In action we were highly impressed by the system's picture performance. It delivers Spider-Man 3's lively 1080p transfer with mesmerising sharpness, scalpel-sharp edges, rich, balanced colours and punchy blacks, all of which give the picture a three dimensional look, even during dark scenes. The scrap between Sandman and Spidey is a cascade of dazzling colours, finely-rendered detail and smooth motion tracking. The Panasonic SC-BT205 offers slightly better detail retrieval but considering the Samsung's lower price it's still a very respectable performance.
We're also impressed by the HT-BD1250's sound performance. Those Bio Kelp speakers turn in a much better performance than they did on the HT-X720G system, admirably conveying the sparkling sonic detail of Spider-Man 3's Dolby TrueHD track. The system delivers key action scenes with impressive scale and bags of energy, firing effects around the soundstage with an open, expansive feel. Some effects have a hard, steely edge when pushed too loud, but mostly high frequencies sound smooth and detailed.
The sub can muster well rounded, hefty bass notes, but lacks a little discipline and control when the going gets tough. Dialogue also feels a bit boxed in. These aren't deal breakers but they do put the Samsung below the LG and Panasonic in terms of performance.
It also does a better job with music than anticipated. Hard-hitting dance beats are delivered with plenty of gusto, and the system is able to tease out subtleties in jazz material. Instruments sound a bit brash in places but unless you're a staunch audiophile the sound is more than adequate.
While its performance isn't up to the standards of its immediate rivals from LG and Panasonic, the Samsung HT-BD1250 is still a fine one-box Blu-ray system. With Wi-Fi support, PC streaming and loads more, its feature list is better than its competitors and at this sort of money that makes it an absolute bargain, despite its sonic shortcomings.