LG HT32S Home Cinema System
The HT32S comprises a main system box, a large bass sub-woofer and two satellite tweeters. The main speaker measures a substantial 216x405x310mm (WxHxD) and weights a hefty 5.9Kg. The satelite speakers measure 118x230x115mm and weight 1.1Kg each. Power output is 150W from the subwoofer and 75W from each of the satellites. The design is very sleek with a curved main unit and side speakers. Accompanying the system is a comprehensive remote control.
The main unit is where all the clever technology lies along with the power amplifier. This is a curved unit with a slot-style front-loading DVD/CD drive with controls and display on the sloping top surface. This design doesn't lend itself to being placed on a shelf underneath the TV set and instead ideally needs to be placed alongside to provide access to the controls.
The control panel consists of a clear LED status display along with a control area. There are four main buttons for play/pause, next, previous and stop. These control circle a big touch sensitive 'dial' that controls volume.
No audio/visual product would be complete of course without the prerequisite remote control. Despite the clever design of the main unit controls - if you do want/need to hide this away underneath the TV then everything can be controlled via the remote.
The primary function of this unit is to provide a high-quality home cinema experience. Given the prevalence of HD-TV sets now on the market coupled with many peoples substantial investment in a DVD library the HT32S incorporates HD up-scaling technology. This takes a standard definition video stream from a traditional DVD and uses some clever interpolation software to produce a full 1080p high-definition feed to that HD-TV you've purchased! If your TV isn't quite up to 1080p then you can step through a number of different resolutions : 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p
Connection to your TV is via either component video (Y, PB and PR)
I do love reviewing video products - a perfect excuse to sit down for a while and watch a favourite video, all of course in the name of work! In this case I decided to re-watch the finale episodes of Battlestar Galactica. With the satelite speakers well spaced the sound quality from the speaker system is excellent. With the volume cranked up and the lights down low this does indeed come close to a cinema experience.
For those times when you really don't want to watch a film or other video the HT32S provides a few more options. The DVD/CD player provides the option of playing your favourite music on CD. An FM radio is available with an external wire aerial. Reception quality was good, but given the governments current threat to remove analogue radio and "go digital" a DAB receiver may provide more comfort.
To the side of the main unit and fold down cover provides access to a 3.5mm input jack socket and a USB connector. The jack socked allows you to connect any audio source that has a headphone output. The USB connector allows you to attach flash memory devices. These can either be the vanilla memory stick however it's intended use is to attach a mass-storage compatible media player. Once attached the LG system allows you to 'rip' CD content onto the device. This facility would appear to be of limited use however. Firstly there is no track database lookup and so files named TRK-001.MP3 etc. OK for only a very limited number of tracks! Secondly, to rip the tracks the system simply plays then at normal speed - and so ripping a 60 minutes worth of music will take 60 minutes.
As a high-end DVD player and sound system the LG HT35ST is excellent. Video playback was good and audio from the set of three speakers really did fill the room. That same sound quality can be used for CD playback and to playback music stored on your MP3 player via the 3.5mm jack.
I found the LG HT35S available for £218.70 from Amazon including free delivery.
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