LG BP740 review

The LG BP740 has a high price tag but not very high specs

LG BP740

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Is this really a flagship smart 3D Blu-ray player worth £249? By my reckoning that's poor value for a product that's clearly under powered, sporting both basic and non-4K-proof digital media playback software with a distinct lack of UK catch-up TV apps. That's a shame because its core 2D and 3D disc playback duties are performed with aplomb.

We liked

The look and design of the user interface is great – simple and colourful.

It's great to have apps like Now TV, the BBC iPlayer, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, Blinkbox and Netflix included and quickly accessible.

However, the highlights have to be the almost fabulous Magic Remote and the BP740's pin-sharp, very clean and involving pictures from both 2D and 3D Blu-ray. 4K upscaling – though largely pointless – can't hurt if you've got a 4K telly.

We disliked

Considering its position as a flagship product, the BP740 is poor value. It lacks the flexibility it should have (where's the second USB, or second HDMI output?) and has no analogue audio connections, while catch-up TV apps for UK terrestrial channels are missing.

Can the presence of 4K upscaling really be justified? With all 4K TVs including their own upscaling circuitry, it's repetition, at best, and its lack of support for 4K digital media files – though hardly a unique setback – further underlines that the BP740 is in no sense a 4K machine.

The Magic Remote doesn't link back to the BP740 as quickly as it should, but the big issue is a general lack of processing power.

Final verdict

Despite a polished-looking smart TV interface and the presence of key apps like Netflix, Amazon Instant and the BBC iPlayer, the so-called flagship BP740 disappoints on processing power, software and flexibility. Picture quality, the Magic Remote, 4K upscaling and disc loading times impress, but are let down by some fussy digital file playback software and a lack of catch-up TV apps.

Also consider

There are better value and quicker Blu-ray players around that offer more than this LG deck. Samsung decks like the flagship BD-H6500 and the Freeview HD and HDD-endowed BD-H8900 offer all UK-centric catch-up TV apps, with Sony's BDP-S6200 adding a dual core processor and the Panasonic DMP-BDT460 much more suited to home cinema use.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),