The Good Futuristic design; video upscaling; 6.1 speakers and processing; flexible positioning; SACD support; ease of use; excellent sound and picture performance.
The Bad Separate connector box; 'wireless' speakers still require limited connections; no USB connectivity.
The Bottom Line Philips' HTS9800W is about as good as home-cinema systems get at this price. It offers a stylish design and an advanced specification that doesn't sacrifice picture or sound performance
Budget home-cinema systems are often condemned for compromised specifications and performance. But if you step up to midrange systems you can afford some high-end features and greatly improved picture and sound quality.
The Philips HTS9800W offers digital HDMI connectivity with integrated video upscaling, advanced surround-sound processing, multi-channel music compatibility and a 6.1-speaker system that includes wireless rear channels.
It's a large system convoluted by separate units, including a connector box and a wireless receiver that still relies on some cables, but the sleek, futuristic design is unobtrusive and you won't find better, all-in-one performance for just under £650.
Denon and Marantz snapped up by Polk parent company Sound United
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Philips bids farewell to consumer technology
Philips has reportedly sold off its entire consumer tech division to concentrate on medical and lighting equipment.