The LG BD300 is a feature-packed Blu-ray player, with BD-Live, a USB port for viewing multimedia, and Netflix on-demand streaming. For $350, though, we expected better-looking images.
Like the Samsung BD-P2500, this player is one of the few that can handle Netflix's streaming video. But while the Netflix functionality is a cool idea, it isn't a foolproof approach to viewing movies. The main point to consider: You buy a Blu-ray player to get the best possible images in home video. A Netflix stream hardly qualifies. Think of Netflix downloads as a quick convenience, not a proper home-theater experience.
Physical discs--DVDs as well as Blu-rays--looked much better. In the PC World Test Center's evaluation, our judges tended to score the BD300's image output as Good or Very Good, but we noticed some issues, such as too much contrast. And the BD300 was at its worst when converting standard DVDs to 1080p. Colors appeared lifeless, and the images failed to pop.
If the price were a little lower, or the image quality more consistent, the LG BD300 would be a knockout. As it stands, it's a solid player, and for now it remains one of your few choices if you're determined to have your Blu-ray and your Netflix, too.