Originally Posted by Thetau
I am in the process of reviewing the LG BD670 for home use. The 1 star reviews on Amazon all seem to suggest an inferior disc player mechanism. However, I may still try one and put it too a serious test playing CDs, DVDs, & Blu-Rays.
Anyway, I just went to the LG site - http://www.lg.com/us/support-product/lg-BD670
it seems that the latest firmware update version they offer is -the Firmware update for BD650/BD660/BD670/BD690 (Ver:BD.8.97.382.E/Date:2012.01.02). However, there are postings above that list firmware BD.8.97.398? Did LG pull the .398 version? Is .382 stable? Is there somewhere online where the firmware versions are available for download?
I see that two of the postings about the .398 firmware are from outside the US - maybe they got that version from a non-US LG website?
I am looking for the internet streaming features via LG's 'SmartTv' apps and I have read multiple complaints about streaming issues. I am going to hardwire my ethernet connection instead of using WiFi since it is an easy run to my router AND I have read enough to know that a hardwire connection eliminates WiFi issues.
Lastly, I have yet to confirm it but it seems from reading a comment somewhere that the actual interface that shows up for the internet apps like NetFlix, YouTube, Vudu, etc. are designed/programmed by those companies and supplied to the player's manufacturer? So for instance, NetFlix makes an interface that will work for LG's players and supplies it to them? LG runs a basic test to see if it works then releases it via firmware? I realize I need to go to school on this issue since it seems all the internet apps should be similarly designed (linux-based?) and they should look/work the same regardless of the player?
In regards to the firmware updates, it should be noted that LG is usually slow to post updates to their Web site. The updates first become available through direct updates on the players. It often takes several days, a week, or even longer for the same updates to become available on the LG Web site.
The .382 update is generally stable in my experience. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the .398 update fixed an issue I had with files buffering unnecessarily when streaming files via DLNA. I have a US player and I downloaded the .398 update directly from the player. So far, I haven't had any problems with it.
Whether they recalled the update, I don't have an easy way to tell. There were several users here that reported bricked players after installing the update, so it sounds like there may have been good reason to recall it even though my experience has been good.
Who develops the streaming apps for the players? It's not public knowledge, but I would be very surprised if it's LG. Some companies with streaming services may develop their own apps, but more likely outside agencies are contracted to develop and test the apps on their behalf. LG may do some level of validation for new and/or updated apps before releasing them to users though, much like Apple approves iOS apps in the iOS App Store.
There aren't much in the way of standards across manufacturers for streaming apps. As a result, you'll get a different experience using a given streaming app on devices for different manufacturers, or even the same manufacturer if you use an older model device.
On the 2011 LG players (and likely the 2012 models as well) the "Premium" streaming applications are not part of the software updates directly. The Premium apps have their own update function which kicks in automatically when the Premium App page is loaded on the player. The good thing about this design is that it allows the apps to be updated more frequently and/or for new apps to be added using a process which is much quicker and easier than that of installing a player software update (I don't think the Premium App updates have ever taken longer than 30 seconds for me if even though, whereas the software updates usually take quite some time, 10 minutes or longer). The down side is that the apps get updated automatically without user control (you can't decline the update or roll back if you don't like the new version). Additionally, some of the past app updates have had software update dependencies, which means you may have no choice but to install a newer version of the player software if you want to continue using a Premium App that has a software dependency.
One thing I've noticed is that some of the dedicated streaming devices seem to do a better job at nurturing their streaming application options than the Blu-ray manufacturers. Roku is one example of a streaming device with a lot of streaming entertainment options and both their Netflix and Amazon Instant Video apps feature 5.1 surround and HD support, there a quite a number of other devices on the market these days as well. With Roku in particular, the device was launched only with Netflix support, then they added other apps such as Amazon. Now they have an open SDK so anyone can write a Roku app and most of them will work on the very first Roku devices that came out years ago. In contrast, the Blu-ray streaming options seem to stop being updated as soon as a new model comes out. The BD670 and other 2011 models added Amazon Instant Video and Hulu after the initial release of the player, but neither of those apps were added to the 2010 models.
LG's Amazon Instant Video app for the 2011 players does not support 5.1 surround and I don't think its likely to get updated given that the 2012 LG players don't have Amazon Instant Video at all. The rumor is that LG couldn't come to an agreement with Amazon to include their app on the new players and some of other apps on the 2011 models are missing as well. This seems like a bad sign for LG's platform. It makes me wonder if their market share is too low for the streaming providers to bother supporting the platform.
I'm pretty happy with my BD670, but if it died I would look at getting a cheap Blu-ray player just to handle discs along with a dedicated streaming device. Then again, since the BD670 is no longer being made, it looks like they are a pretty good bargain now.