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LG LAB540 Sound Plate review

Katharine Byrne
28 Jan 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
400
inc VAT

Sound quality isn't brilliant, but the LAB540's built-in 3D Blu-ray player and extra Smart TV services add some extra value

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Specifications

Speakers: 4.1, RMS power output: 320W, Dimensions: 700x320x39.5mm, Weight: 3.76kg (SoundPlate), 7.64kg (Subwoofer), Dock connector: No, Networking: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA

This leaves the LAB540 feeling distinctly average in terms of sound, but its 3D Blu-ray player does add some welcome extra value. It also has a host of great Smart TV apps such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Now TV, Blinkbox, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, YouTube and Knowhow Movies, which is great if your TV doesn’t already have these services - only LG and Samsung TVs have Amazon Instant Video, for instance. You can download more from the Apps menu as long as the LAB540 is connected to your home network.

The LAB540 will even upscale to 4K if you happen to have an Ultra HD TV, bypassing the upscaling algorithms on the TV itself in favour of LG’s own. However, the lack of picture options means you’ll still have to adjust the final image using your TV’s menus if you want to alter the colours or contrast. 

You can use the Blu-ray menu to watch content from any connected device, including PCs on your home network or a flash drive using the USB port on the back of the plate. It supports a wide range of files, too, so it should be able to play almost anything, including MP3, FLAC, M4A, OGG and WMA audio files and MP4, MKV, XVID, DIVX, MOV, WMV and AVI video files. You can also hook up other sources through the HDMI and S/PDIF audio inputs on the back. You’ll find an Ethernet port here as well, although you’re unlikely to use it thanks to built-in Wi-Fi.

Our Star Trek Blu-ray looked excellent, with image quality surpassing our reference Blu-ray player. Each scene was sharp and darker scenes showed hardly any noise whatsoever. DVD upscaling was naturally a lot fuzzier round the edges, producing images that were often a little too soft compared to our reference screen grabs. That means less noise and compression, but also less detail. Text and lettering was also a bit hazy, but still perfectly acceptable.

The LG LAB540 doesn't excel as a sound system, but if you've yet to buy a 3D Blu-ray player and aren't satisfied with your TV’s speakers, then it’s a decent all-in-one bundle that's very compact and living room-friendly. However, at £400, it's rather expensive and if space isn't an issue, LG's NB3540 sound bar and the Best Buy-winning Samsung BDH6500 3D Blu-ray player are both available for £100 less. 

Hardware
Speakers4.1
RMS power output320W
Subwoofer option160W (included)
Rear speaker optionN/A
Dimensions700x320x39.5mm
Weight3.76kg (SoundPlate), 7.64kg (Subwoofer)
Ports
Audio inputsOptical S/PDIF
Audio outputsN/A
Video inputsHDMI
Video outputsHDMI
Dock connectorNo
USB portUSB
NetworkingWi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA
NFCNo
Features
Video playback formatsMP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, XVID, DIVX, WMV
Image viewing formatsJPG
Audio playback formatsMP3, FLAC, OGG, WMA, M4A
Smart TV appsBBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, BlinkBox, Now TV
Buying information
Price including VAT£400
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Supplierwww.currys.co.uk
Detailswww.lg.com
Part codeLAB540