Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Exquisite sound quality, Stores multiple disks, Funky Design
- No video outputs, lacking in features
For those that don't need a receiver with the metaphorical "works", this may be right up your alley. The sound has to be heard to be believed.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
When you first get your hands on a product, it's easy to get taken in by a funky design and nifty functionality. Sporting a slick, vertical DVD player and an innovative disk storage system, the Sharp SD-AS1W definitely has these things, but does it sacrifice too much for a little extra cool factor?
Functionally, it is missing a few things. The most important of these (and a huge sin in our books) is the lack of any video inputs on the receiver. When people purchase a home theatre system, they buy it to synthesise all of their home entertainment devices. Today, most people who own a home theatre are running a DVD player, one or more games consoles, a set top box and a PVR at a minimum. They can't connect all of these to their TV, because the majority of TVs don't have that many high quality inputs; so they turn to a home theatre system. The SD-AS1W won't help them at all in that regard; it is a purely audio receiver, meaning the DVD player must be connected to the TV directly.
The other annoyance we had with the system was that a proprietary cable is used to connect the DVD player and receiver. The system just won't run without this cable, it is the only audio out on the DVD and is also the only way of even switching the receiver on. We question why an optical or co-axial port wasn't used for this.
Thankfully there are a reasonable number of audio inputs available. In addition to the three RCA connections, there is a single optical and co-axial connection, which should satisfy all but the most hardcore audio enthusiasts.
Now onto the good things; first and foremost, this system sounds fantastic. The positional audio was probably the best we have heard. Watching Kill Bill, we could place each individual footfall as people jumped around from multiple directions. We could hear the horde of motorcycles and trucks zoom in from the side as the Crazy 88 arrived. It was absolutely phenomenal.
The quality of the sound was incredible as well. Bass was powerful and rumbling, and the sound was extremely punchy, which is exactly what you want when watching movies. Every sword clash, every gun shot, every gush of blood had such a visceral feel that we finally understand why people are forgoing the cinema in favour of home entertainment setups.
We were equally impressed with the design of the unit. The receiver is slim, thinner than most DVD players, and the DVD player itself mounts vertically on a stand. Pushing the eject button causes the front panel to slide out and rotate, allowing you to insert the disk into a solid rubber slot. It then takes the disk, and files it away. It has the capacity to store up to five disks simultaneously, which we absolutely loved. We could file away our favourite few movies and have them all sitting there waiting to be played. You can even change disks around whilst another one is playing. Brilliant!
We had no trouble setting up the SD-AS1W. The speakers are connected using a standard split speaker cable and the whole process took about ten minutes. Everything is colour coded and we didn't need to refer to the manual at all.
When we did browse through the manual however, we were let down by the absence of any real features to distinguish this system. It only offers the very basics; DTS and Dolby surround, and five surround modes (Movies, Music, Night, Stadium and Hall). That is it. No Pro-Logic or Pro-Logic II support to be found. It does however support MP3, WMA, VCD and JPEG files however, which will appeal to those with a broad spectrum of media.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Amazon bolster Australian Echo lineup with Echo Show and Echo Sub
- Panasonic releases DP-UB9000 Blu-ray player
- Foxtel updates Foxtel GO
- LG's 2018 TVs get smarter from today with Google Assistant and Alexa support
- HomePod to get new Siri Shortcuts, phone calls, and other Siri features in upcoming update
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Hands on with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies