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9/10

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Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5 - Teufel Concept E 400 and Decoder Station 5

At the rear of the CE 400 SW you'll find five pairs of spring clips for the satellite speakers - binding posts are a bit much to ask for at this price point. Next to the spring clips are six analogue phono inputs for pumping the 5.1-channel signal to the amplifier. Throw in the power socket, and that's all the connections covered. So, you're probably wondering why Teufel would create a speaker set like this with only one source input. The answer is simple, Teufel is expecting customers to pair the Concept E 400s with one of its Decoderstations.
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Teufel sent the new Decoderstation 5 along with the Concept E 400s, which will set you back an additional £154, although if you didn't need quite so many inputs, you could go for the older Decoderstation 3 for £111 instead. The Decoderstations bring two benefits to Tuefel's multimedia speaker sets. First, they allow you to connect multiple sources, and secondly, they have integrated Dolby Digital and DTS decoders, allowing you to output a pure digital bitstream from your source. There's also in-built Dolby Pro Logic decoding, so you can get a surround sound from analogue stereo sources too.
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The Decoderstation 5 has four digital inputs - two optical and two coaxial. You also get three analogue stereo inputs and one full set of 5.1-channel analogue inputs. This last set is particularly important if you're planning on hooking up a Blu-ray player. Since the Decoderstation 5 doesn't support the latest high definition codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, the answer would be to buy a player that decodes these new codecs onboard, and then outputs the decoded audio via six analogue channels. As long as your Blu-ray player has that ability, there's no reason why the Concept E 400s couldn't make the most of your Blu-ray soundtracks.
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There's an infrared remote supplied with the Decoderstation 5, allowing you to switch sources and adjust the volume from the comfort of your chair/sofa. Unfortunately there's no way to remotely switch the subwoofer on, so you're still going to have to get up from your chair to get things going, although it will power itself off if left idle for a while.

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