Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Looks incredible, easy to set up, sounds good
- Subwoofer a little lacking, could have a few more features
As far as wired systems go, this is one of the best on the market.
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
It's tough these days to bring an innovative looking product to the market. With an increasingly competitive industry and hundreds of companies all trying to make an impact, the standard designs have been done to death. So when we cracked open Samsung's HT-P1200 we were very pleased to find a rather abstract looking system that is definitely a little different.
The four main speakers are all freestanding, and look great. Each speaker is covered by a black grille, giving them a very simple, elegant look. Every individual component is also marked with a silver circle shape. The sub is huge, and continues the simple black motif.
The receiver, rather than being a horizontally resting system, is an incredibly modern-looking, stand-based receiver and DVD player combo. It is black, backlit with blue LEDs, and bolts onto a stand similar to those used for the speakers. The DVD slot is hidden behind two semi-transparent panels that part when you push the eject button, and the volume is controlled with an iPod-like backlit wheel.
In a single sentence, it looks incredible. While we loved the design, it is also worth noting that for people who have very limited space, a DVD player that doesn't easily stack may not be the most practical system; however, both the speakers and receiver come with clear instructions for wall mounting.
The system was quite easy to set up, too. The speakers required no screws--they merely clip onto the base. The stand for the receiver required screws in several places, but we had it together in a few minutes. Setup took us about 15 minutes in total, which is remarkably fast for a wired home theatre system.
Unfortunately, Samsung has had to make some sacrifices to achieve this look. The receiver has a bare minimum of inputs, with a single set of AV connections, a single set of component connections, two digital audio connections and HDMI support.
The system produces excellent sound. All four main speakers produced crisp, rich highs and strong bass. The surround was particularly well implemented, with few other systems providing such an immersive experience. The only flaw we could find was that despite its size, the subwoofer didn't provide the powerful, rumbling bass we have come to expect from top-class systems.
The system has eight sound modes in total--four each for music and video--and they seem well implemented and with enough variation to please most listeners. It supports Dolby, DTS and Pro Logic I and II. We'd really like a system to step up and offer full equaliser settings, giving the audio enthusiasts something fully manual to play with. For the time being they will have to be content with the basic presets.
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