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Another day, another LG one-box cinema system, but unlike the HT32S and HB354BS 2.1-channel bundles we tested recently this one offers a 5.1-channel setup and an intriguing new speaker design. At under £200 online this is a budget proposition through and through, but like most other LG systems there's a wealth of features on board, and with 300W of power in the tank you could end up getting a lot of bang for your buck.
LG hides the HT304SU's credit crunch price tag with some attractive styling, although the lightweight components (particularly the main unit) and plasticky fascia are clear signs of its budget origins. The satellite speakers are described as oval-shaped although they look more like spheres, and LG reckons that this shape - combined with the lack of speaker grilles - has distinct sound quality benefits. Each speaker is finished in a sassy gloss black finish, and the speaker cable is permanently attached so you don't have to fiddle with springclip terminals.
You also get a slim, unimposing passive subwoofer in the box, which is smartly styled to match the main unit, but make sure you keep the ugly MDF rear side well hidden.
The set-top style DVD/receiver unit offers no surprises, although it is narrower than most other LG all-in-ones. It's also styled in black with an eye catching volume ring in the centre, an easy to read display panel and a small cluster of buttons on the right. Below these is a flap that hides a USB port and a 3.5mm minijack for MP3 players.
The rear panel is unsurprisingly sparse for a budget system, offering HDMI, component, composite and SCART outputs, analogue stereo input, an FM radio input and springclips for the speakers. There are no HDMI or digital audio inputs so you won't be able to enjoy 5.1-channel sound from other sources like Sky+, which is a real shame even at this price.
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