As you’d expect for the money, there’s a staggering amount of features on-board the Samsung HT-F9750W, including a bevy of exclusive audio technology.
First off, the HT-F9750W is equipped with the world’s first Gallium Nitride digital amplifier, which is combined with a built-in valve amp to smooth off harsh distortion. The combination of these two technologies brings the best of both worlds – the efficiency of digital with the warmth of a valve amp. Total power output is quoted at 1,330W.
The speaker cones have been upgraded from glass fibre to Ceramic Polypropylene Injection Diaphragm (CPID), said to deliver clean, accurate low frequencies.
The system is also packed with audio processing modes, chief among them is DTS Neo-Fusion, which was jointly developed by Samsung and DTS. It brings together DTS’s Neo:X and Samsung’s 3D Sound technology to add a sense of height to the soundstage using those swivel speakers in the front towers. Stereo sources can be up-mixed to 7.1 too.
Elsewhere you’ll find familiar Samsung DSP modes (MP3 Enhancer and Power Bass) alongside a new Football mode designed to create a stadium-like sound when watching sports broadcasts. These are complemented by Dolby Pro Logic II (Music, Movie, Game and Matrix) and a range of Sound Effect modes with geographically specific names like ‘Jazz Club in Seoul’ and ‘Philharmonic Hall in Bratislava’.
Elsewhere there’s built-in Bluetooth and wireless rear speakers, which means you don’t have to put up with cables trailing across the room. The rear speakers are connected to a powered receiver, while the transmitter is built into the main unit (most wireless systems provide a separate TX card).
On the Blu-ray side the main unit plays 3D discs and can upscale any source to 4K via HDMI, provided it’s connected to a compatible TV. That won’t apply to many people yet, but it’s good to know it’s there for when 4K is more widespread.
Hook the system up to your router – either through the built-in Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection – and you can access Samsung’s enviable range of internet content.
These include all the main free-to-air catch-up TV services – BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand Five – plus a range of on-demand movie sites (LoveFilm, Netflix, Blinkbox, Knowhow), social networking (Facebook, Twitter) and other popular sites (YouTube, BBC Sport, BBC News, Rightmove, AccuWeather.com).
A separate ‘Movies & TV Shows’ menu provides direct access to on-demand content from the third-party sites and Samsung’s own service, presented with cover art and cast/crew info. You can also tweet about or ‘like’ the available films.
To use the service you’ll need to create a Samsung account and add credit card details for pay services. Samsung’s S-Recommendation system learns your viewing habits and presents you with related content you might like on the home page.
The Samsung HT-9750W can also stream media files from DLNA servers on your home network or using Wi-Fi Direct. The list of streamable files is fairly comprehensive, although to get the best out of it you should install Samsung’s Allshare software.
Via Allshare, we were able to play AVCHD, DivX HD, MKV, AVI, WMV, XviD, VOB, 3GP, MOV, MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV and FLAC. Other software like Windows Media Player can be used but format support isn’t as good. The same formats can be played from USB devices. The system can also decode Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio on Blu-ray discs.
The HT-F9750W also supports screen mirroring, which sends the picture from a Galaxy S3/S4 phone to a TV over a network, and there’s a built-in web browser too, which isn’t particularly quick or friendly to use and therefore only tolerable in short bursts.