Samsung HT-X200 review:

Samsung HT-X200

Samsung HT-X200 - home theater system

(Part #: HT-X200)
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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Good DVD playback; gorgeous design; DVD-Audio support.

The Bad Lifeless sound.

The Bottom Line The Samsung HT-X200 is one of the best looking 2.1 home cinema systems we've seen, but although its DVD playback quality is good, it's let down by its slightly sterile audio performance

6.5 Overall

Samsung's HT-X200 is a one box solution for people who want a home cinema setup without having to spend an entire weekend setting up speakers and running cables around a room. The other big attraction is its striking design, which is impressive considering it only costs £260.

If there's one area where the HT-X200 scores highly, it's in the looks department. Rather than shoving all the usual DVD playing gubbins into an unassuming grey rectangular box, Samsung has instead gone for a sculpted, curvaceous design that looks gorgeous and is finished in a beautiful piano black paint job.

The main unit can be mounted either horizontally or vertically on its stand and the top of the case hides a grid of blue LED lights that act as the unit's main display showing what mode you're in (DVD, FM, Aux, etc) or the current volume level.

Given that this is a 2.1 system -- stereo speakers, plus a passive subwoofer -- setting it up was never going to be a big hassle, but Samsung has made the job even easier by putting a colour-coded speaker terminal on the main unit and supplying matching colour-coded speaker cables.

When it comes to hooking up the unit to your telly you'll find HDMI, component and composite outputs on the rear, but oddly Samsung hasn't included a Scart socket, so the system's not all that suited to users who have older tellies. Around the back there's also a digital audio input and stereo auxiliary connectors for feeding it digital or analogue audio from an external unit like a satellite, cable or Freeview box.

The DVD playback quality via the HDMI and component ports is really rather good, with largely noise-free pictures and strong natural colours. However, as you would expect the output from the composite port is less impressive.

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