Customer Reviews: LG BH9230BW 1460W 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System with Wireless Rear Speakers, Sound, Smart TV (2013 Model)
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I write this review from the perspective of a fifty-something dad who has over the years put together various stereo rack systems and has hooked up a range of peripherals to televisions from VCRs to game systems to dvd players, so I admit that I do not have the expertise or equipment to discuss the finer points of the performance of electronics. I am confident that other reviewers will be able to provide that information. I will pretty much stick to my experience of setting this system up in my home.

To begin, I hooked this system up to my family's Samsung 54" television. It does not have 3-D capability, so I will not be able to comment on that aspect of the blu ray player's capability. My television does have an impressive picture, with deep blacks, vibrant colors, and sharp, quickly refreshing images. I just did not have an LG television, but it is perhaps useful for readers to see how well this unit works with products by another manufacturer.

The package arrived with all components securely held. The first thing I did was lay out all the parts to make certain everything was there. It is important to note that the full manual for this product is on a CD-ROM. You do not need to refer to the disc to put the unit together, however; there is a relatively simple cheatsheet that relies on drawings and cartoon figures. It would have been a bit more helpful had there been more colors on the cheatsheet, but it was adequate. Hold on to the CD-ROM, however, because the more I explored the blu ray player, the more capabilities I found. Aside from being able to access the Internet, it has Gracenote abilities to identify audio CDs, it has Bluetooth capability, it can download LG propriety apps, it can respond to apps downloaded onto Apple devices, and it even has FM radio capability. Basically, this unit will likely replace your music system, as well.

I immediately discovered three problems with the package, however. First, it did not include an HDMI cable. You will need to buy one separately in order to install the blu ray player. Also, you will need to purchase an optical connector to send television broadcast sound through the home theater system. Next, during the set-up process, which includes introducing the unit to your Internet in order to take full advantage of its Smart TV technology, you will need to type in some information. While you can use your remote control to select the typing elements, it would have been a good idea had LG included a modest wireless keyboard along with this package. After all, it is difficult to get a full use of many parts of the Internet if one cannot type. I would recommend to LG that the company add the HDMI cable, the optical cable, and a modest keyboard in the future; surely the added price would be offset by the convenience and increased usability.

I encountered only one problem in the setup, by the way--usually when I hook up a wi-fi device, I am asked only for the password for the router the unit recognizes. For some reason, the blu ray player wanted the IP address, the gateway, and some other information. I eventually discovered that I could skip that screen, and everything worked. This information would have been necessary had I hardwired the blu ray player to a modem, but it was not necessary here. I don't know why it asked for it.

The internet connection, by the way, permits users to access Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and any number of content providers through the blu ray player. LG also has various apps available for download. One can connect USBs to the unit, too, so one can access music files and images from them. Further, the unit checks for software updates, too; once I installed it, one of the first things it did was to update itself. I am grateful to see that LG continues even this degree of product support.

The actual installation process was easy, requiring only the connection of the blu ray player to the tv through the HDMI cable (the optical cable is not needed for sound to come from the blu ray player), the addition of a small FM antenna, and the connection of the speakers. Four of the speakers, a center speaker, a subwoofer, and two peripheral side speakers, connect directly to the back of the blu ray unit, and the speaker connection wires are color coded. One also connects a wireless transmitter to the back of the blu ray player; it controls a separate receiver unit to which one connects an additional pair of speakers. I placed this receiver unit about eighteen feet away from the blu ray player, and it worked beautifully. The speaker wires are about eight feet long, a fairly generous length, and I spent more time deciding where to place the speakers than I spent hooking the speakers up. The smaller speakers, by the way, are constructed to that they can be hung from walls as well. The smaller speakers have little rubber feet/pegs so that they do not transmit vibrations onto shelving or furniture. The subwoofer has larger pegs. The central speaker has small rubber strips.

This unit has a slot for installing discs instead of a tray. I found it difficult to use, because when it ejects the discs, it does not do so far enough to permit one to pick up the disc by placing a finger in the hole and placing another finger on the disc's edge to avoid touching the media side. Lacking a tray also means there is more physical contact with the media side of the disc as it slides in and out of the machine. I do not like this method of inserting discs at all.

About the speakers--while the sound is full and rich, I do not care for their makeup and appearance. They are housed in a glossy plastic casing, and they attract dust right away. I set them up in a newly vacuumed room, and within three hours, they already needed wiped off. Also, the speaker cones are bright yellow, highly visible from all over. I would have preferred speakers with a matted finish and some more subtle appearance, and I understand that this issue is a matter of taste, but I prefer not to be diverted by the device when I am experiencing the film.

The unit's performance is impressive. Since my family does not own a number of blu ray discs yet, I tested it with a DVD version of THE DARK KNIGHT and blu ray versions of SKYFALL and BRAVE. I had been told that blu ray players would make DVDs look sharper and better, and I was not disappointed; the picture was rich and detailed, and, while I occasionally saw pixilation (usually distance shots of skyscrapers, in the case of this movie), it was actually less than I noticed when the DVD player was hooked to my old cathode ray television. But playing the blu ray discs was a new experience altogether. When SKYFALL ran, the textures and images had depth and detail that surprised me--I think I could see dimples on the fruit in a marketplace chase scene, and landscapes looked as real as gazing through a window. BRAVE offers a similar revelation, an overwhelming presentation with many distinct elements of animation onscreen at a time--just the labor required to animate Merida's hair is impressive. Making the upgrade to blu ray offers a rich viewing experience.

Aside from that, the sound from this unit makes home viewing a near-cinematic experience. I have to say that if one is weighing the value of adding rear speakers to a unit while making a purchase of a home theater system, I would recommend without reservation getting those rear speakers for a more immersive pleasure. In SKYFALL, bullets seem to whiz by, there's Doppler effect as cars go by, and crowds surround. In BRAVE, the woods are full of birdsong, arrows pass overhead, and threats sneak up from behind. As fine as the pictures are, the sounds make movie viewing even more satisfying. Get those rear speakers.

So, overall, I have a great deal of satisfaction with this product's performance. The setup is mostly easy, and the results are rich and full. My reservations, as noted above, include the glitch in internet installation, the lack of peripheral material such as the HDMI cable, the optical cable, and wireless keyboard, the appearance of the speakers, and the means of disc import. Recommended.
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on June 5, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love this system the flexability and control is awesome. You can customize this system to satisfy whatever need you have. From room shaking bass to a more subdued quietness you can have it all. Setup for this system was simple, but not perfect. We have the LG 55LA6900 television (55" LED) and the home theater system connected pretty easily to it.

After deciding where to put the speakers it was just a matter of moving our 300 lb entertainment center (easy peasy) and connect all the wires. Since this system has a Blu-Ray player in it I decided to just unplug our old Blu-Ray, that was connected to our HDMI-2 port, and connect the new player to HDMI-2 using the same cord. Everything seemed okay during the set up, but I noticed the Magic Remote that comes with new LG TVs would not control the LG Blu-Ray. The Magic Remote is suppose to be a universal remote. I was able to control the Blu-Ray via the supplied remote. I contacted LG customer support and asked them. After a week of waiting for an answer their response was that I needed to check to see if both the TV and the HTS have the SimpLink feature then they should be able to communicate. Maybe I am nit-picking, but shouldn't LG's customer support know whether their two models have this feature? I had to go and check. Short answer the SimpLink feature is available through HDMI-3 (not HDMI-2). Once I figured that out and switched the connection the Magic Remote fully controlled the HTS. You can see my communication with customer support on the LG website. Just search for this HTS system and then click on the "Ask & Answer" tab.

The only other issue you may want to be aware of is that LG claims that the subwoofer is wireless; it is not. The subwoofer, has a speaker wire that runs to the front unit. The rear speakers are wireless, almost. The two rear speakers connect to their own receiver. The rear receiver communicates wirelessly to the front receiver. This is a nice feature because it allows us to not have to worry about cables running from the rear of the room to the front. In all honesty, I prefer the wireless rear unit. At first I thought maybe they are calling the subwoofer wireless because it does not need a power cord. but if you read the description on this page it says, "Installation is simple and speaker wire management is reduced with the Wireless Subwoofer". I have contacted LG so they can correct this.

Beyond these minor issues the system works great. I love that we can cycle through the various speaker configurations with the click of one button. Trust me I Love Lucy in 9.1 surround sound just doesn't work. Also, I like that I can connect a wireless keyboard to the USB port. The Blu-Ray playback is excellent and the Smart TV connection to the Internet is very fast. Overall, a fantastic system.
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VINE VOICEon June 20, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This entertainment center has everything you could ever need for your living room: great sound for watching movies and tv, as well as games (XBox games on this system make you feel like you're in a real war zone!. You can watch regular DVDs or Blurays, and you can also play your cds and listen to the traditional radio (AM/FM). Our family watched the movie of Life of Pi on Bluray last week and we were blown away by the gorgeous picture and crazy surround sound! Of course, our tv is a brand new LG 60 inch Plasma Smart tv, so that helps the experience quite a bit as well. However, that also seems to be part of the problem.

You are going to need an HDMI cable, and for the price of this system, that should really be included in the box. Set up is not really difficult, as far as physically plugging it all in, but setting up the system with our Smart tv has been a challenge. It all seems intuitive, but trying to interface with our Smart tv, which is also the same brand, has been a problem. Depending on what you want to do (watch cable tv, play a dvd/Bluray, watch Netflix via Smart tv, play Xbox/Wii), it can take a couple of minutes (actual minutes, not seconds) to turn on the tv and figure out what setting the entertainment center should be on. The "Smart remote" that comes with the tv can be programmed to work with the entertainment center, but using that is still very limited. If the tv is not set up to the correct setting for whatever the next time it is turned on to be watched, you're sitting there with two remotes trying to figure out which one you should be using now. Frustrating, and a waste of time, especially when you're just wanting to turn on the news or weather channel quickly. My husband has tried to "show me" how to turn the thing on, but it is ridiculous amount of steps that seems to vary every time.

My husband decided to call LG Customer Service to see if we could start over. The first rep he spoke to was a woman and fairly unhelpful--she just didn't want to listen to him explain the problem, she just wanted to tell him to start doing things with the remote. Then they were disconnected, and even though they ask for your phone number at the start of the conversation, she did NOT call him back. After a few minutes, he called again, and got another rep, who was not any more helpful, really. A better listener, but that conversation really yielded nothing helpful. Kind of shocking that this system, a lovely sleek, attractive top of the line LG product does not interact more seamlessly with a brand new top of the line tv from the same company, and we couldn't get anymore help from the company that makes these brand new products.

All those negatives being stated, the system does work beautifully, once you have it on, and it is stunning. My husband loves the way it looks (sleek, pretty, not a big bulky thing), the speaker set up is great--not totally wireless, it has a wireless receiver for the two speakers in another part of the room. Ours are set up on either side of our sofa, for optimum movie watching enjoyment, as well as game playing for our 12 year old son and teenage daughters.

We just wish there was a better interface between the Smart tv and the smart entertainment center. We already have our apps set up on the LG Smart tv, and really like using the neat smart remote that come with the tv, and not the apps in the center.

4 stars--we love it, just wish it was smoother. We wish LG customer service was a little more helpful, polite and knowledgeable.

Revision: 3 stars, lowering my review, because even though we thought we'd get used to this thing, it is still a pain in the neck every time we turn it on! The LG Smart TV is supposed to interact with this system, but we have to jump through hoops to get it turned on every time we want to watch something. You have to pull up a menu on the tv screen just to try and eject a disc...ridiculous. I'm sick of spending 5-20 minutes initially, every time we want to use it. I expect a quicker response when using the remote. Sometimes, the unit just sits there. Other times, it mysteriously turns off while watching regular television. LG customer service is NO help. I thought maybe they'd try to contact us via Amazon(we've called them numerous times, at least 4 times) after seeing my review, but nothing...a disappointment, since we love our LG tv.
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on May 28, 2014
I purchased this particular home theater about 4 months ago for its features as well as replace my old Blu Ray and Roku. This product has not met the standards I would expect from LG. The Blu ray has been sent off for repair twice within the first month of ownership and was gone for a week each time (it would not recognize any disc and was not repaired the first time I sent it in). I enjoyed the sound quality and was happy with the features so I chose to keep it and give it a shot.

This device does not support Amazon Prime which was a disappointment, but the real frustration is the horsepower. The smart TV does not have enough processing power to keep up with the apps. The apps are slow to load and after it loads, slow to navigate the menus. Once a show has been selected, it buffers and starts without issues, however it locks up on occasion (at least once a week) for no apparent reason and has to be unplugged to get it restarted. It seems to lock up more often when I pause/RW/FF frequently. I would have been more than willing to pay a little more for a product that was designed properly.

When a product advertises certain features, I expect them to work in a quality fashion. I find it very deceiving when a company releases a product that does not perform in a quality fashion and I would be very hesitant to purchase another LG product based on the ethical build of this one.
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on January 30, 2014
I read a lot of reviews on this product while choosing a new system. We upgraded from a Samsung wireless rear speaker model. Setup was a breeze with the color coded connectors (yes they are not your standard speaker wire connections, but I don't mind this and actually prefer these). I had zero problem getting the rear speakers to connect wirelessly following the on-screen directions and I have had no problem with them just turning off or interfering with my house wireless (internet connection and wireless router are in the same room as this system). The 2 in HDMI ports are great for this day and age. I am impressed with the sound quality and especially the fact that I can CLEARLY hear voices (whispers or normal) while the subwoofer is in full action! This alone would make this system worth buying for me, but I also love not having cables running to the rear speakers as we are a service family and move every 2 - 3 years and don't own the housing we are put in so no drilling a bunch of holes etc. The only issue is the same one our other system had, which is I think more a ROKU issue and that's that it will not always detect HDMI input from the ROKU on startup but if I unplug and plug the HDMI side on the ROKU it picks it up right away. Alas, since this system has Netflix, Hulu and other 'smart' options I don't have to have the ROKU except for Amazon Prime streaming. So far, for the money this is a very nice system.
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VINE VOICEon June 12, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The sound quality that this system possesses is pretty impressive, especially when you've got it going on its 9.1 setting. Color coded wiring and quick snap plugs make installation a breeze. You'll literally be up and running within minutes. It's a very easy system to setup but it should also be said up front that even though the rear speakers are "technically" wireless, they more or less fit that description by being wired to a wireless transmitter box, which needs to be plugged into a wall socket. One thing that sort of bugged me in regards to this system was the lack of internal memory. I actually needed to plug in a flash drive in order to save the Blu Ray player updates for the film "Prometheus", which for some reason or other I wasn't able to save to the system directly. Having no internal memory is a bit strange of a design choice to me, personally. I also wasn't particularly crazy about the mandatory sign-in feature and needing to register with LG in order to access regular apps like Netflix. Still, even with these minor gripes, I came away impressed by how intuitive the system was to operate and the great sound that I got out of it. The speakers all reproduce sound very clearly and the subwoofer packs a decent punch. What's also great is that you can fiddle with all of your levels and settings right up on the screen instead of on the unit itself.

For the price, you get a very, very decent setup that will truly help add some spark to your everyday movie viewing and give you plenty of options to play around with. It has enough ports to cover the most basic needs and will win over anyone with its simple design and impressive surround performance.
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on January 15, 2015
I bought this product a while ago so they may have improved it, but it has been pretty subpar for me. Less than a year after purchasing, the wireless stopped working, but LG replaced the unit. For the last several months, it has not worked with Netflix (in fairness, this could be a Netflix problem, but I suspect the LG is the issue). Also, the unit gets confused sometimes and needs to be reset.

The sound quality is great, but I am not happy with all of these integration challenges.
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on July 29, 2014
Love this system!!! Sound is superior to anything I have ever experienced before. It is so loud I can only set it at 30 tops before its ridiculous. Couple of people spoke about it being hard to hear voices....only happens with DVD's I have found. The arrangement of the speakers and the fact the bask two are wireless (connected with a receiver that plugs in) makes the MOVIE selection of sound truly incredible. I was watching Battleship and it felt and sounded like the bombs were being launched across the room from one end to the other. Really enjoy the apps (netflix, hulu etc) that make this a complete system. We have experienced a few issues with DVD's. Now this may or may not be due to the disk but it appears the system (coupled with voices on sound) does not like DVD's which to me is just fine. Other than that, it is truly an amazing experience. I highly suggest setting up the distance on the speaker properly for the best Surround Experience.
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on February 11, 2015
I have owned this smart 3D Blu-ray for a little over a year. Let me tell you, very disappointed! When we first got it, it was great! Love the sound and picture! However, for some reason my dish network would occasionally show a double screen. (A split screen showing the same picture) it would get stuck like this. I was thinking what in the world is wrong with my dish box?! Maybe I need a new one. I received the new dish box. This kept happening. Ended up figuring out it was the bluray player causing the issue. Just recently our sound has began to go out. It is very staticy on and off. And out of nowhere it will suddenly play a high pitched squilling sound. This morning my kids were sleeping and I was quietly watching the news until the bluray decided to flip out and put out a very loud squilling sound like it was possessed. Woke the kids up. The bluray player has always been very finicky. It has always frozen during a movie. All of our gaming systems and our dish network plays through the bluray system so we always have surround sound. So sending it back never appealed to me because it would be such an inconvenience. I regret not sending it back when I had the warranty though... I didn't buy this blu-ray. It was a Christmas gift. I don't recommend it.
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on May 24, 2014
This HTS was to be my answer to my home theater needs and to replace my Sony systme of old. Not to be. The is system does not link well to my LG TV and is very quarky. I have updated the software many times and it doesnot work as well as the old Sony. LG has been less than helpful to resolve problems. I would like to return it but what a bother.
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