updated 02:45 pm EDT, Wed April 1, 2009
Samsung 5.1-channel system
Samsung on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of the affordable 650W HT-AS730 5.1-channel home theater sound system which features 1080p video pass-through support. The system can be quickly upgraded to a 7.1-channel system with the purchase of two new speakers. The system is also easy to setup, thanks to Samsung's Auto Sound Calibration that includes a microphone to gauge a room's dimensions and speaker orientation. The Smart Volume function also keeps volume at a consistent, pre-set level despite the volume of the source, preventing surprises when switching channels or sources. There is also an integrated iPod and iPhone dock.
No disc player is integrated into the receiver, although an FM tuner is built-in. There are three HDMI-CEC inputs, with a single HDMI-CEC output, along with three optical audio inputs and a single coaxial input. Samsung didn't bother including lesser, analog connections, and the system is set-up for wireless rear speakers. The speaker cones are made of Bio kelp instead of paper, which is made from renewable materials. Adding to its green credentials is the system's Energy Star compliance.
Supported sound processing codecs include Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro-Logic-II, Dolby Pro-Logic-IIx, Dolby Digital EX, DTS, DTS ES Discrete 6.1, DTS 96/24 and DTS Neo 6. Audio upscaling is also supported by the HT-AS730.
The HT-AS730 will launch in April, priced at just shy of $500.