Samsung HT-DB600 review: Samsung HT-DB600

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Superior sound quality; two-way satellites; healthy subwoofer; smooth-running five-disc CD/DVD changer; progressive-scan video output.

The Bad Won't play all that loud.

The Bottom Line Samsung's affordable HTIB scores well on features and build quality, and it even sounds good playing music.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0

Samsung's latest packaged home-theater system, the HT-DB600, is one of the best-sounding affordable kits currently available. Its list price is $349, and its features, cosmetics, and build quality are as good as it gets for this kind of money. In today's crowded HTIB field, you can spend a lot more and get a lot less.

The entire DB600 ensemble is decked out in a silver finish. Chrome trim graces the satellite speakers.

The 23-pound receiver/DVD changer feels remarkably solid and well constructed. The tray glides open with unusual grace. While disc swapping took a fairly long 19 seconds, it occurred without the usual clunking mechanical gyrations. The receiver's large, rear-mounted cooling fan is whisper quiet. The one catch is that this bad boy is rather big: 17 inches wide and nearly 18 inches deep.

The five sats are 6 inches tall and surprisingly hefty. The subwoofer is relatively bulky, measuring 16 inches tall, 9.6 inches wide, and 13.1 inches deep.

Large and relatively sparsely populated, the remote is uncommonly easy to fathom, and a lot of the less-used keys hide stealthily under a slip-down cover. The quirky Menu button is a bit of a pain: it brings up the player's setup options instead of the DVD's menu, and the remote doesn't have a Top Menu selection.

Setup hassles were minimal, and we had everything up and running in less than 15 minutes.

The receiver pumps out 80 watts to each satellite and 100 watts to the sub. Samsung doesn't specify the sizes of the two-way sats' woofer and tweeter or the sub's woofer, but the latter looks to be about 7 inches. Surround formats include the basic Dolby Digital and DTS for DVDs, and Dolby Pro Logic II for music.

Connectivity selections are more than adequate for small systems. For audio, there are two sets of stereo inputs and one optical digital in. On the video side, you get two composite-video inputs; composite and S-Video outs; a progressive-scan component-video output for optimal DVD quality on digital TVs; and a set of component-video inputs, which let you easily switch between the unit's DVD player and a high-definition satellite or cable box.

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