"Very good value if you are the right kind of buyer"3.5 starson by Cicero321
Pros: Ultra-slick design, better sound than (I) expected, wireless, "place anywhere" sub is simply an unbeatable value proposition, fantastic not having to deal with monolithic speakers on the floor, good 1080p image quality, good DVD reproduction...
Cons: No equalizer in current firmware - and who knows if they'll add it later (they could, as it has a DSP), sub-woofer is slightly too present (but can be scaled down), a fan that is actually a bit too noisy when things should be totally quiet
Summary: The HT-BD8200 has the archetypical dual characteristics of a typical high-end Samsung product as I personally have experienced them the last 4-5 years: on one side, very forward-looking, very high-end features at a very competitive price, BUT, on the other side - struggling a lot with the software implementation. If you are really keen on this product, I personally believe that the only question is whether you are willing to live with its limitations (or that these limitations means little to you anyway.)
I'll start listing the obvious limitations, as I rate and experience them:
1) There's trouble with the AnyNet feature (links a Samsung TV with the 8200) - at least with my UE40B7070 LED TV (this has also been reported elsewhere on the web). If you upgrade the firmware (surprisingly easy over-the-air, as long as you have configured a network), things seems to improve - at least if you plan on using the remote to the 8200 to turn on the TV (and not the original TV remote.) But still issues here.
2) There is no audio equalizer! Of the things that aren't errors with this unit, this is the single most stupid lack of feature. However, because of the BD-syncronisation stuff, this is not the problem I thought it to be whilst playing BlueRays or DVDs. But especially when trying to use the unit for TV audio using the optical input (optical outs usually are not permissable to be equalised by the transmitting unit either), the "movie theatre feel" of the sound in this unit can be a bit too much. Thankfully it is possible to dampen the sub (however, not to accentuate mid and high-tones, which you typically would like in a debate or similar), but it is not possible to mute the sub altogether (other than disconnecting it) ? would be useful for those late viewings when you don?t want to annoy the neighbours.
3) Fan is slightly noisy and sounds of a bit of a cheap produce, even slightly faulty (maybe I was unlucky with my unit). However, I don't get too wound up about this as the only time I notice it (slightly) from 3m afar is when no music is playing - usually I turn it off anyway when not using it.
4) Few inputs. If you use the optical in for your TV, and the Aux in e.g. for your Playstation, there's not room for your PC, or e.g. a free jack for visitors at parties with non-iPods or non-iPhones (for which the 8200 actually has a cradle included...! I don't do iPhone, so this helps little apart from when having visitors, unfortunately.)
5) Silly, superfluous animations. This is a dubious hallmark of Samsung products. Some may like this, but I find them usually too tacky. Fortunately you can turn off the power on/off sound, but the strange pixel-animations (OK: they are not _that_ intrusive, and IMHO actually looks nice the first day you use the unit) remain. And this "GOOD BYE" [actual spelling] when you turn it off. Why - oh, why, Samsung. Do you have a special department of teenagers that has just learnt programming making these things? There are so many good things about your products - why do you have to clutter them with these bells and whistles?? IMHO, you would be better off spending the money on more extensive cycles of (interoperability) testing and of software improvement prior to product launch.
6) I haven't tried the PC streaming feature yet. But I do not have high hopes, as this did not even come close to working with my UE40B7070 LED TV, even after spending several hours of trying. I assume this will probably start working in firmware release 3 or 4, or something like that :), and from the myriad of frustrated posts on the internet having trouble with streaming on similar Samsung product I will wait at least half a year before I try to unlock the alleged wonders of DLNA ;)
If you can leave with the things identified above (and possibly some more that I haven?t found yet) this IS a very good product for what it offers: a chance to throw out all your chunky surround stash, and in return delivers ? all in all ? a pretty good home movie experience (better than many cinemas, anyway). It helps if you really are fed up by that rear speaker that almost never kicks in anyway, as well as that you are concerned about good sound experiences ? but don?t quite position yourself within the (somewhat flaky and usually disproportionally expensive) domains of the strict audiophile. It also helps if you have a bit of technical knowledge, and also that you are ready to live with some of its current software quirks (which, again, hopefully will be rectified at least to some extent with future firmware updates - at least we can hope). But more than anything, this product is for you if you think that big, costly surround-setups anyway is soooo 1990-ies and that there are more sensible ways to spend your time and money (and living room square inches).