Bose has announced three new Lifestyle home theater systems that focus on simplicity and ease-of-use, but cost much more than competing systems.
Bose Lifestyle T20
The new Lifestyle systems are built around Bose's Unify technology, which uses a variety of methods, such as clearly labeled packaging, guided setup, and straightforward commands, to make the systems easier to use. The video demonstrations on Bose's site look promising, with simple onscreen menus guiding setup and smooth integration with a Harmony-like universal remote.
The feature breakdown on these systems is actually pretty simple. All of these systems have four HDMI inputs (included one front HDMI port) and two component video inputs, which gives you five total HD connections. They're all also capable of analog video upconversion, so you'll only need to make a single HDMI connection from the Lifestyle system to your HDTV.
The Bose Lifestyle V35 features several step-ups over the T20, including an iPod dock, AM/FM tuner, Bose Link wireless audio connectivity, an LCD display on the remote, and step-up Jewel Cube speakers.
The Bose V35 ($3,300) is much pricier than competing systems with similar feature sets. It's possible these Lifestyle live up to their price tag with exceptional sound quality--which we can't judge without a review sample--but it would have to sound a good deal better than competitors to make up for the price difference. Guided setup, smart packaging, and nonjargony phrases are all smart design choices, we just wish they didn't cost so much.