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LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System review




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LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System
  • LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System
  • LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System
  • LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System
  • LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System
  • LG HB354BS 2.1-Channel Blu-ray System
  • HB354BS Home Theater System (BD Player, 2.1 Speakers - Progressive Scan - 300 W RMS - Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS)


Our Score:


The HB354BS marks LG's entry into the world of Blu-ray systems and is one of two one-box packages hitting the market in May. This one is a 2.1-channel system, which means it's designed for people who have neither the space nor patience for a full 5.1 setup, but despite the lack of surround sound its 350W audio output should deliver a more fulfilling home cinema experience than your average TV speakers. The step-up HT954PB features a 5.1-channel configuration with ‘Champagne' style speakers, and bumps the power up to 1000W.

In the box you'll find a combined Blu-ray player/receiver unit, two front speakers and a passive subwoofer. The surprisingly chunky main unit is styled in a snazzy gloss-black finish, jazzed up further with a volume dial surrounded by a ring of blue light and a row of touch-sensitive buttons. It's attractive and fairly well built, but falls foul of the hollow, plasticky feel common among one-box systems.

Bang in the centre of the fascia lies one of the system's killer features - an iPod dock. It slides out when you press the panel in the centre and supports all types of iPod, including the touch, plus you can browse through songs using the onscreen GUI. You'll also find a USB Plus port on top that supports playback of movies, music and photos.

Around the back we're pleased to discover two HDMI inputs (and one output), which allow you to channel two other sources though the system, such as a PS3 and Sky HD box. That way, you can improve the sound quality for TV viewing and gaming, and you only take up one HDMI input on your TV. Handy.

The generosity continues with the inclusion of optical, coaxial and analogue audio inputs, plus component and composite video outputs. The connection roster is completed by an FM antenna input for the built-in radio tuner, a 3.5mm minijack input for MP3 players and an Ethernet port to take advantage of the system's Blu-ray Profile 2.0 capabilities.

The front speakers are gorgeous, with a glossy black finish and oval shape that will attract plenty of attention. Each one is perched on a silver horseshoe-shaped stand and plugs into the back of the main unit using flimsy springclip terminals, another sign of all-in-one cost cutting. As for the subwoofer, the matching gloss-black finish makes it look fine from a distance but on closer inspection it's worryingly light and hollow - although at least it's sensibly mounted on rubber feet to minimise vibration.


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?


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?


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.


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


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