Samsung's HT-F9750 HTIB embraces future and past with tubes, 4K upconversion
Vacuum tubes are an anachronism in any modern home audio device, and even more so if that same device supports the cutting-edge 4K resolution standard.
Samsung's HT-F9750 doesn't shirk from the unusual juxtaposition, with the 7.1 channel home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) system featuring both glowing tube preamps and 4K upconversion. Although both features look and sound cool, they're more gimmick than anything else. The tube preamp (which is paired with a digital amplifier) promises a more "natural" sound, although I didn't hear anything particularly special when I listened to the tubeifiedlast year. And even in the unlikely event that you have a 4K TV ( ), it will have built-in 4K upconversion, so you don't need it in your Blu-ray player, too.
The HT-F9750 does have a nice set of more-practical features, including built-in Wi-Fi, two HDMI inputs, built-in 3D Blu-ray player, and Bluetooth. It's DLNA-compliant (using Samsung's proprietary "AllShare" moniker), and it also supports Samsung's new content recommendation engine, S-Recommendation. As with any home audio product, a lot depends on how it sounds. Over the last couple years, I've generally found that HTIB systems aren't a great overall value compared with sound bars and cheap AV receiver/speaker combinations.
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