Bought this soundbar from a warehouse sale over the weekend.
Finished set up @ 12pm approx. on Saturday, then starts the run in @ 1300hrs. With the setup as follows...
-the supplied HDMI cable, from the out port of the soundbar to my PANASONIC TH32X5S,
-an optical cable from my laserdisc player(used as a CD player most of the time) to the optical input of the soundbar,
With the softwares
-code 1 THE PATRIOT S.E, with RCE coded,
-code 1 PEARL HARBOUR 4 disc D.C.S.E,
-code 1 THE THIN RED LINE- enhanced widescreen edition with full bitrate DTS track,
-code 3 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 2 disc S.E,
-code 3 TAEGUKGI HK release DTS edition,
-some vocal, bossa nova, movie soundtrack CDs for track tests.
(pic. borrowed... set up not mine, most likely artist or promotional illustration)
The set is very long... so long that I may need to upgrade my TV set to a 46inch one, so that the length compliments with the soundbar should it placed together. The set's subwoofer is active, and wireless.
Wireless subwoofer sounds very tempting huh?... Well it have it's limitations.
1. Cannot be placed more than a meter away. So... it still have to stay close to the soundbar within 1m range as stated in the quick manual.
2. Further exploration in the setup, reveals that the subwoofer volume cannot be controlled. There wasn't even a volume control on the subwoofer. Hence, lots of bass are "transmitted" to the sub, some of the movie tracks will sound too boomy.
The soundbar itself sounds very good. Put in some vocals or bossa nova tracks, voices are crisp and clear without distortions, mids are sweet and full. I would recommend switching off the subwoofer in some of these tracks, as the mid looking cones on the soundbar can deliver the subtile bass better. Switching on the soundbar will only make the tracks sounds unpleasant with boomy bass from the sub.
When i started to run the setup yesterday, the 1st disc i popped in was THE PATRIOT S.E. code 1 CTHV release with RCE coding. The RCE globe displayed... so upset.
Proceed to play with THE THIN RED LINE EWS DVD, colors of the greens is vibrant, flesh tones not too overtoned. Clarity of DVD still looks well on my TV without too edgy. Sound wise, the player/soundbar detects the audio and decodes as accordingly to either DD5.1 or DTS track. Unfortunately, due to the lack of control on the volume of the sub, motar bombing on the hills, wizzles of the bullets in cross fires, sounds very boomy. The music track by HANS ZIMMER sounds much more pleasing and sweeter than my POLKAUDIO S6 that have aged for numbers of years, even it had went through speaker cable change 2yrs back with BELDEN...
After THIN RED LINE, i popped in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN R3 2disc S.E, which is recorded with half bitrate DTS surround. Again, JOHN WILLIAM's SPR score sounds sweeter and grand. The first 25mins NORMANY carnage was presented with lots of effects, where one will afraid that the medium sized woofers on the soundbar will crack. But it doesn't. Bass is deep, strong, powerful... and loud and boomy. As i had mentioned, the subwoofer is sooo... powerful... and loud... sometime in some scenes, the whole movie experience is disturbed, due to the lack of power control and X-over point setting. Still... if one likes action or war movie stuff, they'll not be disappointed with the presentation qualities on impacts and effects. Folks like me, who is more concerned about, balance, will be picky on this subtile part.
The setting of video out from the soundbar yesterday was 1080p with 16:9 thru HDMI.
I let the soundbar play FM radio throughout the night from 2200hrs last night till 1000hrs so that the soundbar woofer can be more... soften?
Considering that some of my DVDs are not anamorphic, the setup on the soundbar on Sunday was 4:3WS @ 720p. Widescreen presentation without black bar achieved by using TV's zoom in setting function that removes off the black bars on the left and right of the 16:9 screen.
1st disc popped in, PEARL HARBOR Director's Cut 4disc S.E with DTS surround. HANS ZIMMER score sounds as good as yesterday's THIN RED LINE. Bass is strong and deep when one of the ship cracks apart as the bomb goes off. Directional effects well delivered, even if the speakers are all in front, can feel fighter planes flies around the living room during the dogfights. However... dialogues could often sound low, due to the disturbance of the boomy lows from the sub when musics and effects kicks in.
One may wonder, if i use zoom function of my TV to achieve full correct widescreen ratio by zooming in, wouldn't that affect the picture quality in presentation of the movie? Especially when the source is from DVD?
Sitting through almost 190mins of the whole movie, i didn't notice any lack of clarity, lack of color vibrancy or qualities from the DVD and stretched image. Except during the chaotic and fast paced hospital scene when casualties are flooding in for treatments, some kind of image jerkiness at the right side of the scene was experienced. Strangely... during the PEARL HARBOR attack flybys, where the Jap Zeroes shoots on the sinking ship crews, no such jerks is observed. DVD rot?
After PEARL HARBOR, follows by Region3 HK release of TAEGUKGI: BROTHERHOOD of WAR with DTS surr. This time round, the whole movie is a tad bit softer. Perhaps due to the lower quality of Asian transfer... Sound wise, the soundbar never fails to deliver the effects and booms good. Very room filling track. Dialogues are much clearer this time... i guess due to frequent shouts and talk loud...
Anyway the above is my impression on the HomeTheater SoundBar.
There are goods and bads. As with most HTiBs do...
However is my surprise, this soundbar plays CD well, even from external source.
So... it's a give and take. Either potential buyer wants to achieve good effects presentation, or simply great music presentation. @ the price that won't cross over USD500... this is one that can satisfy.