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Eyes-on with LG’s streaming Smart Sound Bar

Among the many, many things that LG is unveiling at CES this year is the curious addition of a sound bar with built-in video streaming. That still sounds like a contradiction of purpose to us, but the Smart Sound Bar, also known as the NB3730A, is more fascinating once you dive into the details. The large-sized bar pumps out 300W across its 2.1 channels, and its WiFi takes internet audio and video from CinemaNow, general internet radio, Netflix, Pandora and Vudu. Bluetooth audio is built-in as well. It’s ultimately built for those who don’t have an online-capable TV, Blu-ray player or media hub at their disposal — a group whose ranks are thinning quickly, but certainly still exists.

We got a quick glance at the Smart Sound Bar for ourselves. From a design perspective, it’s simple to operate and thin, if not exactly short. This won’t be a good fit for that small TV in the basement, then, although it’s perfect for that big wall-mounted set. We’d like to tell you how well it works in real life, but expo conditions dictate otherwise: LG unfortunately lacks an internet connection for the sound bar on demo, and an extra-crowded booth isn’t the ideal environment for gauging audio quality. If you’re mostly wondering whether or not it will fit into the living room decor.

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