LG has had some spectacular successes with home-cinema systems over the past couple of years, but its recent Blu-ray players have struggled to impress. So, how will this best-of-both-worlds system fare?

Out of the box, the HB354BS looks stylish and elegant. The curved front fascia stands out from the boxy opposition, with illuminated, touch-sensitive buttons and a protruding volume knob surrounded by a ring of neon blue light. The speakers' oval appearance has a sophistication that's great to see at this price, too.

LG has a tendency to adorn its home cinema systems with useful connections and features, and this one is no exception. On the rear of the unit are two HDMI inputs – great for connecting additional HD sources.

Get online with BD-Live

There are coaxial and optical digital inputs to feed sound through too, while Blu-ray Profile 2.0 status brings with it the obligatory USB input and Ethernet socket, to access BD-Live content.

Fire up a disc, and the colours are immediately vibrant and punchy. The brilliance of the whites looks a bit overcooked though, and you lose a little detail where light reflects off faces.


Edge definition is good: it's not immune from motion judder, but the LG still entertains.

Smooth-sounding satellites

As is the case with many of LG's home-cinema systems and TVs, the speakers supplied with the HB354BS have been tweaked by hi-fi guru Mark Levinson.

And these egg-shaped satellites fare remarkably well. For a system of this type, they're open and smooth, with well-controlled treble.

However, rival systems do offer better integration between satellites and subwoofer: the LG sub is a bit ham-fisted at times, although there's good weight and scale.


Stuff says... 

LG HB354BS review

The HB354S is an accomplished little Blu-ray package – and definitely one of the most stylish you can get for the money