LG LH-RH9509TA

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LG LH-RH9509TA

Pros

  • 250GB HDD, Connectivity

Cons

  • Menu system, Limited equalization and calibration functions

Bottom Line

A decent offering from LG that has some minor limitations.

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LG has created some great home theatre systems in the past, but unfortunately the LH-RH9509TA left a little to be desired. Sound quality was decent, but a few minor issues detracted from the effectiveness of this system.

The LH-RH9509TA home theatre package includes a subwoofer, centre speakers, two front speakers and two satellite speakers as well as a HDD recorder with a built-in 250GB hard drive.

We were initially disappointed to find that LG had not decided to make this a wireless system like the LH-W750TA. With the mass of colour coded speaker wire provided however, set-up was a fairly simple task, with all speakers connecting to the rather large subwoofer.

The tall speakers look great, covered head-to-toe in mesh, and sitting on clear plastic bases. The same can not be said for the garish subwoofer however, as it looks decidedly out of place next to the speakers.

LG has included a decent number of connections, which should be sufficient for most users. The DVD Player is HDMI equipped while also offering a single component, three composite and an S-video in and out connections. There is also an optical audio input, a DV input for a camcorder as well as two memory slots catering for SD, MMC, SMC, Xd, MS, MS-Pro, CF and MD cards.

On testing we found the directional qualities of the speakers to be good, but not outstanding when compared to some other home theatre sets we have recently reviewed. The array of gunfire in the lobby scene in the Matrix didn't feel as encompassing as we have previously heard, and the musical baseline reproduction was rather droning and dull. The subwoofer handled big explosive rumbles well, but for musical moments in film it did not sound fantastic, generally being too deep and coarse.

With music testing the subwoofer was again dark and often overbearing, suiting itself well to styles such as hip-hop and r'n'b. Sporadic and heavily varied baselines proved a test for the sub, sounding rather dull and lifeless with more up-beat music. The speakers however were clear and handled all styles of music well, being able to be pushed to a very high volume with no audible distortion.

The LH-RH9509TA supports DivX, JPEG, MP3 and Windows Media files. Running through the on-screen menu system seemed easy enough at first, but quickly became frustrating when viewing pictures, videos and music all stored on the one medium. Strangely, all files are sorted by format, so instead of being able to see all our sound files easily in the sound category, we were left searching through the format folders for our files if we did not know their file extensions.

There is no band equaliser, let alone a sole bass and treble adjustment for the speakers, which considering the price is a big let down. We feel there should definitely be more calibration and equalisation options available. There are however a number of sound modes such as movie, hall and theatre to play around with, as well as support for DTS, Dolby Digital and Pro Logic II.

The 250GB HDD recorder works well with the fairly intuitive menu system, although the timeshift function is not the best. When pausing live television, you must first press the timeshift button which takes around 7 seconds to buffer, and then press pause. This makes using the timeshift function less than perfect in instances such as pausing to answer the phone. Aside from this, recording can be done in HQ, SQ, LQ, or EQ mode, and searching and playing back files is an easy task. There is also a radio function on the player with 50 presets.

A middle of the road offering from LG that combines a 250GB HDD recorder with decent speakers, although the subwoofer leaves a little to be desired. Some aspects of the menu system proved fiddly, and for this price we expected more equaliser and calibration settings for the speakers.

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