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Samsung HT-BD1252 5.1-Channel System - Samsung HT-BD1252
The bargain basement build quality continues with the rear satellites, which are also light and hollow but perfectly attractive. At 150mm tall you can pop them discreetly on a shelf or cabinet, or mount them on the wall. As for the centre speaker, it’s the same one that accompanies the 1250 system, and once again we’re weirdly impressed by its compact shape, which isn’t a great deal bigger than the remote.
Completing the line up is the subwoofer, a passive affair crafted from the finest MDF, and like the head of Nicola T from Celebrity Big Brother it’s worryingly hollow. Being passive (i.e. doesn’t require its own power source) you don’t get any controls on the back, just a pair of springclip terminals.
Samsung makes up for this shonky build quality with a cracking set of features. Naturally the system is BD Live capable over a wired or wireless connection (see below) plus you can access YouTube and stream music, video or photos from PCs on your home network. It also decodes all the key Blu-ray audio formats and plays MP3, DivX and JPEG files via USB ports on the front and rear. It also upscales DVDs to 1080p and features an FM radio tuner.
The main unit is also equipped with a generous set of sockets on the back. The usual suspects are present and correct – HDMI v1.3a, Component, composite video and analogue stereo outputs – but it’s the array of other unusual connections that really catches the eye.
First, there are two optical digital audio inputs for hooking up external sources like a digital TV receiver, as well as a slot for the supplied iPod dock (which supports all of the main models, including the iPhone). The USB port can be used to connect a memory device for storing BD Live downloads and playing back MP3, JPEG and DivX files, or to plug in a Samsung Wi-Fi dongle and connect to the web wirelessly – although this gizmo will set you back around £50. If that’s too steep, then you’ll have to use the Ethernet port.
Finally there’s a slot for a TX card, which enables the unit to transmit rear-channel signals to the optional SWA-4000 wireless receiver (available for around £70). Although this and the wireless LAN adapter could add over £100 to the overall price, it’s good that Samsung has at least given you the option – after all, wireless is definitely the way to go.
As for installation, you get all the necessary speaker cables in the box, including longer runs for the rears, and the use of colour-coded terminals on the rear panel means there’s no confusion over where they all go.