"Awesome Features, Not Awesome Sound"3.0 starson by CPU-MD
Pros: The Internet media features make this type of device a Gotta Have. Home Networking and the built in intelligence is very cool.
Cons: The Front, Center, Subwoofer Speakers are very cheap
Summary: This unit has awesome features, Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, Home networking, built in Wi-Fi (however it is always best to have wired connections for streaming movies).
The setup was incredibly easy. Using their on-screen keyboard is not consistent through all the applications but still easy enough. The Blu-Ray plays instantly when inserted.
When it comes to Features this unit Rocks!! But when it comes to Sound this unit stinks!! The main reason is the speakers; they are all short throw small (less than 4 inch), 4 ohm (not 8 ohm) speakers except for the 4 ohm, 8 inch ?passive? subwoofer. The center speaker sounds like a tin can. The front speakers are too small with a poor dynamic range and are more like rear surround speakers. The surround speakers are the same as the front speakers and work just fine for their purpose. The subwoofer needs to be active the unit does not have the oomph to drive the single speaker in a pressboard box with the wire permanently connected through a little hole in the back. When the live audio source switches (like when going from regular programs to commercials) there can be a loud crackle as the station or source switches from full sound to the mono-phonic of a commercial and vice versa (I notice this most when watching CNN HLN) I have replaced the Center and Front Speakers but for most finding a 4 ohm speaker may be difficult. This has improved the sound but has not reduces the crackle and I am not sure what I will do about the sub-woofer.
The front faceplate is a type of plastic that hold a static charge so it?s a real dust magnet.
The IPod dock would be better if it were a cable and the Auxillary Input is really in an akward spot on the front as well.
The price of this unit around $500 jumps to about $800 when you add good speakers so the value is not there but like I said it still has awesome features.