LG HX976TZW – Cable-free design
The only wall-mountable system here clearly respects your living room. From its sleek brushed-metal styling to the distinctive disc-playing hub, this is a tasty design. It’s also cleverly thought out: the hub links wirelessly to both the subwoofer and a smaller receiver/amp with the sub then powering the front three speakers and the receiver feeding the rear speakers. The end result: no need to trail cables across the room. What’s more, although the tall speakers look superb fully assembled, you can dismantle them for wall mounting.
LG HX976TZW – DLNA streaming
This helps the LG clear the main hurdle to most home cinema installs – people don’t like having wires everywhere – and allows for a subtle installation, especially as the built-in Wi-Fi serves up both excellent DLNA steaming and LG’s excellent Smart TV online services. In fact, one of the few wires on show is for the external iPod puck: AirPlay would’ve sorted that...
LG HX976TZW – Smart TV
LG’s Smart TV platform has massively improved in the past year: you now get BBC iPlayer plus Acetrax streaming and all the usual social networking suspects. Although the supplied remote handset is perfectly competent, it’s not ideal for text entry for online stuff. Happily, there’s also a free Android/iOS control app.
LG HX976TZW – Picture and sound quality
No matter how well thought out the design the LG’s true beauty lies in the persuasiveness of its picture and sound. Both in 2D and 3D, image quality is exemplary, with stable motion handling and a sure grasp of low-light details, while its audio performance is every bit as assured. Tonally consistent from speaker-to-speaker, as clear and controlled as you’d like and capable of substantial volume with little sign of distress, it’s simply an excellent listen.
It’s not cheap, but you certainly get what you pay for. Spectacular.