Wireless DVD home theatre system with great image quality
- Wireless works well, Full HD up-scaling, powerful
- Distorts at high volumes, mid-range distant
LG’s HT903WA system will suit larger lounge rooms where unsightly cables aren’t wanted. You’ll need a fair few power outlets – you can’t escape the need for electricity just yet – and the system is somewhat large and ungainly, but it does provide decent quality sound.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
If you've got a larger-than-normal TV room or don't like lengths of unsightly cable then salvation comes in the form of wireless home theatre. LG's HT903WA sounds decent and can handle a variety of home entertainment tasks while offering the convenience of wireless speakers.
Although the speakers are quite thin, they're quite tall and weighty. Thankfully, the speakers' stands are wide, so tipping the speakers over requires plenty of effort. The combination receiver/amplifier follows the DVD player form factor — long and low — while the system's subwoofer sits upright. In the majority of home theatre systems the subwoofer is an eyesore, and the HT903WA's is no exception. The squat black box disrupts the otherwise slim and curvy looks of the system.
Setup is exceptionally simple. The rear speakers are set up without speaker wire — speaker terminals aren't included on the rear units anyway — and each requires a power point of their own. Oddly enough the DVD receiver unit retains speaker terminal outputs for rear left and rear right speakers, perhaps for optional configuration at a later stage.
A decent number of ports are included. The rear of the receiver has an HDMI output, as well as component and composite outputs. Audio is also taken care of by an optical input as well as a set of analog RCAs. There's also an input for a proprietary iPod cable; it works with a variety of recent models.
The receiver functions just like a DVD player, with a remarkably clear and easy-to-read display built in. Powering the unit on only takes a few seconds and then the CD, DVD or disc loaded with DivX video will play automatically.
Whatever the content, the HT903WA will up-scale its resolution as far as 1080p, making it suitable to display on even the newest Full HD panels. Working in harmony with this is LG's SimpLink system, which allows for other components connected via HDMI (the television, for example) to be controlled with a single remote. We tested this with LG's latest 42LG60FD Scarlet TV and it worked without any hiccups or errors.
Video quality from the system is among the best we've ever seen from a standard DVD, rivalling the up-scaling quality of some Blu-ray disc players. Videos looked consistently crisp and clear, with significantly more detail exposed than we expected from a standard-definition DVD. There is a huge difference in quality with up-scaling disabled: videos looked comparatively blocky and blurry on the Full HD panel.
Sound quality isn't ground-breaking. While the HT903WA provides a decent accompaniment to movies, the system isn't as versatile as is necessary for music. It's able to reach high volumes, but distortion becomes an issue at higher listening levels.
The system's four floor-standing speakers are capable when it comes to treble, but not outstanding. It's relatively easy for companies to make speakers with decent treble, thanks to the space requirements of tweeter drivers. At low and moderate volumes the speakers sound balanced and measured, but at higher volumes treble starts to get noticeably harsh and distorted.
Mid-range is present, but seems distant and sounds somewhat unrealistic. Especially during vocal- and guitar-heavy sections of music, we were left a little disappointed. The speakers seemed unable to completely fill the room with sound before the treble became overpowering and painfully loud.
Bass is handled decently by the system's subwoofer. It's nothing to write home about; it's slightly too boomy and not deep enough to reproduce cinematic explosions. Bass from the HT903WA is also quite slow — meaning that sound lingers for quite some time — making it unsuitable for musical tracks that require tight, accurate bass.
It's not a very good system for listening to music, but the HT903WA is a reasonable option for the casual movie watcher that has a Full HD television (but no Blu-ray player) and doesn't want wires trailing around the room.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Motorola Moto X Style review: A no compromise flagship
- 2 Oppo R7 Plus review: a stellar sub-$600 phablet
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7) 4G review: Samsung does a lot more with a lot less
- 4 Motorola Moto G (3rd gen) review: Is it worth an extra $100?
- 5 Jawbone UP3 review: 3 months with Jawbone's best fitness tracker
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Chromecast duo extends Google's reach further into the living room
- Yamaha unveils MusicCast, a high-fidelity multi-room audio system that will have 20-plus components by year's end
- Dr. Dre's Apple Music exclusive paid off
- Telstra TV will offer Netflix, Presto and Stan
- Sony's new whole-home speakers combine Google Cast and Apple AirPlay
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW