updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue May 27, 2008
LG Levinson HT Ships
LG this morning said it has started shipping a quintet of home theater systems that are tailored equally to traditional home theater and audio setups as well as portable digital audio. The flagship LHT888 is tuned by Mark Levinson and puts out 5.1-channel surround through a 700-watt speaker system with wireless rear channels. Its host receiver can both play DVDs as well as play media from USB devices, including iPod-specific navigation as well as more generic mass storage. Video can be upscaled as high as 1080p through the HDMI connection, which also supports CEC multi-device control when attached to Blu-ray players, TVs, and other devices that support the standard.
Two additional systems, the LHT874 and LHT854, scale back the audio systems while retaining most of the features: the LHT874 drops floorstanding speakers for the front channels while keeping the wireless rear speakers and using a five-disc DVD changer for movies. The LHT854 opts for an all-wired arrangement, LG says. The LHT888, LHT874, and LHT854 sell for $650, $480, and $300 respectively.
Two 2.1-channel audio systems are targeted at supplying audio alone. The LFD850 and LFA840 put out 160 watts and incorporate a USB host function for playing audio from outside devices. While the LFA840 reverts to a vertical CD player and traditional dial controls, the LFD850 includes a direct iPod dock for controlling and charging the player while also opting for subtler touch-sensitive controls. LG sells the LFA840 for $230 while offering the upgraded LFD850 for $300.