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LG UP970 Disappointment

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Brian Kidd, Apr 23, 2018.

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  1. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    OPPO spoiled me.

    I have an OPPO BDP-80 that has served me faithfully for around eight years. It was an "I'm getting a divorce and am going to spend more money than I should on myself" purchase. I remember when it arrived, it was one of the few times when unboxing a new piece of equipment felt like something special. The weight of the player, the excellent remote, the incredible amount of menu settings, etc. all added up to a wonderful hardware experience.

    Although it still works wonderfully most of the time, I came into some unexpected funds and decided it was time to update my home theater equipment. I didn't have a gazillion dollars and I have an understanding (but not without limits) wife. I knew that I was going to be getting a new 4K TV, a new receiver to replace my Pioneer VSK-1123 (which I truly loved, but which recently developed a tendency to cut out my center channel), and a UHD Blu-ray player.

    I splurged on the TV and spent far more than I normally would be able to on an LG OLED55C7P and also bought an Onkyo TX-NR676 receiver because of its ample number of legacy inputs that are quickly disappearing from many receivers. That left the UHD Blu-ray player. I just couldn't justify spending the money on an OPPO this time, since I was getting so much in one go. I had to try and decide on something more reasonable that would also be able to handle Dolby Vision content. Since I had the LG TV and had read nothing but raves about it, I thought that maybe their players would be decent, too. I picked up a UP970.

    It's so disappointing in every way.

    First of all the remote isn't great. It's really limited and feels like it would break if I looked at it the right way. There's no display on the front panel, which is something I've gotten used to over the years. The onscreen UI reminds me of a dirt-cheap, off-brand, Chinese DVD player I bought years ago at Walmart because I could make it region-free with a code. It's so ugly. Besides the cosmetic deficiencies, there are also very few options available in the menu settings. When I think of being stuck with it for years after having my OPPO, it makes me sad.

    All of the things I mentioned above might be okay if it hadn't already displayed a "quirk." I bought two UHD discs last night, Blade Runner and The Dark Knight. I popped in TDK first and it played fine, loaded quickly, and looked pretty darned great. After a few minutes, I switched it out for Blade Runner. No sound. I couldn't figure out why. I checked the settings on the player and on the receiver and everything looked as I thought it should. I ended up having to cycle the power on the player and reload the disc to make the sound work. I'm sure it had something to do with the communication between the player and receiver, but it was just the poo-icing on the cake.

    All-in-all, I can only recommend the player to someone who absolutely has to have Dolby Vision right now and has limited funds. If you can afford better, it's worth the extra money to look elsewhere.
     
  2. ScottJH

    ScottJH Supporting Actor

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    I have had both of the lower cost DV players, Philips 7302/7502 & LG970 and both can't compare to the Oppo but I guess a $400 price difference will do that.

    The Philips has a nice remote but is the slowest loading compared to the Oppo & LG. Plus it was loud when playing 4k discs. At the time(couple months ago) it was the lowest cost option. Thought the PQ was a little on the softer side. I ended up returning it.

    I picked up the LG a couple of weeks ago to give it a try. I had heard this player was loud too but that LG fixed the issue on newer built units(Nov/Dec 2017 and newer). My local Best Buy had units with a Jan2018 build date and with a 10% off coupon brought the price to only $2 more than the Philips. The remote does stink when it comes to size & weight and the menu does leave a a lot to be desired. The noise issue seems to be fixed & it is quieter & faster than the Philips though and I thought the PQ is better than the Philips. After my price adjustment this week(Best Buy has dropped the price to $149.99 saving an additional $12) I'm leaning toward keeping it as my bedroom unit.
     
  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I can't compare picture quality with the LG since I've never owned it, but I've certainly never heard a peep from my Philips players (either the 7501 or the 7502). I couldn't be happier with mine. Sorry yours was so problematic.
     
  4. atfree

    atfree Producer
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    I've had the UP870/875 (step-down from the UP970) since March and love it. The remote isn't an issue as I use my Harmony remote for everything. So far, no complaints on this player. Great picture and super fast. I got it for under $100 at BB. No streaming apps, just a basic high qualify UHD player.
     
  5. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    I ended up giving it to my stepson to use as a bedroom player. It wasn't that it didn't work, it's just that it would turn on constantly because of wonky communication between my AVR and the player, with no way to turn that function off. I mean, it was bad. I didn't notice a noise problem.

    I ended up getting the OPPO UDP-203. Pricey, but so much nicer.

    There are other quirks with my system related to ARC and device control via HDMI that make me miss the days of simple cables, but hopefully companies will eventually iron out the bugs.
     

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