This is the middle unit in LG’s 2013 family of Blu-ray players. It sits just below the flagship LG BP730, which had a few party tricks but disappointed us with lacklustre picture and sound.
Will its little brother suffer the same fate?
Well, the picture is fine. We start off with a Blu-ray of The Lone Ranger, and there’s a good sense of detail to Johnny Depp’s painted face.
It’s a gritty-looking movie and the LG does a decent job keeping up with all the rough textures.
When we switch to something a bit more colourful, however – the neon-lit Japanese scenes of The Wolverine – the LG begins to creak.
Contrast could be stronger, and colours need a dose or three of vibrancy. It’s watchable all right, but it feels a touch subdued.
The 3D performance is competent, but the picture is at its weakest with standard definition, the LG struggling at upscaling. The image is softer and noisier than some, while maintaining the lack of punch.
The sound is a bit like the picture in that it needs more dynamism. We watch robots fighting sea monsters in Pacific Rim and there’s good weight to the performance, but the delivery feels flat.
We expect rumbling bass to accompany a creature picking up an oil tanker, but that sense of power doesn’t come across.
Things don’t get much better as we play music from CDs and music Blu-rays. The LG doesn’t have a great grip on timing, and organisation is a little messier than we’d like.
The sound is listenable, but it doesn’t draw you in.
If you’re more interested in features than performance, LG has you covered with a smart experience comprehensive enough to rival pricier Blu-ray players.
You get a proper smart hub with pages of content: ‘Smart Share’ shows you the content on your other devices; ‘Premium’ is the page for video-on-demand apps, where YouTube is joined by BBC iPlayer, Lovefilm, Blinkbox and Netflix; more apps can be downloaded on the next page, ‘LG Smart World’.
Connections are par for the budget Blu-ray course. You get a single HDMI socket and an optical output, while an ethernet port offers a more stable alternative to the built-in wi-fi.
At the front is a USB port, hidden behind a flap. We like the brushed-metal effect on the entire top surface, which makes the machine look classier than you’d expect from the price tag.
The LG BP630 is a mixed bag. Its smart offering is impressive for the money, but the picture is merely decent and the sound is disappointing.
For the money (or less) you could buy a better Blu-ray player.
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