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LG HB954PB review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £558
inc VAT

A beefy set of speakers makes this a stunning-sounding home cinema kit, but better value home cinema kits are out there.

LG’s HB954PB has a smart set of speakers. They’re heavy, especially the floor-standing front pair, which have sturdy metal stands and weighted bases. Together they produce a taut bass and well-rounded mid-range that brings out the best in all kinds of film soundtracks.

Performance was impressive, taking only 42 seconds to access the main menu, and skipping chapters was snappy. LG’s menu system is easy to use, and the Home screen gives you the choice of Movies, Photos and Music depending on the contents of the disc or USB flash drive inserted. This is the only player we saw that could access the contents of NTFS-formatted USB disks, not just memory sticks.

File format support is better than most, but there’s no MPEG4 support. There’s a YouTube application, but it isn’t as sophisticated as others we’ve seen: you can log in, but you can’t access playlists or play videos sequentially. There’s also no network media streaming support. AVCHD files can be played from DVD, but not Blu-ray video, and DVD upscaling was poor, with jagged edges and ghosting.

Owners of consoles or set-top boxes will be happy to find two HDMI inputs, and there are both optical and coaxial S/PDIF inputs. A pop-out tray on the front houses an iPod dock, and there’s a 3.5mm audio input on the rear in case you want to connect an MP3 player via its headphone socket. You’ll have to connect a separate composite video cable to your TV to watch movies stored on your iPod.

Instead of colour-coded plugs, the speakers have bare wires with coloured tape to distinguish between them. The USB port is on the top of the player, which could be awkward if there’s a shelf or another device above it.

Although the YouTube application is limited and there’s no media streaming, the HB954PB stands out from the group with its two HDMI inputs, its great speakers and the ability to handle more file formats than the other kits here. The main downside is that this kit is very expensive and you can get much better deals.


Price £558
Rating ***


HDMI inputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
Component inputs 0
Component outputs 1
Output resolutions 480i, 480p, PAL (576i), 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Total SCART sockets 0
SCART socket type N/A
S-Video input 0
S-video output 0
Composite inputs 0
Composite outputs 1
Stereo phono inputs 1
Stereo phono outputs 0
Coaxial S/PDIF inputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF inputs 1
Optical S/PDIF outputs 0
Multi-channel input no
Speaker configuration 5.1
Main unit end speaker connection type spring terminals
Speaker end speaker connection type spring terminals
Other connections iPod dock, FM antenna, 3.5mm input
Wired network ports 10/100
Wireless networking support none


Surround sound formats Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD HRA, DTS-HD MA
Optical drive yes
Supported playback disc formats BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE, DVD±R, DVD±RW, CD-R, CD-RW
Audio format support MP3, WMA
Video playback formats MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX
Image viewing formats JPEG, PNG
Radio FM RDS


Speaker configuration 5.1
RMS power output 1000W
RMS power centre 155W
RMS power front 310W
RMS power surround 310W
RMS power subwoofer 225W
Wall mountable no
Centre speaker cable length 3.0m
Front speaker cable length 3.0m
Surround speaker cable length 15.0m


Extras remote control, composite cable, HDMI cable, FM antenna, speaker wire
Size 430x379x76mmmm
Subwoofer dimensions 216x360x405mmmm
Centre speaker dimensions 370x88x105mmmm
Front speaker dimensions 300x300x1265mmmm
Surround speaker dimensions 115x132x270mmmm
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 36W

Buying Information

Price £558
Warranty one year RTB