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LG HB954PB 5.1 Blu-ray Home Cinema System review



  • Recommended by TR
LG HB954PB 5.1 Blu-ray Home Cinema System


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The HB954PB is the step-up version of the 2.1-channel HB354BS Blu-ray system we reviewed back in April, and is aimed at those with a bigger budget and a bit more room to spare. The HB954PB ups the speaker count to 5.1 and throws in a pair of LG's gorgeous 'champagne flute' floorstanders. It's also more powerful than the 354BS, supplying 155W per channel and 225W to the subwoofer, which should be more than enough to give your movies real clout.

The Blu-ray player built into the main unit is a Profile 2.0 affair with an Ethernet port on the back, which allows you to access BD Live content and watch YouTube videos - just like LG's standalone BD370. This unit, which also features an integrated surround sound receiver, is attractively styled in a gloss black finish that's jazzed up beautifully by some subtle blue highlights underneath the front panel and around the volume dial.

The nicely-sized display panel shows the title, chapter and running time and next to it is a hidden iPod/iPhone dock, which slides out smoothly and feels a lot more robust than the Panasonic SC-BT205's dock. Completing the front-panel connectivity is an upward-facing USB port, which accepts flash memory drives, MP3 players and even external HDD drives.

Back-panel connections are a cut above your average all-in-one system. Most impressive is the inclusion of two HDMI inputs, which allows you to use the system as a hi-def switchbox and might also come in handy if you want the LG to decode surround sound bitstreams from external devices. As if that wasn't enough, you also get optical and coaxial digital inputs plus analogue stereo input.

Outputs include the obligatory HDMI socket for firing 1080/24p pictures to your display, as well as component and composite video sockets. The flimsy springclip speaker terminals are par for the course with one-box systems but at least they're colour-coded for easy installation. Rounding up the selection are FM/AM radio antenna and remote control ports.

The champagne flute speakers stand 1.2m tall and instantly add a touch of class to their surroundings. They're also robustly built and finished in gloss black, which blends into the blue tinted bit at the bottom and looks stunning. In the box they're split into three easy to assemble parts - the base, stem and speaker screw into each other and the pre-attached cable threads through and plugs into the connector on the bottom.

You also get a pair of rear bookshelf speakers that share the same blue-tinted black finish and tapered shape of the fronts, a long centre speaker that sits tidily under the TV and a smart-looking passive subwoofer. All of these elements combine to make a fine-looking, well-matched system.

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Gavin C

July 21, 2009, 2:20 am

This looks a potential option instead of separates.....how easy will it be to put my V+ box or X360 through this for sound options....would I need to do an optic cable or hdmi it




July 21, 2009, 4:55 pm

Looks interesting but can i connect a network player, a wii and un x-box 360 to it? Also do i need to connect the ethernet cable to it , will it play blueray without it? It has a ipod doc does it support ipod nano 4g?



Steve 26

August 14, 2009, 8:07 pm

I got one of these a few weeks back and I am incredibly impressed. The rich sound and the ability to tailor it exactly as you need are fantastic.

In answer to the questions the unit has two hdmi inputs so you could plug both a V+ and a 360 into it at the same time and you then have one HDMI output going to the tv. There are a number of other input ports as well so a Wii could also be connected in.

You do not need the ethernet connected to play anything, what it does give you is access to additional content from the bluray disk that is on the internet as well as the ability to stream YouTube content straight through it.

The iPod dock will support everything from 2G up, so yes the 4g would be supported.


September 5, 2009, 5:22 pm

this blu ray machines support mkv ?

The bd 370 support mkv but not htfs format for pen drive usb (limit 4 gb fat 32 file to split in 2 part.)scuse my english ,I am italian lenguage.Luigi. ciao.

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