Setting up the system was not a pleasant experience. It comes with a set of cables, which is fairly important for a system aimed at newcomers who want everything in one hit, but they’re thin and therefore difficult to thread into the binding posts on the back. They bend and fray, and even when clamped down it’s quite easy to yank them out by accident.
There’s no automatic calibration either, which means you need to adjust speaker performance manually in the setup menu. Thankfully this isn’t too complicated, but auto calibration is so entrenched in the AV receiver experience these days that it feels strange not using it.
Things get much better when navigating the onscreen menus. They’re not flashy or colourful, just simple lists crisply superimposed over the picture. The cursor moves around speedily and the submenu structure is sensible.
The first screen is broken down into Speaker, Input and Option Setup. Within the Speaker setup menu, you can set the crossover point for the subwoofer, front, centre and surrounds (between 80Hz and 250Hz for the sub, 40Hz and 250Hz for the sats) as well as the size, distance and levels. Our only gripe is that you can’t use the direction keys to go back and forth between menus, you have to hit Enter and Return every time.
The remote is excellent, sporting a stripped down set of buttons to assist beginners. The volume and menu controls are perfectly placed, with good use of labels and icons. Dedicated buttons for Channel Level, Tone Control and Restorer provide faster access to these key audio adjustments, plus iPod controls are provided at the bottom.