players, as this was a bigger plus to me even than HD-DVD playback so I could enjoy Fox and MGM BDs with lossless compression over LPCM 5.1, but nope. I won't go back to analog out's when I have a preamp that can decode LPCM 5.1 over HDMI.
5) DD+ again is only 2-channel PCM over HDMI when set to PCM. It is decoded as DD legacy when set to bitstream. Plus must also be decode and sent to the analog outs to get 5.1.
6) DD True HD is also 2 channel PCM, and that does NOT change even on the analog outs. Again, as with plus and DTS-HD, this should be able to fixed just the A1 series was upgraded with a firmware upgrade.
7) No HD-DVD interactive support. This is really not a big deal for at least me, as I RARELY watch supplemental features, even though the Warner and Universal interactivity is pretty cool. The LG pre-renders an overlay menu on titles with the HDi layer, and it still does allow for scene selection, audio, play and the norms.

This player could be great if it got a quick firmware update, but for now, I wouldn't buy it unless you have no use for advance audio codecs via HDMI LPCM. This lack of support is a generation back at least, and something I am personally extremely disappointed in.

This mini-review is also posted in the HD-DVD forum.

Josh Lehman
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post #2 of 368 Old 01-19-2007, 04:16 PM
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Thanks Doc. Looks like on its haste to release a hybrid player LG overlook the basics.
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post #3 of 368 Old 01-19-2007, 08:00 PM
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Thanks for the quick review Doc. Can you answer something for me though - for the 5.1 analog outputs, does the LG have adequate bass management features? By this I mean variable crossover points, the ability to set speakers as either small or large and the ability to assign speaker distances / delay?

Thanks again.
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post #4 of 368 Old 01-19-2007, 08:14 PM
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DocDVD, did you really use the player or did you just read the manual?

The unit does support 1080p/24 and it works. We have it feeding our Lumagen Vision HDQ (with the latest firmware) and it looks great.

The service port is an Ethernet port and it works, however that's not how firmware will be updated, at least not yet. I imagine some future firmware upgrade will add some network settings in the setup.

We don't have an HDMI capable processor can I couldn't test that, but I can say that sound quality was notably better even when using the tosslink output to our Linn Kinos with Active Akurates.

Since this is not an HD-DVD licensed player it doesn't support iHD (LG officially said support will not be in any firmware release) since the use of iHD would require licensure.

I suspect we will see a firmware upgrade soon but I imagine it will be disc based and I can't guess what it will fix.

Overall I think this player is a big step in the right direction. For most people buying a player this year HDMI 1.3 and HD audio is not going to be at the top of the list and for them this player will get them off the fence.

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post #5 of 368 Old 01-19-2007, 11:30 PM
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Well that sounds promissing !

As I see things the LG is a first step in the right direction.
But I would really enjoy a full agreement between HD-DVD and BD members to release full feathured players.
Also I would love a high-end version with 7.1 analogue output and full HD audio codec decoding and decent sound management.

We won't see such a beast soon ... but thanks to LG they started up a good strategie which is at last very consumer friendly and breaks the format war headache ! I hope others will follow and that we will see THE high end combo player in maximum 2 years !
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post #6 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 12:38 AM
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Well, considering DD 5.1 and DTS surround are sufficient for me, the fact that it plays both formats is reason enough to buy it. I'm much more interested in PQ anyway. Digital surround sound has always sounded good to me.

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post #7 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterShipp View Post

DocDVD, did you really use the player or did you just read the manual?

After reading your post, it does make one wonder...

Ray Cathode
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post #8 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 05:45 AM
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For those That have this player How does it picture quality compare to the Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer.


Thanks

Robert
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post #9 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocDVD View Post

7) No HD-DVD interactive support. This is really not a big deal for at least me, as I RARELY watch supplemental features, even though the Warner and Universal interactivity is pretty cool. The LG pre-renders an overlay menu on titles with the HDi layer, and it still does allow for scene selection, audio, play and the norms.

Are there any compatibility issues with regular hd dvd plackback and access to bonus material or does the lack of HDi only effect enhanced features like PiP commentary etc.?

What does the machine output via optical/coaxial out - DTS like the Toshiba?
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post #10 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 07:26 AM
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Does the LG output correct RGB video to a DVI display?

larry

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post #11 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 08:38 AM
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Quote:


Since this is not an HD-DVD licensed player it doesn't support iHD (LG officially said support will not be in any firmware release) since the use of iHD would require licensure.

Wouldn't this mean on titles like Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift that you wouldnt be able to play it. Meaning the disc won't play at all? If so that is a HUMONGOUS reason to not buy this player. If it plays the movie part on discs with IHD then it is like a feature you are missing, which is still huge in my opinion, but at least you can still watch the movie.

What does everyone think? Am I going out on a limb saying this player is not the best option if you can't play certain movies?

Mike

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post #12 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 11:16 AM
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Anybody want to sell one of these at a discount? (PM me).

Only speaking for myself, but if the list of cons in the first post is all that is wrong with this player I want one. Cost though is prohibitive for me. As to the faults with the player here's my take FWIW:

1) Cheap build quality like the HD-A2

I own an HD-A1. It's worked nearly flawlessly for me which is all I care about. Cheap build quality is too subjective for me.

2) No ethernet for direct networking or updating. The RJ-45 is a service port only.
Yawn. I can burn an ISO disc for updates.

3) No 24P (at least for now)
Pointed out later in thread that this may not be true. Even if it is, I own a 1080p DLP that cannot do 24fps.

4 and 5) Even though this is the first player with DTS-HD MA decoding internally, LG screwed the pooch as the HD decoding only decodes 2-channel over HDMI. Etc....

Although I would agree that not decoding over HDMI correctly is propbably the biggest fault, I have no problem with this. I have a non-hdmi receiver so I can't use it anyway. In addition, if this player decodes everything over the analogs NOW, this is the first player I have seen that can do this in the Blu Ray camp. If true, this is a BIG plus for me.

6) DD True HD is also 2 channel PCM, and that does NOT change even on the analog outs. Again, as with plus and DTS-HD, this should be able to fixed just the A1 series was upgraded with a firmware upgrade.

Not good. However, I'd give up TrueHD for now if I could get LPCM decoded over the analogs. I would want this fixed.

7) No HD-DVD interactive support. This is really not a big deal for at least me, as I RARELY watch supplemental features, even though the Warner and Universal interactivity is pretty cool. The LG pre-renders an overlay menu on titles with the HDi layer, and it still does allow for scene selection, audio, play and the norms.

No big deal for me either.
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post #13 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskollar View Post

..Cost though is prohibitive for me.

I own an HD-A1. It's worked nearly flawlessly for me which is all I care about. .


Since you have that player already and the combo player is expensive, how expensive?, why not just by an HD-DVD player? I am almost considering that option, two players, maybe.
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post #14 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterShipp View Post

Overall I think this player is a big step in the right direction. For most people buying a player this year HDMI 1.3 and HD audio is not going to be at the top of the list and for them this player will get them off the fence.


Many are in this boat How is the picture for both formats? Outputs true 1080p? DD/DTS on digital outs? How much?
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post #15 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbw23air View Post

Am I going out on a limb saying this player is not the best option if you can't play certain movies?

Out on a limb? More like understatement of the year (which is only three weeks young but still... )!
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post #16 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

Since you have that player already and the combo player is expensive, how expensive?, why not just by an HD-DVD player? I am almost considering that option, two players, maybe.

I've gone that route just recently. I paid more than I would have liked for a Blu Ray player, it's just a stepping stone to what I will eventually get as was the A1. I really planned on waiting for 3rd or 4th generation players before upgrading.

That said, this player has a lot going for it. I could sell my A1 to help alleviate the cost. The specs on this player look good. If first user reports/reviews in the next couple of weeks look really really good, I may reconsider the "prohibitive" cost.

Too many decisions.
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post #17 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 06:06 PM
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The most interesting thing about this thread is that someone actually paid $1200 for an LG product.
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post #18 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 06:41 PM
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The most interesting thing about this thread is that someone actually paid $1200 for an LG product.

No worse than those who paid $1000 for a Samsung product a few months ago.
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post #19 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I hooked up the player the moment I got obviously as I was excited to try it since its a first in industry. The audio issue I agree is indeed an easy fix via firmware and I did say that multiple times, and I did not see a 1080 24 option in the limited setup menu, nor is it in the manual. I do have a Lumagen that takes 24 in, and I have a Qualia set to take 1080 24sF in from the Lumagen for film sources, which my 004 displays at 96. What setting is being engaged to get 24P since it has a 1080P option in the rez menu, not 1080 24P?

Again, I do feel like this player has potential, it just needs some tuning and should have had these simple bugs worked out before it ships. And, they did know about them obviously as far as the audio, as the last page of the manual does say exactly what I said about HDMI, and I confirmed it. 2-channel PCM only for DD+, DTS-HD and DD True HD.

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post #20 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DocDVD View Post

Again, I do feel like this player has potential, it just needs some tuning and should have had these simple bugs worked out before it ships. And, they did know about them obviously as far as the audio, as the last page of the manual does say exactly what I said about HDMI, and I confirmed it. 2-channel PCM only for DD+, DTS-HD and DD True HD.

I just bought a Blu Ray player and already hate it due to it's limited audio (I went cheap and am too embarrassed to say what I bought. It's going back. Only does DD 5.1. Might as well watch HBOHD). Except for TrueHD on analog which you say is 2 channel only, does this player deliver 5.1 LPCM, DD+, and more over analog outputs? I suspect that there are many of us that have analog ins, not hdmi, and having correct sound over analogs is a BIG deal to us. It is a big deal to me. Thanks in advance for any input you can give me!

BTW: Have an HD-A1 connected via analogs and DD+ is awesome with TrueHD notching it up a bit more. I was willing to live with DD DTS on Blu Ray but cannot get that with the "cheap" Blu Ray player I bought. And please, not interested in the PS3.
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post #21 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskollar View Post

I just bought a Blu Ray player and already hate it due to it's limited audio (I went cheap and am too embarrassed to say what I bought. It's going back. Only does DD 5.1. Might as well watch HBOHD). Except for TrueHD on analog which you say is 2 channel only, does this player deliver 5.1 LPCM, DD+, and more over analog outputs? I suspect that there are many of us that have analog ins, not hdmi, and having correct sound over analogs is a BIG deal to us. It is a big deal to me. Thanks in advance for any input you can give me!

BTW: Have an HD-A1 connected via analogs and DD+ is awesome with TrueHD notching it up a bit more. I was willing to live with DD DTS on Blu Ray but cannot get that with the "cheap" Blu Ray player I bought. And please, not interested in the PS3.

Samsung BDP1000? Please confirm as I seem to have discovered much the same deficiencies you mention with DD via the 5.1ch analog outputs (2.0 for DD and no DTS at all).
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post #22 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 10:12 PM
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No worse than those who paid $1000 for a Samsung product a few months ago.

Yes, but samsung is a notch higher than LG. A little notch!
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post #23 of 368 Old 01-20-2007, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by WaldorfSalad View Post

Samsung BDP1000? Please confirm as I seem to have discovered much the same deficiencies you mention with DD via the 5.1ch analog outputs (2.0 for DD and no DTS at all).

Oh I am so embarrased. Please don't make fun of me. It was a Philips BDP9000 at $599. Far, far worse than the Toshiba HD A1 I bought at $399.

I am not surprised that you found the same things I did as both the Samsung and Philips seem to receive the same reviews. However, never expected not to be able to get DTS over Toslink. Would have kept it otherwise since so much else works really well (load time, resume, etc.) It acts more like a DVD player than the Tosh. That said:

Never seen anything less than DTS for HD DVD on the Tosh A1 and I can get lossless sound on the tosh. All this from supposedly the lowest end of the Tosh players. A pox on blu ray low end players, they don't exist. (No PS3 rebuts welcome. I am talking standalones). From what I've seen, you have to spend >$800 for a Blu Ray player that can jst begin to equal the AQ of the Tosh over analogs. And that is being generous.

The LG BH100 may indeed be tha player I have longed for. Please someone verify that the analogs outs are fully functional. If so, I want one. Thanks!
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post #24 of 368 Old 01-21-2007, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
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It does 5.1 DD+ and DTS-HD from analog 5.1 out. 2-channel TrueHD from analog out and HDMI.

Josh Lehman
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post #25 of 368 Old 01-21-2007, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocDVD View Post

It does 5.1 DD+ and DTS-HD from analog 5.1 out. 2-channel TrueHD from analog out and HDMI.

Thanks DocDVD! I can live without TrueHD for now. DD+ is no slouch. One question if I may. How about on Blu Ray decoding LPCM over analogs? Seems like that one should be a no brainer.
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post #26 of 368 Old 01-21-2007, 12:03 PM
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I now this is the LG thread buty to be fair I need to post a qualified correction to one opf my earlier posts in this thread. First, I stand by the statement that the Philips BDP9000 does a horrible job over Toslink. If you use bitstream and connect via HDMI to a TV that does not support audio over HDMI you may have problems. This is not the place to fully discuss this.

I firgured that if the Toslink is screwed up, so would the analogs. So as a last chance, I hooked up via analog and from very limited experience <15mins with BlackHawk down I appear to be able to get the LossLess 5.1 LPCM to work. Actually sounds great. I'll be keeping this player a little while longer. Need to play with more titles. Wish it did a better job over Toslink (Dolby DTS would be a nice feature to add) but I can live with analogs only. I'll be moving any other comments I have about the Philips player to the correct thread.

That said, I hope the LG BH10 is a HUGE success! Hope they don't get into to much trouble over the HDi issue. I suspect that in a few months these units or their successor will be selling at around $800. One site had it already listed at $998, not yet available and proabably mis priced. But.... who knows. I can see why this unit won Best Of Show at CES 2007.
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post #27 of 368 Old 01-21-2007, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskollar View Post

I now this is the LG thread buty to be fair I need to post a qualified correction to one opf my earlier posts in this thread. First, I stand by the statement that the Philips BDP9000 does a horrible job over Toslink. If you use bitstream and connect via HDMI to a TV that does not support audio over HDMI you may have problems. This is not the place to fully discuss this.

I firgured that if the Toslink is screwed up, so would the analogs. So as a last chance, I hooked up via analog and from very limited experience <15mins with BlackHawk down I appear to be able to get the LossLess 5.1 LPCM to work. Actually sounds great. I'll be keeping this player a little while longer. Need to play with more titles. Wish it did a better job over Toslink (Dolby DTS would be a nice feature to add) but I can live with analogs only. I'll be moving any other comments I have about the Philips player to the correct thread.

That said, I hope the LG BH10 is a HUGE success! Hope they don't get into to much trouble over the HDi issue. I suspect that in a few months these units or their successor will be selling at around $800. One site had it already listed at $998, not yet available and proabably mis priced. But.... who knows. I can see why this unit won Best Of Show at CES 2007.

Have you tried DD and DTS via the 5.1ch analogs to make sure you get the full 5.1?
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post #28 of 368 Old 01-21-2007, 12:39 PM
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post #29 of 368 Old 01-21-2007, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaldorfSalad View Post

Have you tried DD and DTS via the 5.1ch analogs to make sure you get the full 5.1?

I tried DD5.1 and Lossless PCM 5.1. They both work over analogs. Don't have a Blu Ray title that has DTS so I can't test that. I was in the middle of preparing a first user report in the Philips section when I accidently pressed some keys that destroyed my message before I could submit (hate that when it happens). It was really good too! Think I'll try again only this time I'll use Word, save often, and then cut and paste.
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post #30 of 368 Old 01-21-2007, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskollar View Post

I just bought a Blu Ray player and already hate it due to it's limited audio (I went cheap and am too embarrassed to say what I bought. It's going back. Only does DD 5.1. Might as well watch HBOHD). Except for TrueHD on analog which you say is 2 channel only, does this player deliver 5.1 LPCM, DD+, and more over analog outputs? I suspect that there are many of us that have analog ins, not hdmi, and having correct sound over analogs is a BIG deal to us. It is a big deal to me. Thanks in advance for any input you can give me!

BTW: Have an HD-A1 connected via analogs and DD+ is awesome with TrueHD notching it up a bit more. I was willing to live with DD DTS on Blu Ray but cannot get that with the "cheap" Blu Ray player I bought. And please, not interested in the PS3.

I'd like to hear some more comparisons between DD and DD+.

Roger Dressler from Dolby says there isn't much difference because no one is taking advantage of the full capabilities of DD+ and he can't hear the difference between the 2.

Says it was specifically designed to work with the architecture of HD DVD.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1&page=1&pp=30
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