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LG LH-RH9695IA review: LG LH-RH9695IA Home Theatre

  • 1

The Good Good sound quality. Lovely design. Big HDD recorder included.

The Bad Pricey. No frequency control on the sub-woofer itself. No speaker cable cut-out on the centre speaker.

The Bottom Line This is a great sounding and great looking unit that will work well in medium sized rooms, and considering its hard disk drive, it is reasonable value for money.

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8.0 Overall

Design
LG Electronics has gone to a lot of effort with this system. It is an attractive design with four slim floor-mounted speaker arrays covered by a black cloth grill. A matching centre speaker and black sub-woofer completes the speaker complement.

The slim control console features an AM/FM tuner and an integrated DVD/CD player. It also boasts a 250GB hard disk for video recording.

Surprisingly, there is no cut-out for the speaker cable for when it is standing on a shelf or table, so the centre speaker will need tip slightly to accommodate the cable.

Features
One feature helps this system stand out from the crowd and justifies its price tag -- the integrated 250GB hard disk drive (HDD). This disk means you can record, erase and record again. LG has gone to the trouble of including 10 genres which you can assign to recordings any way you like, such as camcorder, sport, cooking and so on. It allows you to continuously record for up to 12 hours.

The control unit has a single HDMI output for high quality, all-digital connection to a wide-screen plasma or LCD screen, however there are S-video and component connections as well. We were also impressed with the single system connector between the control unit and sub-woofer. The short length of this cable (two metres) means, however, that the sub-woofer will need to sit fairly close by the control unit.

Performance
The identical speaker drivers in the four surround speakers and the centre speaker achieve a very realistic sound stage that is very enjoyable to listen to for extended periods. Treble and mid-range response was much better than you would expect from these slim speaker arrays and they offered a fantastic depth to the music. The sub-woofer integrates seamlessly straight out of the box, and by following the manual it (and all of the speakers) can be tuned even more precisely.

We played the grand 1812 Overture to see how it handled the complete range of frequencies, especially the cannon firing sequences. This system came through with flying colours -- we even had to turn the volume down in order to not disturb the neighbours.

The video output quality is first class from both the component and HDMI connections. Even the S-Video output produces a pretty decent picture when it is used to connect to older style TVs to the system.

The remote is quite a busy unit and takes a little getting used to. It does have a resolution control for use with the HDMI output to a wide-screen TV, but it's a little tricky to use.

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