Sony BDP790P RIP. Long live LG BP730N?

The Sony BDP790B never came back from its holidays in the independent workshop. The unit was considered unrepairable. So I drove to the dealer to find out what would happen next. 

Somehow they managed to convince me that in the year since I purchased the Sony things had moved on quite rapidly in BDP technology. So their best LG BDP was now less than 2/3 the price of the Sony despite offering Ultra HD upscaling, 3D and lots of other options. A 4k 3D OLED screen is a very long way off at present prices but the technology and pricing are improving incredibly rapidly. Which would suggest that the manufacturers are desperate for a new technology to excite buyers into investing. On my aging JVC 37" HD-ready screen everything still look fine.

It still felt rather like I was being ripped off on the BDP exchange but there were no more expensive players available. Only recorders. I eventually left the shop with an LG BP730N and a free BluRay film for my trouble. My extended guarantee was further extended into ripe old age. The new toy does wireless[of course] with bells on. Lots of streaming services both free and pay for. Touch sensitive buttons light up the display. The LG is similarly slimline to the Sony but with much less dust and fingerprint attracting bling. Shiny piano black is a curse in normal domestic surroundings!

The AVForums review below covers most of the basics.

One oddity is the lack of a conventional disk drawer. A letter box slot is provided into which the disk is firmly drawn out of sight with gentle whirring. At first I worried about scratching disks on the edges of the slot but it seems not to happen. Disk playing is absolutely silent. Unlike the Sony drive which rattled like a cheap, plastic toy on steroids. So loudly, in fact, that it could be clearly heard above action films.

The LG BDP came with LG's own "Magic Motion" zapper/remote. As one who never [ever] reads the instructions first it took some time to understand what was actually happening. It lacks most of the buttons found on other zappers but provided a large arrow cursor on the TV screen. Yet again this took some getting used to until I finally read the instructions. Waving the device stabilizes and centres the arrow on the screen. Sensitivity to movement is adjustable. I set it to Slow to avoid the arrow flying all over the place!

Sound and picture quality are both fine so far on Blu-Ray, DVD and wireless. Start-up and disk loading are very fast indeed. Far better than the Sony and infinitely better than the lumbering LX70 Pioneer dinosaur!

We have run up against a shortage of fresh films to watch. So decided to try streaming using the LG BP730N. Watching the 3rd season of The Walking Dead the picture seemed rather soft at first after having watched Seasons 1& 2 on disk. Surround sound was fine with good intelligibility on dialogue. Perhaps a little thinner and brighter than we are used to on disk but not unpleasantly so. We were soon absorbed in the story and quickly forgot about PQ and SQ as blood was splattered all over the place. There were no hiccups, picture freezes or drop outs. We have 50/50 Mbits/sec fiber broadband so streaming should not be a problem. has a very poor reputation in the online customer reviews in Denmark. The lack of new films and series is constantly criticized. The rest of the complaints are mostly due to customer accounting problems. Ironically, has the highest charges anywhere for [by far] the poorest service by quantity and quality. has a vastly greater range of films and series. Hundreds of times more titles.

I certainly wouldn't recommend if only the latest blockbusters hold any interest. I certainly couldn't see any recent blockbusters at all after a cursory scan of the films available. I wonder whether this has anything to do with supplying subtitles in a minority interest language? There are only 5.6 million potential Danes and not all speak Danish. We opted for the English language version with no subtitles. Some Netflix users use a virtual online ploy to enjoy the full US service for only a couple of pounds/dollars more per month. really hasn't thought the subtitling through properly. Sometimes [often?] there is no option to kill the subtitles at all. Which means compulsory foreign language choices in bright yellow in the middle or top of the screen. Absolute beginners at video editing on YouTube can do far better than this. One can go into the Netflix website to change the default appearance of the subtitles. Though the options are extremely limited. I chose the smallest text size in black. Why no transparent text or even smaller text options? Or just off?

Unfortunately most of the local Video hire services are going flat broke as fast as the Danes sign up for and other streaming services. The cable package operators are also catching a cold to streaming. Overnight hire, DVD charges are almost as high as supermarket discount prices for recent films. So I really can't see the video hire services lasting much longer. Most have already shrunk to a wall display in existing outlets like petrol stations and tobacco kiosks. Several have closed their hire service already. Most hire outlets offer no BD disks at all and often don't even allow the original packaging to leave the shop. So one has to look up the details online! Surely another short cut to commercial suicide?

An update: We have been wallowing in quite a number of TV series on After literally decades of hardly ever watching TV [at all] it has been quite good fun enjoying drama without adverts.

It should be a basic human right not to be subject to unwanted advertising. Particularly that aimed at retarded adults with the intellect of dysfunctional infants. [i.e. The vast majority of it.] Working in advertising should be classed as criminal behaviour on the same level as serial murder, sex slave trafficking and pedophilia. Nobody with two brain cells to rub together should be subject to such torture! Cruel and unnecessary treatment doesn't even come close to describing its insidious white noise. A filthy sewer of turgid idiocy heavily laced with subliminal incitement to over-consumption of ephemeral shit.

According to statistics has doubled its subscription membership from 200,00 to about 400,00 between 2013 and 2014. It is only expected to double again by 2020 to about 800,000. Having made such inroads into the Danish TV viewer's lives the figures are still tiny compared with larger countries. There are only about 6 million people living in Denmark. Surprisingly many Danes are legally tied to cable or satellite TV pack subscriptions associated with their accommodation. The ridiculously high monthly payments for these TV packs is a heavy burden on many families but they have no choice to opt out.

While remains relatively inexpensive compared to the Danish TV packs it has very low daily relevance for most family viewers. There is no news or similar material. Those who can receive terrestrial Danish TV can supplement but the latter remains mostly English language entertainment. With a heavy emphasis on US-sourced material. has a very long way to go before it is a current affairs source for Scandinavian viewers. In actual fact, the relatively tiny number of [multiple] minority langue subscribers must limit Netflix' willingness to expand their local catalogue. The cost of subtitling in all four or five, individual Scandinavian languages must exceed the likely return on the investment. Which probably explains why the catalogue is still expanding so incredibly slowly despite the doubling in subscribers. The cost of dubbing every item in the catalogue would completely dwarf the meager costs of subtitling. Perhaps technology can circumvent the problem with live translation making steady inroads.