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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.