"So Far... So Good."4.0 starson by ThePegasys
Pros: Great sound.
Simple Netflix & Pandora streaming.
Cons: No DVI or S-Video output.
Summary: I did not "ding" this unit ratings-wise for the lack of a DVI or S-Video output. It just would have been nice while I am transitioning from my aged Sony Wega 36" non-HD TV to its Samsung 55" LED replacement arriving next week.
Consider this an "interium" review as I have not yet been able to connect this system to a quality HD TV. It is currently connect to the TV via the single RCA type Composite connection. Cannot get the 3 plug Component connection to work for some reason... but I expect that is an issue with the old TV.
However, even with a simple Composite connection (limited to 480p), the playback picture of standard DVDs is a bit better than with our old Sony standard DVD player... which has a better S-Video connection to the TV. The up-scaling of standard DVDs may be the source of the improvement. Maybe not. No clue... But suffice to say, the non-HD picture quality from this unit is very good.
The sound is just excellent.... for movies or just for playing music. All around great audio with easy menus for customizing the sound & speakers.
Setup is a snap. I set up the whole thing with no "RTFM" (read manual) required.
Now for the biggie features, IMO. Netflix and Pandora. I just ran a Cat 6 cable (mighta been an old Cat 5. Don't know, don't care.) from my broadband router and PING!! (pardon the pun)... instantly connected to the home network, Internet, Netflix & Pandora.
Having Netflix Instant TV (requires Netflix account) right there on your TV is like having a mediocre video rental store in your living room. Pandora, a free Internet music service, is a bit like being the disc jockey at your own radio station. You can create your own "stations that play the type of music you like. Very cool!!
My IPod croaked last week... as IPods do... so I have not been able to test that yet. But the plug did fit... so that's always a good sign. ;-)
Add to that 2 USB ports where you can connect your digital camera, a card reader, an HDD or any USB memory stick with MP3s for music... or JPEGs for picture slideshows. Lesser features, to be sure. But still nice to have.
All these "extras" make this system an absolute marvel, in my opinion. Provided the basic functionality is there (sound & DVD playback).. which it appears to be, this would appear to be a home theater system second to none considering the price and broad range of extra goodies..
**** I only gave it 4 stars as I have yet been able to check the HD quality via the HDMI connection.