Samsung HT-BD2S: Blu-ray home theater system, downsized
Samsung's second home theater system with built-in Blu-ray offers smaller speakers--and a much lower pricetag.
A second Blu-ray home theater system has joined Samsung's product lineup. The HT-BD2S is essentially identical to its predecessor, the
Does the downsized price and speaker size make the HT-BD2S more attractive than its big brother? Our gut reaction is no. That's because the head unit (the combination receiver/Blu-ray player/amplifier) included with the BD2S is identical to the one on the BD2T. In other words, even if the smaller speakers on the BD2S manage to sound better than the skinny tallboys on the BD2T, it will still suffer from the same shortfalls as the older model: a slow-loading Blu-ray player that's limited to the old Profile 1.0 spec (no picture-in-picture commentaries, and no online-enabled features) and subpar connectivity options (few inputs for connecting other AV sources). Still, the presence of the cheaper Samsung in the marketplace may put pressure on Panasonic to lower the price of its forthcoming
That said, at $1,000, the Samsung HT-BD2S (or the Panasonic SC-BT100) represents an enticing option if you're looking for an all-in-one-box Blu-ray home theater solution, and you don't care about the extra bells and whistles available on some of the newer Blu-ray Discs. And honestly, we don't care about whiz-bang special features on Blu-ray discs--but it's annoying to pay top dollar and have to settle for less than state of the art. So, if you want the full Blu-ray experience, we still think you're better off getting a