Focussing on the other end of the audio spectrum, the HT953TV again uses its considerable size to great effect by delivering even the most high-frequency of audio effects with precision and, crucially, without sounding at all harsh.
Switching the system into its 10.1 mode is… interesting. And for once we’re not necessarily using the word interesting as a euphemism for bad! After all, the way the processing seems to close any gaps in the soundstage around you is actually quite uncanny.
We wouldn’t necessarily say that the effect sounds like you actually have five more speakers ranged around you, though, as there isn’t enough sense of there being five specific new audio source points. In fact, the 10.1 processing’s main effect is actually to reduce the sense of your sound actually emerging from specific points (speakers).
While some people might prefer the 10.1 effect’s arguably more immersive and three-dimensional presentation, we have to say that the purist in us kind of hankered for the more overt audio effect positioning achieved in the system’s 5.1 mode. But heck, it’s still nice to know you have the choice over which system you personally prefer.
The picture quality from the HT953TV’s DVD deck inevitably isn’t as headline-grabbing as its audio talents. But it’s certainly no mere afterthought, as proven by the lack of MPEG blocking and twitching in its standard def playback, and the surprising crispness and freedom from noise of its upscaled 1080p output.
There isn’t quite the same sense of colour solidity and motion purity you get with really high-level upscaling decks, but overall the images can be considered very good by the standards of an affordable all-in-one package.
We have to say we weren’t sure we’d like the HT953TV. We’ve kind of got used to slinky little systems like Pioneer’s LX01, and so the sheer largesse of the LG proposition got us off on the wrong foot.
But ultimately no matter how much the dimensions of our test rooms might have fought against its sheer bulk, its combination of high style, expansive features and great performance quickly put our resistance to the sword.