The limited capabilities of the speakers means you won’t get the best out of DVD-Audio discs, with the extra sonic detail proving a bit of a stretch for them, particularly at loud volumes. However the overall quality is streets ahead of CD playback and simply having DVD-A playback at all is a real bonus at this price, so I guess we should be grateful.
As for picture quality, Verhoeven’s lurid CG-heavy visuals scrub up well with the deck’s upscaling set to 1080i. It handles the schlocky, blood-splattered colour palette with consummate ease, while the scene where thousands of bugs pour across the planet terrain reveals some decent detail handling. There’s very little evidence of MPEG block noise, jaggies or other unwanted video artefacts, which results in notably clean and sharp images.
On paper, Samsung’s HT-X30 is a really tempting package. The feature list is tremendous for a system under £200, giving you plenty of value-adding extras to fiddle with between films. And there are elements of its performance that will give you reason to smile, such as the solid picture quality. But the system’s playback of movie soundtracks leaves a lot to be desired, at times delivering an uncomfortably abrasive sound that cruelly exposes its budget blueprint. Good value then, but approach with caution.
Score in detail
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