LG HLB54S review

This extremely tidy system offers excellent Blu-ray images, but unfortunately sound quality is not so impressive Tested at £800.00

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Our Verdict

Home cinema doesn't get much more convenient than this, but it can sound much better

For

  • Excellent Blu-ray pictures
  • lovely looks and decent build
  • wireless subwoofer integrates nicely

Against

  • Sounds brash when pushed
  • others offer better 'virtual' surround sound

By now we all know that the very best home cinema sound is achieved by matching separate electronics and full-size speakers.We also know that doing so is often too expensive, too much hassle, or too many boxes to fit in the lounge.

That's where home-cinema-in-a-box systems come in. And at the neatest end of that category lies the LG HLB54S.

The main unit is a rather snazzy and slim soundbar, which boasts a smooth slot-loading Blu-ray drive, built-in amplification, and four speakers that attempt to simulate surround sound.

Wireless subwoofer
Also in the box is a reasonably compact subwoofer that automatically and wirelessly synchronises with the bar, as well as an iPod dock.

The '54S even has ethernet and wi-fi for connecting to YouTube and accessing media files across your network, and there are two HDMI inputs for connecting additional sources like a games console or PVR.

Picture-wise it's extremely impressive, reproducing Law Abiding Citizen with superb detail and control. True, it lacks a little punch, but by class standards the HLB54S is vibrant and sharp, with smooth motion. It'll upscale standard-def DVDs deftly, too.

You're not surrounded
Unfortunately, things aren't so rosy on the sound front. We don't expect terrific immersion from a soundbar but the LG is still disappointing, with surround effects struggling to stretch around the listening position, particularly in a large room.

It's also a bit brash and cluttered, especially when pushed by big action scenes like Law Abiding Citizen's cemetery ambush.

It's not all bad, though, as the LG can boast excellent subwoofer integration and voice projection, but it needs much more than that.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Brand NameLG
Product TypeHome Theater System
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Manufacturer Part NumberHLB54S
Product NameLG HLB54S
Product ModelHLB54S

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • HLB54S Sound Bar Home Theater System
  • Remote Control
  • Instruction Manual
  • FM Antenna
  • Batteries
  • Composite Video Cable

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
Number of Analog Audio Inputs1
iPod SupportedYes
USBYes

Technical Information

Player-Recorder TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Media FormatsBD-R, DVD-R, CD-R

Video

Scanning ModesProgressive Scan

Audio

Speaker Configuration2.1
Sound SystemDTS, DTS HD, Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD