The BDS 270 is blissfully easy to use. The slim learning remote control matches the weighty build quality of the main unit, feeling comfortable in the hand and boasting a well-thought out arrangement of buttons. The rubber keys are firm and clicky, and there are two helpful rows of input selection buttons at the top that glow red when pressed. The only slight gripe is the tiny lettering, but it’s so intuitive that you won’t need to read them for very long.
Onscreen business is well handled, with a funky looking set of displays. On the central ‘Home’ menu, fonts are crisp and legible, icons are eye-catching and the list of options affords you quick access to key functions and inputs.
Handy onscreen boxes provide key info during playback, while the self-explanatory setup menu makes it easy to play around with the system’s settings. Among these is a Video Processing option, which offer three presets (Standard, Vivid, Cinema) and a Custom option where you can alter the levels of brightness, colour, hue, contrast, sharpness and CTI (colour transient improvement) in the image.
The setup menu also provides the tools you need to manually optimise the sound (tone controls, level and distance) but for added convenience you can use Harman’s Ez Set/EQ automatic calibration system and the supplied microphone. The system blasts the test tones loudly and seems to go on forever but the results are sound.
Bass optimisation can be carried out using the subwoofer’s rear-panel controls. Joining the level dial are three switches controlling Bass Boost, Phase and power mode, while sockets include line-level cinch and trigger minijack inputs.