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Recently Reviewed Home Theaters in-a-Box

Denon DHT-1312BA HTiB First Look

Denon DHT-1312BA HTiB First Look

We almost feel guilty putting the Denon DHT-1312BA in the Home Theater in a Box category. The Denon AVR-1312 is a 75 watt per channel receiver with five channels of discrete amplification (the 110 watt spec you may be seeing is into 6 ohms), a new GUI with HDMI overlay, 24 bit, 96 kHz DACs, support and decoding for all the latest HD audio codecs, and four HDMI 1.4a inputs (3D and ARC supported). The Boston Acoustics MCS 160 speaker system sports four matching satellite speakers with 3" mid-bass drivers and 1/2" dome tweeters and a sub with a 100 watt subwoofer and an 8" long throw woofer. All this for $600? With the technology of one of Denon's newest receivers paired with the sound quality of Boston Acoustics, the DHT-1312BA is sure to be a big seller.

With the technology of one of Denon's newest receivers paired with the sound quality of Boston Acoustics, the DHT-1312BA is sure to be a big seller.

— May 02, 2011 01:30 in Surround Sound Reviews

Harman Kardon BDS 800 HTiB System First Look

Harman Kardon BDS 800 HTiB System First Look

So who should buy a Harman Kardon BDS 800 Home Theater System? Someone looking for a Blu-ray player and speakers. If you are planning on adding anything else to the mix, you're going to have to work around the limitations. This makes this a great solution for a second system where you ONLY want to watch movies or don't mind a little creative wiring. For $1500, we'd think they could have included an HDMI input or two. It certainly would have made this an easier recommendation. Still, the unit system looks nice and it certainly has enough of the features that we like to see. Without the ability to splash 3D all over the box like every other manufacturer is doing, we'll have to see how well it does.

So who should buy a Harman Kardon BDS 800 Home Theater System? Someone looking for a Blu-ray player and speakers or else they'll have to do some creative wiring.

— April 11, 2011 03:20 in Surround Sound Reviews

Yamaha YHT-494 Home Theater in a Box First Look

Yamaha YHT-494 Home Theater in a Box First Look

As a HTiB solution, the Yamaha YHT-494 has a lot going for it. The slim LCR front speaker and cubed back speakers look to be easy to place. While most manufacturers would be trying to entice consumers with promises of "wireless" rear speakers and wall mounting, Yamaha seems to know that most people will be placing their speakers on a surface and running wires. The small size of the speakers and the LCR placement in front of the display is sure to hook some buyers. With the HTR-3063, you've got a receiver you can grow with rather than a box with proprietary hookups that will force you to toss it away when you decide to upgrade.

As a HTiB solution, the Yamaha YHT-494 has a lot going for it. The slim LCR front speaker and cubed back speakers look to be easy to place. At $550 MSRP, this seems like a very nice entry level deal.

— September 24, 2010 00:05 in Surround Sound Reviews

Onkyo HT-S9100THX Home Theater System First Look

Onkyo HT-S9100THX Home Theater System First Look

You want home theater? Full functionality doesn't get much cheaper than the Onkyo HT-S7200. This is 7.1-channel system with nearly all the trimmings - all packed into a nice, convenient box you can give to somebody... or, yourself. This home-theater-in-a-box includes a full A/V receiver and complete 7.1 speaker package. The very reasonable $899 retail price of the HT-S7200 makes it a compelling buy for those looking to move their way firmly into the surround sound experience. The package includes the dedicated A/V receiver, a 10-inch powered subwoofer, Front tower (floorstanding) speakers, a Center channel, and two pairs of Surround and Surround Back speakers. It's a highly upgradable system, and one that will meet the needs for almost anyone looking to break into the home theater experience.

The HT-S9100THX is a 7.1-channel system with nearly all the trimmings, including THX I/S Plus certification - all packed into a nice, convenient box you can give to somebody... or even yourself.

— February 20, 2010 20:05 in Surround Sound Reviews

Onkyo HT-S6200 Home Theater System First Look

Onkyo HT-S6200 Home Theater System First Look

You want home theater? Full functionality doesn't get much cheaper than the Onkyo HT-S6200. This is 7.1-channel system with nearly all the trimmings - all packed into a nice, convenient box you can give to somebody... or, yourself. This home-theater-in-a-box includes a full A/V receiver and complete 7.1 speaker package. The very reasonable $699 retail price of the HT-S6200 makes it a compelling buy for those looking to move their way firmly into the surround sound experience. The package includes the dedicated A/V receiver, a 10-inch powered subwoofer, Front speakers, a Center channel, and two pairs of Surround and Surround Back speakers. It's a highly upgradable system, though there are some things you'll want to watch out for, and we indicate those below.

Prices for home theater systems have absolutely plummeted over the past decade. If we were proving this in a court of law, Exhibit A would have to be the Onkyo HT-S6200 7.1-channel system.

— February 14, 2010 20:05 in Surround Sound Reviews

Onkyo HT-S5200 Home Theater System First Look

Onkyo HT-S5200 Home Theater System First Look

Prices for home theater systems have absolutely plummeted over the past decade. The Onkyo HT-S5200 7.1-channel system is just one example of affordable surround sound. This home-theater-in-a-box includes a full A/V receiver and complete 7.1 speaker package. While clearly marketed as an entry level package, the price of the HT-S5200 makes it a compelling buy for those looking to move their way into the surround sound experience. The package includes the dedicated A/V receiver, a 10-inch powered subwoofer, Front speakers, a Center channel, and two pairs of smaller Surround and Surround Back speakers. It's a highly upgradable system, though there are some things you'll want to watch out for, and we indicate those below.

Prices for home theater systems have absolutely plummeted over the past decade. If we were proving this in a court of law, Exhibit A would have to be the Onkyo HT-S5200 7.1-channel system.

— February 08, 2010 05:05 in Surround Sound Reviews

Onkyo HT-S7200 Home Theater System First Look

Onkyo HT-S7200 Home Theater System First Look

You want home theater? Full functionality doesn't get much cheaper than the Onkyo HT-S7200. This is 7.1-channel system with nearly all the trimmings - all packed into a nice, convenient box you can give to somebody... or, yourself. This home-theater-in-a-box includes a full A/V receiver and complete 7.1 speaker package. The very reasonable $899 retail price of the HT-S7200 makes it a compelling buy for those looking to move their way firmly into the surround sound experience. The package includes the dedicated A/V receiver, a 10-inch powered subwoofer, Front tower (floorstanding) speakers, a Center channel, and two pairs of Surround and Surround Back speakers. It's a highly upgradable system, and one that will meet the needs for almost anyone looking to break into the home theater experience.

Prices for home theater systems have absolutely plummeted over the past decade. If we were proving this in a court of law, Exhibit A would have to be the Onkyo HT-S7200 5.1-channel system.

— February 06, 2010 05:05 in Surround Sound Reviews

Onkyo HT-S3200 Home Theater System First Look

Onkyo HT-S3200 Home Theater System First Look

The prices for surround sound have absolutely plummeted over the past decade. If we were proving this in a court of law, Exhibit A would have to be the Onkyo HT-S3200 5.1-channel system which includes a full A/V receiver and full suite of 5.1 speakers. The only thing entry level about this receiver is its price. The receiver features three HDMI pass-through inputs for high-definition video up to 1080p. This is a super-convenient solution that allows you to connect all of your HD video sources into the receiver for simplified switching. Since the HDMI inputs are pass-through, this means they do not retrieve the audio from the HDMI signal. With no analogue inputs, that means you'll be limited to Dolby Digital and DTS audio signals for Blu-ray discs. This also means that you'll need to run separate audio cables into the HT-R370 to get surround sound.

The prices for surround sound have absolutely plummeted over the past decade. If we were proving this in a court of law, Exhibit A would have to be the Onkyo HT-S3200 5.1-channel system.

— February 05, 2010 05:00 in Surround Sound Reviews

Yamaha NeoHD YMC-500, YMC-700, YMC-S21 Media Controller First Look

Yamaha NeoHD YMC-500, YMC-700, YMC-S21 Media Controller First Look

What if you could get a 5.1 system so easy to setup and use that your parents could do it? We’ve all heard those promises before but Yamaha has delivered in the demo of their new YMC-700 and YMC-500 NeoHD Media Controllers today at CEDIA. Gone are the numerous bulky remotes all of which are replaced by a singular simplified remote that upon first glance doesn’t look like it could do much more than basic multi zone support. Looks can be deceiving especially in this case. After seeing the demo of this system, I couldn't help but feel a bit remorseful that I fixed my parents up with a conventional 5.1 surround system that they could barely operate. If you're looking for operational simplicity, in a compact affordable form factor, keep Yamaha Neo HD on your short list.

What if you could get a 5.1 system so easy to setup and use that your parents could do it? Yamaha delivers on this promise with their new NeoHD Media Controllers YMC-700, YMC-500 & the YMC-S21

— September 11, 2009 21:25 in Surround Sound Reviews

Onkyo Home Theater Systems with ProLogic IIz

Onkyo Home Theater Systems with ProLogic IIz

Onkyo has really been establishing themselves as a market leader when it comes to features and price. The Onkyo HT-S7200 retails for just under $900 and the HT-S6200 for just under $800. The best part, in our opinion, is that they have a full fledged receiver at the heart of them. The HT-S7200 in particular is nice because of the dual subwoofer outputs and integral upconversion and scaling. While 7.1 systems and HDMI inputs aren't exactly new, many of Onkyo's competition don't have Dolby ProLogic IIz in their high end receivers. Onkyo is offering it in their newest entry level home theater-in-a-box systems!

Onkyo has really been establishing themselves as a market leader when it comes to features and price. Their new Home Theater in a Box offerings are clearly a step above the rest.

— August 17, 2009 02:10 in Surround Sound Reviews

Yamaha DVX-700 DVD Home Theater System First Look

Yamaha DVX-700 DVD Home Theater System First Look

Yamaha showed off the DVX-700 DVD home theater system which features an integrated DVD player, two front speakers and 6-1/2" subwoofer in an elegant design. It looks remarkably like a Bose Lifestyle system - right down to the low-profile head unit, ported subwoofer and cube-shaped satellite speakers. The DVX-700 utilizes Yamaha’s exclusive Air Surround Xtreme technology to deliver a surround sound performance without requiring multiple speakers to be installed throughout the room. This is the same DSP utilized in their lower-priced (non-YSP) sound bars.

Yamaha showed off the DVX-700 DVD home theater system which features an integrated DVD player, two front speakers and 6-1/2" subwoofer in an elegant design. It looks remarkably like a Bose Lifestyle

— January 10, 2009 10:55 in Surround Sound Reviews

Sharp Blu-ray Home Theater in a Box

Sharp Blu-ray Home Theater in a Box

Joining the Sharp suite of AQUOS-brand products, including the LCD TVs, and most recently, Blu-ray players, the new AQUOS BD-MPC40 and BD-MPC30 include the main unit, housing a Blu-ray player and amplifier, as well as five speakers and a subwoofer. A high-gloss piano-black finish on the main unit matches the styling of AQUOS TVs, accompanied by black wooden cabinet speakers with the BD-MPC40, and black synthetic finish speakers with BD-MPC30.

Joining the Sharp suite of AQUOS-brand products, including the LCD TVs, and most recently, Blu-ray players, the new AQUOS BD-MPC40 and BD-MPC30 include the main unit, housing a Blu-ray player and

— January 08, 2009 23:00 in Surround Sound Reviews

Samsung HT-X810 Home Theater Sound Bar

Samsung HT-X810 Home Theater Sound Bar

Samsung Electronics is making high-definition video more accessible than ever to consumers with its HT-X810 Home Theater Sound Bar. Now usually we look down our noses at surround bars but with an integrated upconverting DVD player, Bluetooth connectivity AND a wireless sub, we couldn't help but be intrigued.

Samsung Electronics is making high-definition video more accessible than ever to consumers with its HT-X810 Home Theater Sound Bar. Now usually we look down our noses at surround bars but with an

— January 14, 2008 19:33 in Surround Sound Reviews

B&W Liberty Integrated Wireless Entertainment System

B&W Liberty Integrated Wireless Entertainment System

Want to talk about quality Home Theater in a Box? Let's talk about B&W's new Liberty system, a new integrated 5.1 system featuring wireless, cable-free speakers. The Liberty range comprises four speaker models and one combined digital radio and disc player with a wireless transmitter.

Want to talk about quality Home Theater in a Box? Let's talk about B&W's new Liberty system, a new integrated 5.1 system featuring wireless, cable-free speakers. The Liberty range comprises four

— January 08, 2008 11:35 in Surround Sound Reviews