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LG HB965TZ review

Ben Pitt
9 Nov 2010
LG HB965TZ
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
552
inc VAT

Great features and even better sound quality, but we could do without the eerie whistling noises

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We're used to forgettable product names, but it's worth paying attention to this one's letter B to avoid confusion with the HT965TZ, which costs around £250 less but only plays DVDs and not Blu-rays.

The HB965TZ is expensive, even for a Blu-ray home cinema system, but there are a few reasons to justify it. With two HDMI and two optical S/PDIF inputs, it's fully equipped to act as the hub for a big home entertainment system. WiFi (802.11n) is built in and an iPod dock is hidden behind a door on the front panel. The dock drops down and forwards so it's still possible to stack other equipment on top of the player.

The iPod's controls remain active, which we prefer to browsing on the TV screen. The volume knob on the front panel is much easier to use than up and down buttons, and there's a full set of transport controls there too. This player doesn't support Blu-ray 3D, though – something that may prove frustrating if you find yourself in possession of a 3D TV in a few years' time. There's no internal storage for BD-Live, so you'll need to leave a flash drive in the USB socket to access online content for Blu-ray discs.

Online services are provided by LG Netcast. Selecting Netcast from its Home menu page reveals a virtual high street populated by links to YouTube, Picasa and weather forecasts.

We were able to log into our YouTube account but this only let us view and not edit our Favourites, and didn't give access to Subscriptions, Playlists or our own videos. That meant the text search facility was the only way to locate our own videos – thankfully, entering text using the remote was relatively quick. Aspect ratios were handled correctly and the transport controls allowed fast forwarding and rewinding in 30-second jumps. HD versions of YouTube videos were unavailable, but that's true of all the blu-ray players we've tested to date.