The HT-C6730W delivers an impressive audio performance with Blu-ray discs. Inception’s high-octane action set pieces are reproduced with blistering energy and clarity – the third-level dream sequence in the snow is packed with sharp, attacking gun shots and powerful low-end effects, like the avalanche and the exploding building. The clean, crisp handling of the score pushes the action along nicely and the centre speaker’s clear dialogue reproduction enables it to cut through the frenetic action. It’s exciting stuff, and will blow your mind if you’ve only been used to flatpanel TV speakers.
What’s more, when watching a 7.1 soundtrack the soundstage is wonderfully immersive, with those extra surround speakers giving you a better sense of envelopment than a 5.1 setup. They’re not quite as effective when used as front height speakers but given the right material (primarily video games) you can get some entertaining results out of Pro Logic IIz.
High frequency reproduction is fairly good by all-in-one system standards, making the top-end detail of Inception’s DTS HD Master Audio track sound crisp and perky with very little harshness. We’re not saying it’s any sort of match for the AV receivers and speaker systems we’ve tested of late, which are likely to get you greater openness, clarity and power, and we’re not bowled over by the subwoofer either, which is a bit flabby when really pushed hard – but overall it’s a more satisfying sound than you might expect from a budget system.
Video wise there are no problems whatsoever – the HT-C6730W outputs clean, glitch-free 1080p pictures over HDMI and the result is a beautifully detailed, accurately coloured and cinematic-looking picture. We’re also impressed by the quality of the system’s 1080p upscaling, which hits HD resolution without introducing unsightly artefacts.
If you want 7.1-channel home cinema on a budget but have no interest in 3D, then the HT-C6730W is well worth a punt. Although you can hear the budget limitations of its sound quality, it still delivers a competent performance that does justice to Blu-ray’s HD audio formats, and when you marry that to the extraordinary feature list and stylish looks you have a genuine bargain on your hands.