Sony's HT-SS360 home theater system: An affordable Blu-ray companion

CNET reviews the Sony HT-SS360, finding it an inexpensive home theater system with generous HDMI connectivity and satisfying sound on movies, but not up to the task with music.

Home-theater-in-a-box systems have been around forever, but the latest marketing angle is the "Blu-ray-ready HTIB." The new phrase simply means that the system consists of a surround-sound-speaker system and an AV receiver, so you only need to add a Blu-ray player to complete your home theater.

The Sony HT-SS360 is an entry-level Blu-ray-ready HTIB, complete with a decor-friendly (read: small) 5.1 speaker system and an AV receiver with three HDMI inputs. That's enough HDMI ports to handle most home theaters, but the HT-SS360 doesn't have any analog video ports, which is an annoyance for anyone with a Nintendo Wii, where you'll need to run its video output straight to your TV.

In terms of sound quality, we felt like the HT-SS360 was up to the task on movies--especially considering its $350 list price--but like many HTIBs, it just didn't cut it for music. The HT-SS360 is a good value if you're looking for an all-in-one solution and you already have HDMI-compatible video devices (especially a PS3 or other Blu-ray player), but more discriminating listeners will have to spend more if they want a system that sounds good with music, too.

Read the full review of the Sony HT-SS360.

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