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Stepping up to Blu-ray without 5.1 sound is like eating blinis without the caviar and sour cream. That's reason enough to consider an all-in-one home theater system. The HT-C5500 outputs 1000 Watts of power to 5.1 channels, so whether you’re watching movies on DVD or Blu-ray Disc or feeding your DVR through the system’s optical audio input, the Samsung home theater system will bath you in digital sound.
Included are two front speakers, a center speaker, two surrounds, and a 7.7-pound subwoofer plus speaker wires. A microphone automatically calibrates for the correct balance and delay based on room acoustics and speaker placement.
Playable disc types include AVCHD, which means you’ll be able to burn home videos from your high-def camcorder to DVDs using your computer, then see them in high-def quality on your HDTV set. You don’t need a Blu-ray Disc writer or Blu-ray blanks to archive and watch your high-def home videos from disc. And transferring footage to disc becomes more important as camcorders rely ever more on built-in but finite memory (hard drive or solid state) or SD cards rather than tapes you once could collect.
Other compatible video formats are DiVX, XVID, and DiVX-HD and WMV. In terms of music, you can play compact discs as well as MP3 and WMA tracks; for photos, JPEG files. A great benefit is that when you play DVDs through the HDMI port, the HT-C5500 upconverts movies to near-HD quality.
The HT-C5500 is Digital Living Network Alliance-certified, so you’ll be able to enjoy digital content parked on a networked PC or network-attached storage device in the comfort of your home theater. Samsung calls its home theater’s ability to play music, video, and photo files from your PC the AllShare function. It works in conjunction with Samsung PC Share Manager software, which you download to your PC.
You’ll be able to access the Internet and stream entertainment using downloadable widgets and apps like Netflix, Blockbuster, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Pandora, and more. With an active Internet connection, you'll also be able to exploit some Blu-ray discs with BD-Live functionality to download supplemental content.
The HT-C5500 is ready to be plugged into your Ethernet network via its RJ-45 jack. You can also go wireless with an optional LAN doodad called the Samsung LinkStick Wireless USB Adapter. By the way, you can also add a wireless rear stereo amplifier called the SWA-5000/XAA.
The HT-C5500 incorporates an Eco Power Management System that Samsung says uses 30 percent less energy than its 2009 models. Another feature called Crystal Amplifier Pro uses a feedback circuit to filter sound distortion and noise.
So, if you're ready to get the most from a recently purchased HDTV set, consider adding a Blu-ray Disc player and 5.1-channel sound system in one easy step. Your ears will thank you.