LG's Blu-ray HTIBs get built-in Wi-Fi, HDMI inputs

LG announced three new Blu-ray home theater systems at CES 2010, with the two high-end systems featuring integrated Wi-Fi, making it easier to access streaming media services, like Netflix and Pandora.

LG LHB975
LG LHB975 LG

LAS VEGAS--Blu-ray home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) systems surprised us in 2009, because not only did they offer Blu-ray at an affordable price, but most of them actually sounded pretty good. LG has announced three new Blu-ray HTIB systems for CES 2010, with some key step-ups from 2009's offerings like built-in Wi-Fi and more HDMI connectivity.

Key features of the LG LHB335

  • 5.1 home theater system
  • Built-in Blu-ray player
  • LG's NetCast suite of streaming media services, including Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow, YouTube, Pandora, Picasa, and AccuWeather
  • One HDMI input
  • USB port capable of playing photos, movies and music
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential
  • No release date or pricing announced

Key step-up features of the LG LHB535

  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Two HDMI 1.3 inputs
  • DLNA-compliant, allowing you to stream music, photos, and videos from a connected PC
  • No release date or pricing announced

Key step-up features of the LG LHB975

  • Wireless rear speakers and subwoofer
  • Tall and slim front speakers
  • No release date or pricing announced

The biggest change from LG's 2009 Blu-ray HTIB offerings is that both the LHB535 and LHB975 include integrated Wi-Fi, which should make it much easier for most people to take advantage of streaming media services like Netflix. The LHB975's wireless rear speakers are also an upgrade over the wired rear speakers of 2009's LHB977. The other major change is the inclusion of the HDMI input on the entry-level LHB335, which is a welcome addition now that nearly every home theater gadget uses HDMI.

It's hard to tell how LG's new Blu-ray home theater systems will stack up until we see some prices, but at first glance they look to make some key improvements over 2009's already solid lineup.

 

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