Details on LG's Netflix-enabled BD300 Blu-ray player, latest HDTVs

LG has released more information about its Netflix-enabled BD300 Blu-ray player, while also introducing new LCD HDTVs -- the "ultra-thin" LGX Series, and the LG90, a model with 1080p resolution.

Left tor right: Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix; and Allan Jason, VP of Marketing for LGNEW YORK (BetaNews) -- No longer does it need to be "Super Blu." In a meeting with BetaNews, Allan Jason, VP of sales and marketing, confirmed that unlike its second generation BH200 hybrid disc player, its third generation BD300 will support only Blu-ray, as well as streaming video content from Netflix.

"We want people to have a choice of [playback from] disc and streaming video while watching our HDTVs," Jason told BetaNews at an LG press event here Thursday night.

In a preview for BetaNews at the event, Jason and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings showed video from both sources playing on an LG HDTV. From the BD300's main menu -- accessible through the "home" button on the remote -- users will be able to choose between video streaming through the "Netflix Watch Instantly Service" and video playback from Blu-ray disc.

Other menu choices will include setup, photo, and music. LG's specifications mention "Dolby True HD," but it's still unknown whether the BD300 will support DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks.


A screen from Netflix' streaming movie selection on the LG300 player


Jason also told BetaNews that the player -- which is outfitted with Ethernet for broadband connections -- will use BD-Live for interactive content applications such as the "value-added" video outtakes and celebrity interviews being incorporated into Blu-ray disks through BonusView.

The BSD's Netflix capabilities are essentially the same as those of the standalone Roku Netflix player. The front panel of the BD300 features a USB port for plugging in peripherals and networked PCs.

LG's BD300 Blu-ray disc console

Although exact pricing has not yet been set, Jason said that the BD300 will sell for less than $500. The price will include a free two-week trial subscription to Netflix.

The LG90 ultra-thin HDTVAlso during the event, Tim Alessi, LG's product development director, said that the new LG90 LCD HDTV will feature "full" HDTV resolution of 1080p, in addition to a teardrop design and an LED backlighting system for producing deep blacks through a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

"Everyone's trying to offer the 'blackest of the blacks,' and so are we," Alessi told BetaNews. The 47LG90 unit shown in New York has a 46.9-inch diagonal screen.

LG's new LGX Series LCD HDTV, on the other hand, is billed as the slimmest LCD HDTV on the market, with a depth of only 1.8-inches. The 42LGX model on display in New York has a 42-inch diagonal screen and features a 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

Both new HDTVs come with 24P Real Cinema, for running HD movies at the 24-frames-per-second speed they were originally filmed in; TruMotion 120HZ, for producing clear images even during fast action scenes; Clear Voice audio; LG SimpLink connectivity; invisible speakers; support for ISFccc, USB 2.0, MPEG; and MP3; and an "intelligent sensor" for saving on power consumption and adapting elements such as picture brightness and contrast to the surroundings.

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