Reviewer: Thomas Bartlett
One thing that has constantly impressed me about Korean brand LG has been its thoughtfulness. Launching itself into the home theatre receiver market for the first time, that it’s entry would be low priced was no surprise. What was surprising was the host of useful features included on this $700 receiver.
First, though, the receiver offers six channels of amplification, each rated at 100 watts into 8 ohms. A single channel is provided for surround back work. It has decoders for all the standard DVD formats.
All the important features are included, such as an adjustable crossover frequency for the subwoofer, audio delay to overcome lip sync problems, and even automatic speaker setup using an included calibration microphone.
What sets this receiver apart – aside from its remarkably low price – is the host of sensible features. First, you actually get HDMI inputs: two of them. So you can take advantage of the highest video standards presently available, along with the convenience of a single cable connection. Nor is this merely a switching facility: the HDMI inputs also accept sound from the HDMI source so you can dispense with the audio connections.
While on the subject of connections, there are two sets of component video inputs as well but, strangely, no S-Video sockets. That could rule out the ready use of some items of equipment.
There is no iPod docking connection as such, but instead you have a 3.5 mm mini-jack stereo input on the front panel, which is perfect for connecting any brand of MP3 player. You can also plug USB memory sticks into the front panel and play back MP3 and WMA files, or display photos. Or you can plug the unit into your computer and use your system as a giant computer speaker system.
This receiver is also available as part of the AR702TS package, which comes with the six loudspeakers (two floorstanding) and active subwoofer for $1,399.