Pros Sounds crisp and powerful
Setting up was surprisingly easy
Build quality is fantastic
Cons No HDMI connection
Summary I wanted something to improve the sound on my flat panel TV without complicating the process of watching it. Basically I wanted to use our Sky remote to control the TV, set top box and the new sound system as well. I could only find two sound systems that are capable of 'learning' from an existing remote - this one and one made by Yamaha. The latter did not offer ipod/ auxiliary connectivity so I went for this Boston Acoustics system, despite reading a few reviews that the sound itself was underwhelming.
Setting up the system was surprisingly easy. The soundbar itself just plugs into a TV or set top box via the optical in lead (supplied). If you plug it into a sky box you will pick up dolby 5.1 sound from sky. If you plug it into your TV you will only get stereo sound, but on the other hand the soundbar will then pick up any sound produced by the TV from non sky sources eg freeview, DVD player etc. I opted to plug the soundbar directly into my TV, for convenience.
You can also use an ordinary phono lead (suppied) to connect your TV to the soundbar, useful if your TV does not have an optical out socket. It also means that you could, if you were so minded, connect your TV to the soundbar using the phono lead and your sky box to the soundbar using the optical out lead, then switch sources at your leisure to take advantage of 5.1 dolby sound when available.
The wireless sub woofer connected automatically without any hassle at all. Apart from the optical in and phono in sockets, the soundbar also has an auxiliary line in socket for connecting an ipod etc.The process of teaching the soundbar the remote codes used for volume up, down, and mute was, again, very straightforward. Just press the 'learning' button combination on the soundbar then point your remote (sky box remote in my case) at the soundbar and press the function you are teaching (eg volume up) four times.
The soundbar blinks green to confirm it has learnt the code and that's that. You can also teach the soundbar to learn a couple of other optional remote codes - one to switch between sources and one to switch between 'movie' and 'music' modes. A word of warning - only do this if your remote has 'spare' buttons that will have no effect on your TV or set top box. Otherwise you may find that switching between sources on the soundbar will also do something unwanted to your TV.
Once I had finished the teaching process, I found that the process of controlling our TV and set top box was essentially unaffected by the addition of the soundbar. We still use exactly the same buttons to turn on, change volume and channel, and turn off. It meant I didn't have to explain anything to my wife!
I'm no expert but to my untrained ear the sound itself is fine. I have turned up the volume to a level where I can barely stand it, and cannot discern any distortion. The sub woofer pumps out a nice rumbling base and the soundbar itself sounds crisp and powerful.
Last night we watched the Andrea Bocelli concert that was broadcast over Christmas and it was much, much better than we were used to from our TV speakers. I am sure that you can get better, more expensive systems but I personally would struggle to notice any difference. PS: I suggest check for low price at: www.multiroomdigitalmusicsystemreviewsbuy.com/buy-boston-acoustics-tvee-model-30-low-price/
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