Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Supports HDTV, supports 5.1-channel surround sound
- Has an unintuitive menu system, some features are poorly implemented
Despite a few faults, the LST-6100P comes good in the end, giving users access to the full digital TV experience.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
The LG LST-6100P set top box delivers decent digital TV reception and HD (high definition) quality output, but it's marred by an interface that can be frustrating to use. Support for 5.1 surround sound does help to redeem it, however, and those users who can get past the slight faults will find it to be a great way to experience everything that digital TV has to offer.
Configuring the unit was quick and easy, and within a few minutes we'd picked up every major station in our region. The video output quality was great when run through an HDMI connection, which delivered clear images at up to 1080i (the highest quality free-to-air broadcast resolution in Australia). With HD support, the full range of Australia digital TV channels is available to the viewer. While this doesn't actually provide access to any new content, it allows existing broadcasts to be watched in HD and the increased resolution of the pictures will appeal to many users. Of course, the benefits of HD are most noticeable on a big-screen TV.
The LST-6100P also includes support for Dolby Digital surround sound, which is the sound format that Australian broadcasters use. It allows users to enjoy 5.1 digital surround sound for those programs that are broadcast in this sound format. Unfortunately, 5.1 surround sound broadcasts still aren't common, but the feature is nevertheless a welcome addition, and it's a feature that will hopefully be used more as digital TV development continues.
LG has included a full range of connections on the back panel: it has an HDMI output, coaxial and optical digital audio output, and Component, Composite and S-Video outputs. A connection for a computer monitor is also provided.
The LST-6100P is let down by its interface. The set top box itself and the remote control are standard in their designs, and don't present any major problems. However, several of the features are poorly integrated, and navigating the on-screen interface can be frustrating. The 'Favourites' menu is a good example of this. Adding a channel to the 'Favourites' menu isn't intuitive. It's actually rather complicated. Also, the button for accessing channels in the 'Favourites' menu cycles through all the channels in the 'Favourites' menu. We would prefer it to display a list instead, so that desired channels could be quickly selected by scrolling. With such a large number of digital TV channels available (when considering the standard and high definition options that this unit offers), a favourites list can often contain over a dozen channels. The LST-6100P makes flicking between them a little tedious. This problem is further complicated by a lag when changing channels. While this isn't entirely uncommon, on the LST-6100P we experienced lag of up to five seconds, which is beyond the usual acceptable amount of time.
Still, these things are, in the end, quite minor, and if users are willing to look past them, the LG LST-6100P is a great unit. With HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 support, it gives users access to the cherry on the cake of digital TV, so to speak, and is a fine choice for anyone looking for a way to get the most out of their big-screen TV.
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