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AV Receivers

Philips LX8320SA Home Theatre System

The LX8320SA features a pumped up centre speaker and sub for clearer dialog and bigger bass, as well as multi-channel SACD capabilities.

Upside
The point of difference with this Philips system is that all speakers are not created equal. Yes, it's got a hefty 600W of total power, but the centre speaker and the powered subwoofer emit 150W each to magnify a movie experience with clearer, more natural dialog and greater sound detail. Four sleek 75W two-way satellite speakers on tall stands radiate sound in a 360-degree pattern to deliver the higher frequencies. The LX8320SA's switching amplifier can also convert a low-level analog input signal into a more powerful digital output signal to further enhance sound.

Another plus is its multi-channel Super Audio CD technology, which pushes vivid audio through 6-channels to replicate a live multi-instrumental performance.

The LX8320SA features PAL progressive scan and plays most disc formats including DivX 3.11/4.x/5.x encoded videos.  It reads this new format based on the MPEG-4 technology, which enables users to save large files such as short movies or music clips onto CD-R/RW discs, DVD-video or memory cards.  The LX8320SA also includes an integrated FM/AM tuner.

Downside
Not much to complain about on the surface of things here. It may be trifling, but on a high-end system like this you may want to see DVI output to max out the capability of your HD screen. You'll have to wait, but Philips says that by next year, HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) connections will start to appear on its DVD players.

Also if you want recording capability, you'll have to look elsewhere - the Philips LX900R is its home theatre package with DVD recording functionality. For recording capability, the package trades off with 450W of power, no SACD and a $1999 price tag.

Outlook
With SACD and great sound quality, this package may give some component systems a run for their money. The LX8320SA will hit Australian shops in October 2004.

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