Samsung adds high-end Blu-ray home theater system

Samsung is releasing a high-end, $800 Blu-ray HTIB in August, with wireless rear speakers and two HDMI inputs.

Samsung

Samsung already offers a pair of Blu-ray home theaters systems (the HT-BD7200 and HT-BD1250T ), and the company is planning to add a third option in August, the HT-BD3252. While most Blu-ray home theater systems available from LG, Panasonic, and even Samsung, are aimed at offering Blu-ray home theater at the lowest price possible, the HT-BD3252 will carry an $800 price tag, pushing it out of the "budget" category.

The HT-BD3252 costs $250 more than the step-down Samsung HT-BD1250T, and it has a couple of important upgrades to justify the price. The most obvious difference is that the BD3252 sports tall-boy speakers up front, and the rear speakers also get a wireless upgrade, so you don't have to run speaker wires from the front of your home theater to the back. Another huge upgrade is that the HT-BD3252 includes two HDMI inputs, making it easy to connect your other home theater gear, like a cable box or game console.

In addition to the step-up features, the HT-BD3252 will have all the standard features available on Samsung Blu-ray HTIBs. That includes streaming media services such as Netflix, Pandora, and Blockbuster OnDemand (coming in the fall), plus full Blu-ray functionality from the built-in player, which supports Profile 2.0 and has onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

The HT-BD3252 has a built-in Ethernet port for Internet connectivity; it's also "wireless ready" by purchasing a Samsung USB Wi-Fi dongle, although the dongle's $80 price tag makes that functionality much less attractive.

The HT-BD3252 is the same price as the recently reviewed Sony BDV-E500W and from a features standpoint, the HT-BD3252 is a clear winner. On the other hand, we weren't thrilled with the performance of the last Samsung HTIB we tested , so we're hoping the HT-BD3252 has more sonic finesse to back up its feature-heavy credentials. The HT-BD3252 will also have to compete with LG's similarly featured LHB977, which has a $750 list price, but can be found for as little as $550 online.


 

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