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Samsung HT-BD8200: Blu-ray speaker bar with salty kelp and crystal-clear sound

Samsung has been fishing for inspiration, apparently catching only some seaweed, which explains why its new Blu-ray speaker bar has kelp-based speakers

Here are some facts that you may not know about kelp, unless you've been to the Wikipedia page too: per 100g, kelp has 0.6g of fat, 1.7g of protein and 40kcal of energy. Kelp is also used to make the speakers found in the Samsung HT-BD8200 Blu-ray speaker bar.

Apparently, kelp is a good material with which to construct speakers because its density is quite high, which means less sound distortion and better clarity. Unless you read the box, which makes a moderate fuss about the speakers' ocean-based origins, you wouldn't know the HT-BD8200 feature a healthy dose of seaweed though.

Samsung also proudly declares that this system has a 'Crystal Surround AirTrack'. We have no earthly clue what that could possibly mean, but Samsung does claim that the system's built-in amplifier is 'crystal clear', which is fair enough, although the company's hardly like to declare that it's 'rather muddy'.

The labelling on the box aside, there's plenty to get excited about here. The HT-BD8200 features a Blu-ray player, speakers and a wireless subwoofer. It's designed to be mounted onto your wall, beneath what Samsung hopes is one of its TVs. Of course, if you're in the market for one of these devices and you have a Samsung TV, you'll get the benefit of matching styles and a harmonious AV lifestyle.

We're big fans of Samsung Blu-ray players -- they're generally among the fastest-loading and most highly specified devices of their type. Having one built into a speaker bar makes plenty of sense if you're short of space and want to have far better sound than a TV can ever offer. The bonus of the wireless subwoofer is that it can be placed anywhere in your room, as long as there's a power socket nearby. As with most of Samsung's recent Blu-ray players, this one can accept a wireless dongle for BD-Live functionality, and, if you aren't living the wireless lifestyle, there's an Ethernet socket too.

Samsung also includes an iPhone-compatible iPod dock, which means you can easily access your music library via your home cinema -- something that's likely to appeal to a great many people. Don't expect a huge number of inputs though -- only a single optical digital input is provided, which means you can't connect a Sky+ box and an Xbox 360 or your TV at the same time.

We'll be reviewing this salty sea dog in the coming days, so keep an eye on our reviews channel or subscribe to our Twitter feed, which proudly announces all of our latest content with convenient hyperlinks included.