Key features of the Samsung HT-BD2E:
- 5.1 channel system, 800 watts total power
- Four satellite speakers, one center speaker and a passive subwoofer
- HDMI output for Blu-ray, and 1080p upconversion for DVDs
- Two optical digital audio inputs
- Ethernet port for firmware updates only
- Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD High Resolution
- Available in August with a list price of $800
We've confirmed with Samsung that the included Blu-ray player will be a Profile 1.0 player, which means it won't be able to access any of theor features available on some newer Blu-ray Discs. You may also notice that there's no support for the highest-resolution DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack format, but on a system like this, you probably anyways.
Unlike the $1,500 Samsung HT-BD2, it's actually pretty difficult to put together a DIY home theater system with the same functionality for $800. If you put together Onkyo's upcoming
If you're willing to spend a little extra, Samsung is also offering a $1,000, which--aside from two extra speakers (7.1 versus 5.1) and a powered subwoofer--is essentially identical to the BD2E model described here. But at that price, we're much more inclined to put together our own system. We'll be trying to get a review sample of the HT-BD2E as soon as possible, but until then we'll remain cautiously optimistic that the system may represent a good value for those looking to get into Blu-ray.