LG BH6220S review
LG’s BH6220S is a little more wallet-friendly than some all-in-one home cinema packages. It only costs £199, but it comes with plenty of the features we expect to see in a more expensive system, including smart TV functions, a set of 5.1 surround sound speakers and USB and network multimedia playback.
The main unit is a little narrower than other Blu-ray players, but it’s still big enough to sit directly under a big-screen TV. From the front, the single-line LCD display provides basic playback information, along with a USB port and a 3.5mm auxiliary input hidden beneath the disc tray.
There’s not a whole lot of choice in terms of connectivity, because the BH6220S only has a single HDMI output. With no HDMI inputs, you won’t be able to connect a set-top box or games console directly to the speaker system. It doesn’t support Audio Return Channel (ARC) either, so you can’t use the speakers to watch Freeview using your TV’s integrated tuner. Still, you fall back to the digital optical audio input, but you’ll lose out on Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio if you do. There’s one analogue audio input and one composite video output, but these are only useful for older devices.
The speaker wire connections on both the main units and the speakers themselves use spring terminals, so you can swap out the cable for longer lengths quickly and easily. The speakers themselves are about as tall as an average paperback and come with reversible stands that double as wall mounts. The centre speaker lies horizontally and the passive subwoofer’s fairly large considering the price of the system, although its shoebox dimensions should make it easy to hide behind a sofa if you wish.
Even before you start playing Blu-rays, there’s plenty of content waiting to be discovered in LG’s Smart TV portal. It doesn’t have integrated Wi-Fi, so you’ll need to run a cable to the Ethernet port in order to get online, but once you do you can catch up with missed BBC programs using iPlayer, stream on-demand movies from Netflix, LoveFilm or AceTrax and watch content from a host of smaller services. There’s also a Facebook app to you socially networked.
Multimedia playback was superb, either from a USB flash drive or over the local network. Indeed, we could play almost all our test videos, including MKV, DivX HD and Xvid files. The only exception was MOV files, which refused to play.
The whole experience is made much easier thanks to LG’s simple icon-based interface, which is bright and cheery. However, dig a little deeper and there aren’t many more advanced options to tweak, especially in terms of picture quality. What you see is very much what you get, so you must use your TV top change settings. It’s fairly responsive, but it lags behind some other all-in-ones we’ve used.
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