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Samsung HT-TXQ120R review: Samsung HT-TXQ120R

The Good Simplicity; unique styling; 1080p upscaling.

The Bad Included HDMI cable; inconsistent sound quality; price; annoying front panel display.

The Bottom Line Its quirky stand-mounted DVD player and impressive sound quality can qualify the Samsung HT-TXQ120R to be a good enough system for those with a casual interest in home cinema. Still, the price is unlikely to be popular with such people

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7.5 Overall

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It's pretty hard to find AV stuff without '1080p' emblazoned on it in some way. The Samsung HT-TXQ120R is no different. This 5.1 surround-sound system proudly proclaims '1080p upscaling' across the front of the main unit.

But if you have a 1080p screen, are you still in the market for buying a DVD player with a 5.1 decoder and speakers? We suspect you'll probably be enjoying hi-def games or films on Blu-ray or HD DVD rather than relying on your old DVDs. Does the Samsung satisfy those who do still want DVD playback and 5.1 sound with a smattering of upscaling? And does it justify the £700 price tag?

You'll need to love the look of this system before you spend this kind of money on surround sound, and it isn't for everyone. If you like the quirky stand-mounted DVD player, you'll probably think this system would look good in your home.

The inputs are located on the right hand side of the main DVD unit

The main unit is finished in piano black -- no surprise there, really -- and has a large, blue LED-based display. This does mean that in a darkened room, the system can prove distracting.

In terms of connectivity, the main unit has two digital audio inputs -- both of which are optical -- plus one HDMI input and one HDMI out. The inclusion of extra digital audio inputs is a good move, and it means you can hook your games console and other gear up easily.

In total, getting everything unboxed and plugged in took about 45 minutes. If you're using the speaker stands -- it's possible to wall-mount the speakers if you choose -- you'll need to screw the stands together. The same goes for the main unit.

The remote control is confusingly similar to the one you get with Samsung TVs -- we were testing this unit with its new 50-inch plasma, so a few times we picked up the wrong remote control. The good news is the DVD remote can also control a TV, which means you can probably just hide your other controller away.

The Samsung can upscale to 1080p via HDMI, which is an impressive feature, at least on paper. The reality of upscaling video to 1080p is that it won't improve the quality. The most important part of these players is how well they deinterlace video, and we didn't really have any complaints about how the Samsung handled this.

The Samsung supports a good range of formats, including DivX, XviD, MP3, WMA and even the high-definition audio format SACD. The inclusion of support for SACD is a little confusing. While we always welcome extra playback options, SACD is hardly something with mass-market appeal, and people with SACD collections are more likely to buy a component-based hi-fi system.

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