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LG HB954PB review

Barry de la Rosa
28 Dec 2009
LG HB954PB
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
558
inc VAT

A beefy set of speakers makes this a stunning-sounding home cinema kit, but better value home cinema kits are out there.

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LG's HB954PB has a smart set of speakers. They're heavy, especially the floor-standing front pair, which have sturdy metal stands and weighted bases. Together they produce a taut bass and well-rounded mid-range that brings out the best in all kinds of film soundtracks.

Performance was impressive, taking only 42 seconds to access the main menu, and skipping chapters was snappy. LG's menu system is easy to use, and the Home screen gives you the choice of Movies, Photos and Music depending on the contents of the disc or USB flash drive inserted. This is the only player we saw that could access the contents of NTFS-formatted USB disks, not just memory sticks.

File format support is better than most, but there's no MPEG4 support. There's a YouTube application, but it isn't as sophisticated as others we've seen: you can log in, but you can't access playlists or play videos sequentially. There's also no network media streaming support. AVCHD files can be played from DVD, but not Blu-ray video, and DVD upscaling was poor, with jagged edges and ghosting.

Owners of consoles or set-top boxes will be happy to find two HDMI inputs, and there are both optical and coaxial S/PDIF inputs. A pop-out tray on the front houses an iPod dock, and there's a 3.5mm audio input on the rear in case you want to connect an MP3 player via its headphone socket. You'll have to connect a separate composite video cable to your TV to watch movies stored on your iPod.

Instead of colour-coded plugs, the speakers have bare wires with coloured tape to distinguish between them. The USB port is on the top of the player, which could be awkward if there's a shelf or another device above it.

Although the YouTube application is limited and there's no media streaming, the HB954PB stands out from the group with its two HDMI inputs, its great speakers and the ability to handle more file formats than the other kits here. The main downside is that this kit is very expensive and you can get much better deals.

Details

Price£558
Rating***

Connections

HDMI inputs2
HDMI outputs1
Component inputs0
Component outputs1
Output resolutions480i, 480p, PAL (576i), 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Total SCART sockets0
SCART socket typeN/A
S-Video input0
S-video output0
Composite inputs0
Composite outputs1
Stereo phono inputs1
Stereo phono outputs0
Coaxial S/PDIF inputs1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF inputs1
Optical S/PDIF outputs0
Multi-channel inputno
Speaker configuration5.1
Main unit end speaker connection typespring terminals
Speaker end speaker connection typespring terminals
Other connectionsiPod dock, FM antenna, 3.5mm input
Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking supportnone

Playback

Surround sound formatsDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD HRA, DTS-HD MA
Optical driveyes
Supported playback disc formatsBD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE, DVD±R, DVD±RW, CD-R, CD-RW
Audio format supportMP3, WMA
Video playback formatsMPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX
Image viewing formatsJPEG, PNG
RadioFM RDS

Speakers

Speaker configuration5.1
RMS power output1000W
RMS power centre155W
RMS power front310W
RMS power surround310W
RMS power subwoofer225W
Wall mountableno
Centre speaker cable length3.0m
Front speaker cable length3.0m
Surround speaker cable length15.0m

General

Extrasremote control, composite cable, HDMI cable, FM antenna, speaker wire
Size430x379x76mmmm
Subwoofer dimensions216x360x405mmmm
Centre speaker dimensions370x88x105mmmm
Front speaker dimensions300x300x1265mmmm
Surround speaker dimensions115x132x270mmmm
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on36W

Buying Information

Price£558
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.digital-fusion.co.uk
Detailswww.lge.com