Among LG's seemingly endless array of DVD home cinema systems is this typically snazzy-looking 2.1-channel affair, which is a sort of step up version of the HT32S. Unlike the HT32S, the 33S features an iPod dock, which makes this a great system for movie and music lovers alike, but that's just the tip of the iceberg - like most LG systems you get plenty of other tasty features for a relatively modest outlay.
Despite their similar model numbers the HT33S and HT32S are aesthetically different. The HT33S features a wider and less curvy DVD/receiver control unit, but retains the ubiquitous gloss black finish and sloping top panel. Thankfully it also shares the HT32S's wonderful touch-sensitive volume and playback controls, plus the front-mounted disc slot. It's still great to see LG staying away from the conventional set-top style design, and as a result this system is sure to be a talking point in any living room.
The system comes with a pair of front speakers you'll also be proud to have out on show. They're like shorter versions of LG's famous Champagne flute tallboy speakers, with elegant contours that taper off toward the bottom, a gloss back finish and chunky stands (which house springclip speaker terminals on the bottom). The matching powered subwoofer feels heavier and more robust than your average one box sub, mainly because it houses the amplifier and other AV circuitry. It also powers the main unit, which is linked to the sub by a single umbilical cord and makes everything nice and tidy when installing the system, while the speakers connect to springclip terminals on the back of the sub.
Weirdly, the AV connections are split between the main unit and the sub. On the back of the player you'll find an HDMI output, component video output and an optical digital audio input, while the sub sports composite output, stereo audio input and the FM aerial input. There isn't a great deal of logic behind this, but thankfully it's not too problematic. The main unit sports some other interesting sockets, including the top-mounted iPod dock, USB port and 3.5mm jack for other MP3 players.
The USB port provides a quick, convenient way of playing back digital media files, and the system handles a decent range of formats. DivX, MP3, WMA, and JPEG are supported but there's no provision for DivX HD despite the growing clamour for hi-def web video playback - a fact pointed out by some beautiful onscreen pidgin English when you try and play an HD movie: "This file has the non-supported type on the player". Que?