If you're pushed for space, Samsung's one-box Blu-ray system could be your HD saviour.
Its four standmount-style, compact satellites are far easier to squeeze into a ‘cosy’ room than its rivals. You may not get the same dynamic power or scale as floorstanders, but it’s a versatile setup if space is at a premium.
Rounded feature set
Certainly the main receiver unit seems to fit the bill. 1080p/24fps video can be displayed no problem, and you can treat your ears to HD audio, too.
There’s an FM receiver and an iPod dock – though the latter isn’t integrated into the machine, instead connecting to the back of the unit. An Ethernet port offers a wired internet connection, or cable-phobics can add Samsung’s optional wireless dongle. Lest we forget, there’s a USB input, too.
The welcome addition of a built-in test tone is tempered by the inability to adjust speaker levels at the same time. Once sorted, it's clear this Samsung lacks a little sonic muscle when it comes to Blu-ray discs.
That centre channel sounds as weedy as it looks, while the satellites also lack involvement anywhere near the bottom end of the frequency range, relying on the subwoofer more than they should to provide some solidity.
That said, there's a smooth handover between sub and satellites, while the four speakers do a good job of delivering a cohesive surround-sound ‘whole’.
Black level let-down
The Samsung’s not entirely happy dealing with deep, dark black levels, struggling to discern differences and details in blocks of dark colour. DVD content especially displays some noise, lacking the sharpness and insight of the best.
There’s no denying that for the spec this Samsung system represents very good value and it’s compact for a small room. But when it comes to performance-per-pound you'd be better saving for something a little more capable.
More after the break...
A tidy little Blu-ray system for smaller rooms, but there’s better performance and value to be found elsewhere