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LG HB965TZ - Performance and Verdict

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
LG HB965TZ

Summary

Our Score:

9

In terms of sound quality, we always approach one-box systems with a certain degree of trepidation, but any such scepticism was shrugged off after a few minutes in this system’s company.

We checked out the barnstorming sequence in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, in which our titular hero squares up to the Forest God, and it’s an incredibly thrilling listen. The sound is crisp and sparky, with lots of bite in the high frequencies – as evidenced by the smashing of glass and crashing cars – plus dialogue is prominent and bottom end sounds are punchy and muscular. Some of the louder low frequency effects cause a touch of boominess from the sub but on the whole it melds surprisingly well with the other speakers and provides a solid foundation.

What’s most impressive is that the speakers avoid the harshness that plagues many one box systems, showing the sort of control and power-handling poise normally reserved for more expensive separate systems. It’s also a dazzling conductor of surround effects, zapping them around the room with pace and precision and plunging you into an immersive, absorbing soundstage.

Many of these qualities seep into the system’s music playback – it brings a wealth of detail to subtle, intricate jazz recordings but give it a driving rock song and it has the power and timing to have you moshing round the room like Iggy Pop on speed.

Blu-ray picture quality is also impressive, but given the BD570’s solid performance that’s no great surprise. The opening exchange between Helena Bonham Carter and Sam Worthington in Terminator Salvation is a showcase of beautifully rendered close-up detail – Worthington’s 5 o’clock shadow is clear as day – while the contrast between light and shade within the dingy cell is superbly reproduced. As with the BD570, ugly artefacts make upscaled DVDs look less impressive but still watchable.

Verdict

With its cavalcade of features, eye-catching looks and excellent sound quality, the HB965TZ represents superb value for money. The operating system is a little sluggish, and its lack of 3D support and limited Internet content might push some buyers towards the Sony BDV-E370, but in every other respect the HB965TZ is one of the best one-box systems on the market – particularly when it comes to the all-important AV performance.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 9
  • Value 9
  • Features 8
  • Design 9

castro

August 5, 2010, 3:10 am

I bought this system a week ago based on a string of glowing reviews. Unfortunately my unit had a whistling sound in two of its speakers. Its pretty low level and only really audible during quiet moments in films, but highly annoying once you twig its there. On searching the net I've found several others with exactly the same issue, and also on previous LG cinema systems. I'd be interested if the reviewer can also detect this fault on his unit. Needless to say mine is going back for exchange, if I get another faulty unit I will avoid LG entirely.

p

August 9, 2010, 5:44 pm

can this device play MKVs and HD films streamed via dlna or just play them from a USB connected device?

beefcake

November 14, 2010, 4:57 pm

im going to buy LG HB965TZ system next week, i have seinnheiser rs180 headphones. can i use them with this LG HB965TZ. please help me..

Tonycougar

December 1, 2010, 8:19 pm

Hi I am looking for a Blu-ray based home cinema system, and I keep coming back to this one. The only thing that puts me off is the whistling sound that I keep seeing mentioned. Have LG resolved this now? Or is there a fix for it?

MattyF

December 21, 2010, 11:10 pm

I bought this machine and it's amazing. I first hade the whistling noise but its quickly sorted with a firmware upgrade. Cant live without it.

djames71

February 13, 2011, 4:07 am

I have just bought this under £400, but played 2 films now and they have both stopped randomly and gone back to the beginning. Anyone also seen this issue, I like the system and it sounds quite good just annoying when your watching a film.

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