LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System - LG HB354BS

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System

Summary

Our Score:

9

Because the Blu-ray player is Profile 2.0 you can access BD Live extras, but it also supports YouTube video streaming as found on LG's standalone BD370. The feature isn't found on the first batch of systems (from which our sample was taken) but a later firmware update will enable it.

Elsewhere on the feature list is Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD Master Audio decoding, the impact of which will no doubt be reduced by the 2.1-channel configuration but you should be able to hear the increased sonic resolution offered by these formats.

The rest of the feature list is pretty decent - the system upscales DVDs to 720p, 1080i and 1080p; plays DivX, MP3, WMA, JPEG and AVCHD files; features a range of sound modes designed for different types of material (News, Drama, Sports, Game and Concert); and offers a Bass Booster mode that does exactly what it says on the tin. Our advice? Stick with the ‘Bypass' mode. A separate Night mode boosts the sound quality at lower volumes and dims the front panel lights.

The system is easy to use thanks to the superb interface, which revolves around the eye-catching Home menu - your central access point for all supported media. It offers a choice of Movie, Music, Photo and Setup (and eventually YouTube) and each one is represented by a full-colour graphic. The remote is thoughtfully laid out with large icons drawing attention to the most important buttons, although it's a tad cluttered towards the bottom.

Like many of LG's home cinema systems, the HB354BS has been specially tuned by audio guru Mark Levinson, which could give it the edge over rival 2.1-channel systems when it comes to performance. And for once, it actually does - when you play a Blu-ray disc, the most striking thing is how naturally powerful and dynamic the system is. Although the volume goes up to 40, we rarely felt compelled to push it over 20 - but if you do, the speakers show few signs of strain.

Rene62f

June 1, 2009, 2:22 pm

From the review i quote "The sound is sweet and crisp with loads of top-end detail, courtesy of the smooth and well controlled treble". I can control the volume of each speaker, the distance, etc. I want to boost up treble a bit. How can "I" control treble?

Rene62f

June 6, 2009, 1:28 pm

From the review i quote "Because the Blu-ray player is Profile 2.0 you can access BD Live extras, but it also supports YouTube video streaming as found on LG’s standalone BD370. The feature isn’t found on the first batch of systems (from which our sample was taken) but a later firmware update will enable it.".





My system is connected to the internet and a connected USB disk is working fine. Now for my question; how do i tell te system to update the firmware? I can't find any menu option to invoke it and there's nothing about this subject in the operation manual.





How can i update the firmware?

Rene62f

June 14, 2009, 1:43 pm

Still looking for a way to update the firmware. Danny Phillips, as publisher of the article you know the answer. Please, take some time to let the world know how it’s done. I, like many others, would like to see YouTube video streaming enabled.

endre

July 19, 2009, 3:03 pm

hi, I'm also wondering how to update the firmware...? Rene and/or Danny: can you please help me out... THe LG Services website does now work properly and is no help at all... can you? thanks in advance!

James L

July 28, 2010, 1:29 am

Regarding Firmware for this system... LG's support website links a firmware update for the 354bs to the larger 954 system - it would seem the software is the same as this larger system. I have checked this with LG as follows...





My question was..





The type of inquiry : Software/Hardware updates


Product/Model No. : /HB354BS





Please can you confirm if firmware update LG_HB_LV421BP.ROM is the firmware update for my blu ray system HB354BS (it is listed as HB954)?








LG's response..


Dear Mr L,





Thank you for your email.





We can confirm that that is the firmware update that was released on 10-11-2009 for the HB354BS.





Best Regards,





LG Electronics UK Helpdesk


----------------------------------

comments powered by Disqus