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AV Receivers

Yamaha Digital Sound Projector YSP4000BSWi

The Yamaha YSP4000BSWi has a great range of features and is still one of the best 5.1 simulators, but it may not represent the best value for money.

When it comes to simulated surround sound systems, Yamaha would be one of the first companies that comes to our minds. The Digital Sound Projector series is one of the most elegant solutions to an age-old problem: getting good sound from a small living space.

However, with competitors such as Philips nipping at their heels Yamaha have decided to pull out all the stops with their big daddy machine, the YSP4000BSWi.

Upside
The YSP4000 is Yamaha's most feature-rich Sound Projector yet, and incorporates some of the company's most oft-requested accessories. First off is the inclusion of an iPod dock -- Apple is still on top in the MP3 player market and this feature alone may be a clincher for new home theatre investors. There is also a 3.5mm jack for non-Apple MP3 players.

Secondly, the YSP4000 now includes two HDMI inputs for simpler connection to a DVD player or set top box, and thirdly there is now an FM tuner onboard.

Other features include upscaling to 1080i, a Compressed Music Enhancer for better sound quality from your MP3 player, and a slew of new surround sound modes to choose from.

Unlike the United States and elsewhere, the Sound Projector also comes with a subwoofer, the YST-SW225B which is worth AU$699 on its own.

Downside
The Philips SoundBar, now Yamaha's main competitor, includes an upscaling DVD player on board. The
YSP4000 lacks a DVD player and is over twice the price. Of course, it's a much more sophisticated system than the Philips and uses 40 different drivers to construct its sound field whereas the Philips only uses six.

Outlook
We had a brief demonstration of the YSP4000BSWi recently at Yamaha's offices in Melbourne, and while for some material it worked well it's still no substitute for a 5.1 system.

The YSP4000BSWi has a great range of features and is still one of the best 5.1 simulators, but you have to ask if there are better ways to spend AU$3,000.

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