On the back of the main unit is a solid set of sockets, including an HDMI 1.3 output that offers 1080/24p output and HDMI CEC support (which Samsung calls Movie Frame and Anynet+ respectively). The video output for this socket can be set to 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576/480p or 576/480i. There are also component and composite video outs, two optical digital audio inputs (handy for feeding in a Dolby Digital bitstream from a Sky or Freesat box) and a LAN port, which can be used to update the unit’s firmware.
There are no HDMI inputs though, so you can’t use the system as a video switcher for other HD sources, or take advantage of the HD audio decoding from a separate hi-def player. It’s also worth pointing out that there are no USB ports or card slots for playing back media files, and there’s no iPod dock as found on the SC-BT100.
The front and surround speakers are of the tallboy variety, each standing over 1.3m tall when perched on the circular stand and plastic lower section (which you have to bolt together yourself). Despite their size, the speakers aren’t too imposing, with a matching gloss black finish that would look great in any living room. But if you need to reduce their impact on your space, then you can wall-mount them.
Also in the box is a pair of bookshelf style surround back speakers, a horizontally mounted centre speaker and a squat, cube-shaped powered subwoofer, which is mounted on sturdy plastic feet.
Setting up the system is a piece of cake thanks to the inclusion of coloured plugs on the ends of the supplied speaker cables that correspond with the terminals on the back of the main unit. The onscreen architecture is identical to the Samsung BD-P1400 (obviously the player at the heart of this system) which is good news, given that the main menu is dead simple to navigate and is presented in hi-def resolution with snazzy graphics.
The remote is one of the long thin types that Samsung favours, but we’re not big fans of the overcrowded layout or tiny labelling, both of which make operation less intuitive than it should be.
But there are no qualms over picture quality. Hooked up to a 1080/24p-capable Toshiba LCD set with Movie Frame turned on, the Samsung turns in a very striking picture performance with ”I Am Legend”. The image boasts plenty of depth and masses of detail, making the overall viewing experience feel immersive and engaging.
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