Well, we're not commuting to work wearing jetpacks yet like the magazine editors promised us we would someday. But engineers have developed some pretty weird and wonderful technology nobody could have foreseen. Take the Yamaha YSP-YSP-4100 Digital Sound Projector.
The YSP-4100 is a single black bar 40.5 inches long. You can place it on your TV stand or with an optional bracket you can mount it on your wall. You get the picture. Now get this. This single bar can produce 5 channel and 7 channel surround sound that you'd swear was coming from speakers placed all over the room. If you want 5.1 or 7.1 channel sound just add an optional wired or wireless subwoofer.
Set up is easy. Once you've placed the unit, plug in the IntelliBeam microphone, place it in your listening position and the system "fingerprints" your room's acoustics. And speaking of beams, that's how the thing works. It contains 40(!) inch and a half (4 cm) speakers that together "beam" sounds to the exact right locations, taking into account the location of furniture, walls and other room characteristics.
The YSP-4100 offers multiple surround sound decoders including DTS and Dolby Pro Logic IIx and it offers 11 Cinema DSP modes: three movie, three music and five entertainment.
The YSP-4100 can be the center of your home theater system. It's got four HDMI 1.3 inputs and one HDMI 1.3 output. It handles Blu-ray and DVD signals beautifully and if you watch a lot of television programming you'll love its UniVolume feature. It keeps commercials from blasting out at a higher volume than the program you're watching.
But the YSP-4100 has a lot to like beyond its video capability. Its FM radio offers 40 station presets. With an optional SiriusConnect tuner you can enjoy all the satellite radio has to offer. (But there's a parental lock if you don't want your kids to have unlimited access to it.)
This set even includes its own wireless iPod and iPhone dock and you can even use your iPod or iPhone as a remote control for the unit. It also includes a wireless subwoofer receiver (but not the subwoofer). Pick the compatible subwoofer you want and your YSP-4100 can send it floor shaking bass without your having to string a wire to it.