German eBay shop that beats my usual providers (Amazon, Komplett, Pixmania) in terms of price and stock availability.
The installation was surprisingly easy and quick: after about 15 minutes, the unit was Network-connected, Region-hacked, and Firmware-updated ! Never mind the user manual was only in German (I downloaded the EN version from lge.com), it was really not necessary!
Network connection: My wireless router Billion Bipack 7402GXL was detected and I could even use its WPS (Wi-Fi protected Setup) function for the first time. In the Wireless setup, the LG BD390 offers a "Push Button" option, which starts a timer of 120 seconds during which I just need to press the WPS button on my router to have all the network information exchanged, saving me from entering manually the encryption type and key. That's all I needed to have the unit connected to the Internet. Repeating the operation later, I've found that it sometimes needs up to 3 retries to have the "Wireless Dynamic IP" setup successfully. Maybe a wireless range issue?
Region Hack: I downloaded the necessary file from multi-region.net and burned the RMTM0000 folder contained in the 6000.iso file.
Two things to consider regarding this hack:
- it is reported to work only on European models for some reason (to verify).
- it may not run if you already updated your firmware to the latest version. LG Support Web Site keep a few versions back if needed.
The good thing is that the change is persistent, so upgrading the fw afterwards will not affect the hack.
Upon loading the CD containing the hack, a region selection appears where you just need to select the region you want with the up and down keys on the remote (0 for Region Free).
I had the firmware 8.08.529.B ready on a USB drive, but despite that, the player detected the update on the Internet and offered only this way to update. I found out after that, because I plugged in the USB drive before powering on, the DB390 didn't detect it at boot time. Un-plugging and re-plugging solved the problem.
The update operation took about 5 minutes and ended with the player powering off (not restarting). Upon powering it on again, I verified that the upgrade was in place and noticed that the operations were a bit smoother in general, and the unit generally more stable, even though some glitches are still present.
That's it, the player was set up, with a short review to adapt the display settings so it would work well with my almost-HD television (HD-Ready Samsung LE32R51B)
I won't give a full technical review, there are many good ones available already, but just my impressions during the first hour of use.
Movie: that's were the local medias can be played: Movie/Audio disc or USB drive
I played a Divx movie from the USB drive and it loaded instantly, which differs greatly from the almost 2 minutes load time that my SilverCrest DVD reader from Lidl always needed, obviously to fill its buffer. Does it mean that the LG uses faster memory or... doesn't bufferize anything ?
Loading the Blu-Ray version of Ice Age 3 took between 20 seconds to 1 minutes depending...I don't know what! Loading DVD was always faster. I found the unit very silent, particularly after having recently seen a Samsung player in action.
Photo: will scan local medias for pictures
Music: will scan local medias for playable music.
Sony Ericsson G705, Synology DS109 and computers (XP SP3 and Seven).
Re-scanning the network will never give twice the same result, so several attempts may be needed to get the full list.
Listing the media content can be randomly fast or sluggish even with the latest firmware.
The sluggishness of the unit is partially due to the remote and using a Logitech Harmony instead gives a much better response, but in addition, the system also sometimes stops responding for several seconds for no apparent reason.
Inside My Media section, the content is again separated into three distinct kind of content: Movie, Photo and Music.
This, combined to the occasional traffic from the Wii, the IP Cameras, and the weak signal caused by the distance from the router, resulted in occasional choppy Divx playback from my Synology NAS. This could be improved by a proper buffering, but the LG BD390 doesn't seem to do any.
My Media > Music: the mp3's were played smoothly with no surprise. I just regret that it is such a basic music player, a shuffle function would have been nice.
YouTube: The YouTube browser.
Well, yes it plays videos from YouTube all right. I just don't see myself spending evenings browsing YouTube videos on the telly, so I won't go there very often.
Setup: also speaks for itself.
In conclusion, some polishing is still needed to make this unit a fully satisfying player, but the potential is really there. Let's see if LG can make some difference here...
- very simple to setup
- great set of features
- support many formats
- silent BD/DVD playback
Cons: (with fw 8.08.529.B)
- the player is randomly sluggish
- occasional crashes (not too often)
Cheapest (€223.-) found on eBay by ITSS-DAMM.
Region hack: multi-region.net
Complete review: see audioholics.com
Support Web Site: www.lge.com