If you're looking to turn your front room into a multimedia AV portal, the LG HB954PB does just that in one gadgety swoop.
The main unit is at least three machines in one, combining the functionality of a Blu-ray player, AV amplifier and iPod dock.
Crucially it can deliver 1080p/24fps video and decode HD audio – so that’s the Blu-ray home cinema experience sorted – and upscale DVDs to 1080p.
You’ll find two HDMI inputs and one output to lend a hand with the above and allow you to connect other sources to take advantage of the LG’s amplification and speakers.
The iPod dock is joined on the exhaustive list of features by an AM/FM receiver. There’s an Ethernet connection, too, flagged up by the YouTube button on the home menu that gives you direct access to streaming content using your home network. You can also access BD-Live content, once you’re connected.
The main unit itself is fairly chunky, but considering the functionality that’s packed inside we can cut it some slack.
The speakers are a little more lithe, with two tall, champagne-flute-style floorstanders at the front, a small, dedicated centre channel, two compact rear satellite speakers and a block of a sub. We’d be lying if we said they felt utterly infallible, but build quality is OK and they look decent from a distance.
Review continues after the break...
Dolby Digital True HD soundtracks can be a mixed bag. The subwoofer certainly gets involved, and even after it’s turned down a notch or two it’s still quite woolly and pedestrian.
Nevertheless, there’s certainly plenty of weight and power when required, and the system has no problem filling the room with fairly detailed sound – though cohesion between the floorstanders and rears could be better.
Moving pictures look good, too, with only a slight smear to motion during the most frantic of action scenes, while upscaled DVD is stable and insightful as well.
There’s plenty to like here, not least in terms of the functionality and connectivity. There are holes, albeit small, to be found in the level of performance, but this remains a tempting proposition for a giant leap into HD home cinema.