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Home Entertainment

Samsung HT-BD2R: Blu-ray 7.1 home cinema system

If you can't be bothered to build your own home cinema, why not just buy the whole thing in a box from Samsung? You get Blu-ray, 7.1 sound and some crazy Watts for just £800

Building your own home cinema is never going to be the cheapest decision you make. Once you factor in the cost of a Blu-ray player, an HD TV and a surround-sound system you're going to be getting some very cross phone calls from your bank manager. One way to reduce the cost is to buy an all-in-one Blu-ray and surround-sound system, such as the Samsung HT-BD2R.

What you get in the pack is a Blu-ray player, which also acts as the amplifier for the speaker system. There are four tall-boy speakers, a centre-channel speaker, a subwoofer and a pair of mini-satellite speakers -- for the extra channel that 7.1 provides over 5.1. The system claims an output of 1,100W, with each channel offering 135W -- the sub can crank out 155W.

The system supports Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Master audio on Dolby True HD for making the most of those lossless movie soundtracks Blu-ray boasts. In terms of video, you also get DivX support, and the player can handle video on CD or DVD too.

Samsung does lose some points for only including support for Blu-ray profile 1.0, instead of 1.1 or 2.0. This means you won't get the best interactive experience or any online enhancements. The good news is the player will lob a lovely 'Full HD' 1080p picture in the direction of your TV. It also upscales DVDs to 1080p too, in as much as anything can upscale a standard DVD to 1080p.

We won't pretend it's a solution will suit the audiophile among you, but if you want a simple home cinema that comes in one box, you can setup this one without hours of tweaking or the need to carefully select every component for maximum compatibility. The HT-BD2R costs about £799 online, but if you wait a few months the price is sure to drop. –Ian Morris