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LG HB965TZ review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £552
inc VAT

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


The Picasa interface is extremely polished and friendly. Slideshows were unfettered by animated loading icons and came with a choice of transition types, including none. It was quick to respond when flicking through photos manually. Friends’ galleries that were added using a computer appeared under the Favorites tab, but it was also possible to add them on the player simply by entering their Picasa log-in name.

There isn’t much to report about the AccuWeather service: seven-day forecasts are available for 68 UK towns and cities, and the interface is once again attractive and friendly. Panasonic and Samsung’s players offer a very similar service.

The player can access media on the home network via DLNA and Windows’ Shared Folders – when the player requests CIFS log-in details, just use your Windows username and password. Both methods were quick to browse large music collections but the players couldn’t play all of our DivX test files, despite claimed DivX support.

Photo slideshows over DLNA offered the same controls as in the Picasa browser plus the ability to select music to accompany slideshows. Photos tagged as portrait shape weren’t rotated, though. The HLB54S also exhibited our pet hate of loading icons between each photo.

There’s not a huge amount to LG’s network facilities, but in the HB965TZ’s case at least, this is a clear case of quality over quantity.

The four freestanding speakers look extremely smart and their sound quality is fantastic, with a balanced, detailed tone and a sense of air and clarity that other all-in-one systems we’ve tested simply can’t match. The subwoofer blended in seamlessly to give a full-bodied, focused bass that flattered both music and film soundtracks, and it coped superbly at high volumes. The centre speaker was disappointing, though, with a slight lack of warmth and precision. It wasn’t bad enough to spoil the package, though.

Sadly, the same can’t be said about the intermittent, faint whistling noises we heard coming from the speakers. They were quiet enough to be drowned out by all but the gentlest moments in film soundtracks, but we would still class this as an unacceptable fault. Reports on online forums show that we’re not the only ones to experience it.

LG provided us with a firmware update that was supposed to fix the problem, but after watching a film this whistling sound was still evident. We have been told that anyone with a faulty system can get it replaced as long as it’s still within the warranty period.

Given the fault on our review system we don’t feel as though this system can be given an award. It’s a shame, as we found the system otherwise excellent.

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Price £552
Rating ***


HDMI inputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
Component inputs 0
Component outputs 1
Output resolutions PAL (576i), 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Total SCART sockets 0
SCART socket type N/A
S-Video input 0
S-video output 0
Composite inputs 0
Composite outputs 1
Stereo phono inputs 1
Stereo phono outputs 0
Coaxial S/PDIF inputs 0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF inputs 2
Optical S/PDIF outputs 0
Multi-channel input no
Speaker configuration 5.1
Main unit end speaker connection type spring terminals
Speaker end speaker connection type spring terminals
Other connections USB, iPod dock
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11n


Surround sound formats Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD HRA, DTS-HD MA
Optical drive yes
Supported playback disc formats Blu-ray, DVD, CD
Audio format support MP3, AAC, WAV
Video playback formats DivX, AVC, MPEG-2, MPEG-4
Image viewing formats JPEG
Radio FM


Speaker configuration 5.1
RMS power output 1100W
RMS power centre 180W
RMS power front 360W
RMS power surround 360W
RMS power subwoofer 200W
Wall mountable no
Centre speaker cable length 3.0m
Front speaker cable length 3.0m
Surround speaker cable length 12.0m


Extras remote control
Size 439x284x67mm
Subwoofer dimensions 236x391x435mm
Centre speaker dimensions 400x83x118mm
Front speaker dimensions 280x195x1212mm
Surround speaker dimensions 280x195x1212mm
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 34W

Buying Information

Price £552
Warranty one-year RTB