Though it was undoubtedly the most expensive TV we reviewed in 2010, thewas also one of the best. For the handful of people who actually bought one, Samsung has now released the accompanying home theatre system — at a much more reasonable price.
Of course, you don't need to own a Series 9 TV to enjoy this home theatre system, but it helps.
While Samsung's flagship TV was constructed from stainless steel, this home cinema is made of more modest materials: a brushed metal veneer and a series of tough plastic enclosures. This is a 7.1 speaker system and when fully assembled in your living area it looks quite imposing. The metallic drivers at the centre of each enclosure are quite striking, but strangely not all of the speakers are the same size. We were a little disappointed to see that the centre channel is a bit smaller, and as it carries the majority of the sound in a movie it would have helped the system if it were the same size as the tallboy satellites.
The four tallboys come with matching stands and so too does the central receiver, which also comes with a natty table stand. You could be forgiven for thinking that the table-mounted Samsung was in fact thewith its metallic slab looks and its central control ring.
The system comes with a large, silver subwoofer which is used to connect all of the speakers and external devices.
The remote control is a delightful affair which comes with a tactile fascia and backlit buttons.
As Samsung's top-of-the-range home theatre system, the HT-C9950W features most of the bells and whistles befitting such a product, though with one important exception.
The HT-C9950W surround system consists of a 3D Blu-ray player with access to Samsung's Internet@TV platform for streaming content and Samsung Apps. The set-up also enables network streaming via the AllShare feature with MKV support, and while the system also features a USB port, it doesn't support the iPod/iPhone. Cruelly, the system will successfully detect the device, but then tell you it can't play anything from it. You do have the option of plugging it into one of the aux jacks, though. Interestingly, the US version features an iPod dock and the local images have been photoshopped to remove it!
Cheeky! A comparison of the Australian version (left) and US version (right) of the HT-C9950W clearly shows the iPod dock has been photoshopped out. (Credit: Samsung/CBS Interactive)
The system supports most of the applicable sound standards including Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD and even Dolby Pro Logic IIz for the added "height" channels. To help with audio set-up the system also includes a set-up microphone. Additionally, you have the option of calibrating the system manually with a test tone, but this is fiddly and the noise incredibly piercing.
While the kit features wireless surrounds, it is only this way if you use it as a 5.1 set — the surround left and right connect to a separate wireless box. If you use the Samsung in a standard 7.1 configuration with two "Surround Back" channels, it will mean trailing a set of wires across your lounge room from those two speakers.