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LG HT953TV Home Cinema System review

John Archer

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LG HT953TV Home Cinema System
  • LG HT953TV Home Cinema System
  • LG HT953TV Home Cinema System
  • LG HT953TV Home Cinema System
  • LG HT953TV Home Cinema System
  • LG HT953TV Home Cinema System
  • HT953TV Home Theater System (DVD Player, 5.1 Speakers - 1 Discs - Progressive Scan - 1000 W RMS - Virtual Surround)

Summary

Our Score:

9

If by the end of this review you decide to buy LG’s HT953TV all-in-one home cinema system – and there’s a very good chance you will – one thing we can guarantee right away is that you’ll be amazed by how much sheer hardware your £628.81 outlay has got you.

For in these days where home cinema systems are increasingly made to be heard without being seen, the HT953TV is pretty much the polar opposite of the ‘shrinking violet’. And it’s completely unapologetic about this fact, revelling in a glossy, extremely large design that’s intended to be a focal point for your living or home cinema room.

The four floorstanding speakers doing front and rear left/right duties, for instance, stand comfortably over a metre tall, and even the DVD player can be mounted on a tall chrome pole for maximum aesthetic impact.

There’s no doubt that for some people, the HT953TV’s sheer size will immediately make it a no-go zone. Indeed, LG itself stresses on its website that the HT953TV system is only intended for use in a relatively large room of at least 20 square metres.

Personally, though, I adored pretty much everything about the HT953TV’s design, from the lovely way the floorstanding speakers taper in at the bottom, through the tinge of red around the stands and power light, and on to the outrageous glossiness of the piano black finish applied to every element in the system.

This finish isn’t just intended to look glamorous either. It’s also been designed to match the non-red bits of LG’s lovely Scarlet TV range, in a shameless but really rather enjoyable bid to get you to fill your entire room with LG-branded gear.

As well as the floorstanding speakers and pole-mounted DVD player mentioned earlier, the HT953TV package includes a subwoofer, and a centre speaker that looks much larger and more powerful than those found with most all-in-one home cinema systems.

The HT953TV’s feature count is almost as large as its sheer physical bulk, with the highlight being the small matter of a 10.1-channel soundstage. Yes, that’s a 10.1-channel soundstage, meaning one containing 10 surround sound speakers and a subwoofer bass channel.

Clearly this 10.1-channel claim is only possible via a bit of audio processing witchcraft; after all, the HT953TV package only includes six actual speakers, not 11. The relevant audio wizardry comes courtesy of a VSM (Virtual Surround Matrix) processor, which basically adds an invisible second speaker that sits just to the side of all of the five main satellite speakers, to produce a more complete sound ‘circle’ around your viewing position. As if this wasn’t clever enough, LG has also had the HT953TV’s audio specially tuned by renowned audio expert Mark Levinson.

The Mighty Ben

October 8, 2008, 6:33 am

Wow that's really nice, can see how you'd want to pair it with the scarlet TV. They don't miss a trick do they? I love the DVD player on a stand; own up, did you pretend to enter teleport coordinates into it? If it's just cluttering up your office now how about you send it to me - I've got space for it in my living room! ... worth a try :)

markypants

October 8, 2008, 3:51 pm

Sounds like a good system, couple of things though. How is it in 2.1 for listening to music, the smaller systems were never that great at it so with these big floorstanders can I get rid of the seperate HiFi as well? What INPUTS does the system have and how many? Could i use it route a lot my stuff through or are we talking one optical one HDMI and thats it?

ruthless

October 8, 2008, 6:32 pm

Yep, I'd like to know about the inputs too. A pic of the back would be helpful.

ilovethemonkeyhead

October 8, 2008, 10:04 pm

does it do the HD sound formats? would it be good as an amplifier for a bluray player?

kz 007

October 13, 2008, 7:08 am

It's difficult to find any real details from the LG website, it's not even in the North America website. Had to go to the U.K. version. When will this system be available in North America, I could not find it for sale anywhere. But it sure looks great.

Scott 1

January 7, 2009, 10:24 am

It's now Jan 2009 and I can't find any information about this unit other than this review and 1 other. No one has it in stock, and no one appears to have ever had it in stock, there are no pictures, there're no posts from anyone that has ever bought this unit, no indication that it's ever going to be available, what's going on? Press releases showed up in May, Amazon has it as first being listed in June and yet It's almost like this thing never existed.





TR, I'd love to know how you got this unit and whether the complete lack of information is because it's slow to get to market or if LG is just letting it die a slow and ignominious death. Thanks.





And yeah, any way to get a picture of the back? There really is NO info about this on the net.

Geoff Richards

January 7, 2009, 12:01 pm

Scott - are you in the UK or US? I found the product page quite easily:


http://uk.lge.com/products/mod...





and there's a link on the right where you can download a PDF of the manual (which should detail the rear connectors).





I can't comment on stock availability, other than to note that Amazon UK offers it for sale with delivery "2 to 4 weeks", which I'll confess is a little fishy.





Hope that helps

TheGrif

January 16, 2009, 8:17 pm

It does exist in the UK - I've got one installed at home right now (arrived just before Christmas - fantastic!). It took a lot of searching to find somewhere that sells them. A couple of Websites that claimed to stock them could not deliver even after 3 weeks - a real let down. I then found www.webelectricals.co.uk who said that they had just sold the last of the previous Batch but the next Batch was due in the following Wednesday. Apparently LG can't make enough of them to fill the demand. I placed my order and guess what, it arrived on that Thursday as promised.





Here is the link http://www.webelectricals.co.u...





Richersounds also sells them for 𧺫.00 but they never appear to have any in Stock.





The size of the system is a bit of a shock at first, but sounds fantastic. Remember to turn the sound down before you play the THX sound card at the start of a movie (shook the whole house!). I now have both my Blu-Ray & XBOX 360 linked to a 4-to-1 HDMI Switchbox which is connected to the LG HT953TV (HDMI In) and another HDMI cable running from HT953TV (HDMI Out) to the Plasma TV - all (except the XBOX) controlled by a Universal Remote Control.

Christine Docherty

February 2, 2009, 12:08 am

TheGrif or anyone else who owns this systm, how does the Idock work ? Is it an actual Dock that comes with the system or do you have to buy a lead to connect your Ipod??

Cronus71

April 23, 2009, 2:26 am

I recently bought this system. I'm quite happy with it, there's one big negative issue though, the HDMI IN only supports 2.1 channel audio and not 5.1, this was confirmed by LG. I have hooked up the PS3 with an optical audio cable to the HT953TV and the sound is absolutely brilliant. But I had hoped I could have hooked my laptop or cable-box to the HDMI IN to get 5.1 channel audio :(





Now my question is to TheGrif, if you are using HDMI IN, the system emulates 2.1 channel to 5.1? hence not giving a pure 5.1 channel audio.

Spindel

July 1, 2009, 4:17 pm

Cronus71: I have Dolby Digital 5.1 surround when playing a 5.1 movie on my laptop with HDMI IN to my LG HT953TV. It's not virtual cause it says it "BYPASS" and not "VIRTUAL". I also have a cable-box and when the channel is broadcasting with 5.1 I have sound on all 5.1.





Are you sure you have a HT953TV? HT953TV supports HDMI 1.3 which allows 5.1 over HDMI. It works great for my. I don't have a playstation 3 but I am sure you should get 5.1 over PS3.

daveging

July 25, 2009, 1:34 am

i have this system and a samsung le37r8 lcd tv could you please help me with the leads required (i have HDMI but do i need an optical lead as well ) and /or what connections go where sorry but i'm abit of a novice many thanks

Renato Dias

March 25, 2010, 9:57 pm

Dear Community: I have recently purchased a HT953TV and am very happy so far with the system performance (sound & image). My system only allows me to play European-Zone/ All-Zone DVDs. I am interested in upscaling the system into playing multi-region DVDs. I am interested to know if any of you did it already and how. Note: I was thinking in buying a multi-region DVD player, and then connect it to the HT953TV(HDMI In) via 4-to-1 HDMI Switchbox. But not sure at all if it will work properly. Any shared experiences in this area would be very well appreciated. Many Thanks. Renato (Portugal).

riz

October 12, 2014, 10:22 am

only 2 of my speakers work and im quite angry!

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