LG LHB953: Built-in Blu-ray, tons of streaming content, and solid sound for an HTIB
CNET reviews the LG LHB953, finding that its combination of built-in Blu-ray, tons of streaming media content, and solid AV quality make it score high on the value quotient for an HTIB.
When Blu-ray HTIBs first hit the market, they really didn't make sense as a product type. They were slow, and the value just wasn't there, as it was easy to put together superior systems from separate components.
One year later, everything has changed; there are several excellent HTIBs with integrated Blu-ray available for prices comparable to those of standalone Blu-ray players. The LG LHB953 is one of the better systems on the market, and a lot of that is due to its unparalleled streaming content options--Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and CinemaNow augment its disc-playing capabilities. It also handles the basics with above-average finesse, with solid sound quality and excellent image quality on Blu-ray movies.
Our complaints with the system were largely aesthetic; the speakers are a bit bigger than average and the main AV receiver/Blu-ray player lacks style, especially with its perpetually glowing volume knob. Also, the competingis a slightly better system, especially sonically, but its street price is about $70 more.
If you can't swing the extra dough the Samsung or don't need its perks, the LHB953 delivers much of the same performance and more streaming features for less.