Sight and sound to bowl you over

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Sight and sound to bowl you over

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by tommyj

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The BH9530TW home-cinema system from LG makes music and movies come to life

The LG BH9530TW smart 3D Blu-ray home cinema system can immerse you in a complete 3D picture and 3D sound experience.

The 3D concept is no longer restricted to just pictures, but takes in sound as well. And LG achieves it by using 9.1-channel technology in an easy-to-install 5.1 form factor.

The BH9530TW comes with four towers of speakers and a centre speaker, plus a passive subwoofer. The system achieves 9.1 channels because each of the four towers has two separate audio channels with two separate audio cables built in. Each tower has speakers up front, facing out, plus another at the top, facing the ceiling.

So you get a centre channel, subwoofer channel, front-right channel, front-top right channel, front-left channel, front top-left channel, rear right channel, rear top-right channel, rear left channel and rear top-left channel.

The system uses the four top channels to create 3D sound effects effectively.

Normally with a 5.1-channel system, it’s difficult to install the rear speakers because you need to connect the cable from the main amplifier unit to the rear speakers. And you have to hide the cables in a cable duct. In certain situations you might also need to hire someone to install the ducts for you so your living room looks neat.

But the BH9530TW comes with a wireless rear-speaker design. The speakers aren’t wireless – the system has a wireless receiver unit that you plug the rear speakers into. All you need is a power socket for the wireless receiver’s cable. When you start up the system, the receiver automatically connects to the main unit, without no further set-up required.

This way, you can place the receiver at the back your sofa, connect the rear speakers to it and hide the cables easily.

The audio system is very powerful, a total music output power of 1,460 watts.

To enjoy the surround sound, you activate either a 3D Music or 3D Movie sound effect. The sound effect uses existing channels – normally 5.1 or 7.1 -from the DTS music CD or a Blu-ray disc to generate the 9.1 channels of sound.

3D Music mode will deliver outstanding surround sound for a concert-like experience, while 3D Movie mode delivers a cinema-like experience in your home.

During my test I really enjoyed 3D Music mode. The music fully enveloped me while I played the DTS music CDs and DVD audio discs.

Although the system uses a passive, not active-powered subwoofer, I found that the bass was very solid and powerful. The drum and bass were outstanding. And the bomb-blast scene in a movie really shook the floor.

I watched "Peter Gabriel: New Blood Live" in London Blu-ray disc and found that the bass guitar, drum and cellos sounded very powerful and solid. Likewise, David Gilmore’s "Remember That Night" Blu-ray disc sounded huge with bass. I listened to dance songs stored on a USB drive and found the bass floor-shaking.

The BH9530TW also reproduced high and mid-range sounds clearly with good detail. This is partly because LG uses Aramid Fibre in its speakers, which minimises distortion because it’s highly resistant to external stimuli, so the drivers can deliver clear and precise sound.

The front and rear speakers use a two-way, two-speaker format, while the top and centre speakers use a one-way, one-speaker format. The Aramid Fibre drivers in the five main channels let the system produce clarity with great detail.

The system can also play music from your smartphone with a Bluetooth connection or from a USB drive, and at the same time you can use the 3D Music sound effect.

Apart from the 3D sound effects, you can also select other effects to suit your music tastes. They include Natural, Bypass, Bass Blast, Clear Voice, Night and Up Scaler.

For example, you can use Bypass to listen to multi-channel surround audio signal just the way it was recorded. If you love powerful bass, you will enjoy the Bass Blast, which reinforces the bass from the front left and right speakers and the subwoofer.

Up Scaler Mode is very useful when you play MP3 files or other compressed music. It will enhance the quality and play it in stereo mode.

The BH9530TW also supports Wi-Fi Direct connection with a smartphone or tablet. Or it can connect to a PC or notebook computer or a tablet with DLNA function, so you can access the music, photo and movie files from the home-theatre system and display them on a TV connected to the system, meanwhile playing music on the system.

And if your smartphone supports Miracast technology, you can mirror its display on a TV that’s connected to the BH9530TW. This way, you can share digital content from your phone or tablet wirelessly. Miracast requires a Wi-Fi network and Miracast certified phone.

Another nice feature is that the system can be easily hooked up with an iPod, iPhone or iPad via a USB cable. The system recognises them and activates the iPod-in function to allow you to play music. I tested it with the first-version iPad and it played music fine.

The BH9530TW can be connected to a USB hard drive to play any Full HD movies stored on it. I tried a movie file backed up from a Blu-ray disc and it played fine, but did not show the subtitles.

There are two HDMI-in ports and one HDMI-out port, so you can use it as a home-entertainment hub by connecting the HDMI cables from your HD satellite TV or a HD game console to the home-theatre system and then connect its HDMI-out to your large-screen LCD TV.

And if your TV doesn’t have smart TV or Internet function, you can use the smart TV function of the BH9530TW. It has a Web browser and you can install more apps on it.

Of course, the BH9530TW can play 3D Blu-ray discs, allowing you to enjoy stunning and fun 3D movies. I tested this function on LG’s 55LA7400 3D Cinema smart TV and was really impressed by the vividness and clarity of the movies.

The pictures really popped out and, in several scenes, objects seemed to fly into my face. I watched "The Avengers 3D" and was impressed by the clear dimension. I could see the layers of depth clearly. In several scenes the characters came right out of the screen.

Watching a 3D demo disc from LG was also fun. For example, I could see a cricket ball flying into my face and, in some scenes, soap bubbles fly outside the screen to fill my living room.

And if you’re one of those lucky enough to have an Ultra HD TV, you can enjoy the Ultra HD UP-scaling function of the BH9530TW. It upgrades normal pictures to Ultra HD quality, which is four times the resolution of Full HD.

LG BH9530TW retails for Bt27,990.

Key specs


_ Power output: Total 1460 W (RMS), THD 10 %

_ Front: 180 W x 2

_ Centre: 180 W

_ Rear: 180 W x 2

_ Sub-Woofer: 200 W (Passive)

_ 3D Effect – Front Top Speaker: 90 W x 2

_ 3D Effect – Rear Top Speaker: 90 W x 2

_ Playable disc type: BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE, DVD(NTSC), DVD(PAL), DVD-R, DVD-RW(Video/VR Mode), DVD+R, DVD+RW (Video mode), Audio CD, DTS-CD, CD-R/CD-RW

_ Supported video format: MPEG2, MPEG4 AVC(H.264), SMPTE VC1 (VC-9), DivX, DivX HD, MKV, AVC HD, M4V, WMV, FLV, 3GP, MP4, MOV, VOB, MPEG1

_ Supported audio format: LPCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS HD-Master Audio, MPEG 1/2 L2, MP3, MMA, AAC, FLAC

_ FM Tuning Range: 87.5 to 108.0 MHz or 87.50 to 108.00 MHz

_ Inputs/Outputs: 2 x HDMI-in, 1 x HDMI-out (Version 1.4), 1 x analogue audio in (RCA jack), 1 optical jack, 2 x mic input

_ Connectivity: LAN port Ethernet jack x 1, 10BASE-T / 100BASE-TX; Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11n (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands) compatible with 802.11a/b/g; Bluetooth

Physical size:

_ Main: 444 x 65 x 292.5 mm

_ Front Speaker: 270 x 1300 x 270 mm

_ Center Speaker: 360 x 81 x 70 mm

_ Rear Speaker: 270 x 1300 x 270 mm

_ Subwoofer: 251 x 336 x 355 mm

_ Wireless receiver: 245 X 190 X 80.2 mm

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