Two Ultimate Home Theater Systems New from Samsung

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What do vacuum tubes, Wi-Fi streaming and wireless rear speakers have in common? They’re all integrated into a pair of premium home theater systems from Samsung. The company’s flagship Blu-ray 3D Home Theater System, the HT-E6730W, is an all-in-one solution for any home entertainment room. The 7.1-channel system with 1,330 watts of audio power comes with a pair of floor-standing, 4-foot “Tallboy” front speakers, each with an additional swiveling speaker on top that can project sound vertically. (The speakers are especially useful with a Blu-ray movie encoded with 7.1-channel audio, but they can be turned upward at any time to create the effect of sound cascading onto listeners.)

  

The HT-E6730W is joined by the HT-E6500W Blu-ray Home Theater System, which also puts a 3D Blu-ray player and wireless rear speakers in the box, but reduces the height of the front speakers to 11 inches (from 47 inches) and takes the audio down to 5.1 channels and 1,000 watts of power.

The receiver in each system sports a vacuum tube pre-amplifier (the tube is visible through a front port). According to Samsung, audio reproduction is more lifelike by combining analog and digital amplifier technologies. Samsung’s Crystal Amp Plus technology offers pure digital audio playback while also protecting listeners from unexpected jumps in volume. On the speaker end, Samsung deploys glass fiber cones to improve sound quality and minimize distortion.

The two rear wireless satellite speakers may be placed anywhere in the room for a surround sound experience without the need for wires to carry the signals. A dual-unit subwoofer with passive radiator provides a clear, rich bass response.

A convenience feature built into both systems is the ability to rip music from a CD to a USB device inserted into the USB jack. When connected to a TV, each system is also a graceful presenter of photo slide shows. Pictures can be played from a DVD, CD or a USB storage device. You can accompany the show with music and transitional effects and take advantage of a 4x zoom command.

Both systems embed Samsung’s Smart Hub for playing movies from Netflix, music from Pandora, videos from YouTube as well as games and other Internet-based entertainment. Redesigned for 2012, the Hub lets you download hundreds of premium apps and surf the Web. You can also manage your social networks via popular services such as Facebook or Twitter. A general Web browser is built in, but it’s not compatible with Flash video, Java or ActiveX applications.

Through its HDMI output, each system upconverts video whether the program is playing from an inserted DVD, streaming from the Internet or stored on a media device plugged into the USB port. Both systems include an FM tuner and an iPod docking cradle.

  HT-E6500W HT-E6730W
Blu-ray Disc Player    
Disc Types BD, DVD, DVD±R, DVD±RW, CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW BD, DVD, DVD±R, DVD±RW, CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW
Video Formats MPEG-2/4, Xvid, MKV, HD JPEG, WMV (1/2/3/7/9), AVCHD MPEG-2/4, XviD, MKV, HD JPEG, WMV (1/2/3/7/9), AVCHD
Video Features BD Wise, BD Profile, 3D Converter, Video Up-Scale (DVD) BD Wise, BD Profile, 3D Converter, Video Up-Scale (DVD)
Audio Formats MP3, AC3, LPCM, WMA, AAC, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, 3D Sound Plus MP3, AC3, LPCM, WMA, AAC, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, 3D Sound Plus
Connectivity    
Anynet + (HDMI-CEC) Yes Yes
Allshare Yes Yes
USB HOST Yes Yes
Wireless LAN Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Direct Yes Yes
Ethernet Jack Yes Yes
Wireless Speaker Ready Yes Yes
iPod/iPhone via USB, built-in cradle Yes Yes
ARC (Audio Return Channel) Yes Yes
HDMI 2 inputs 2 inputs
Audio 1 input 1 input
Optical 1 input 1 input
FM Tuner Yes Yes
Disc Capacity 1 disc 1 disc
Amplifier Crystal Amplifier Plus Crystal Amplifier Plus
Vacuum Tube Built in Built in
Rip Music from CD to USB Device Yes Yes
Network Features Smart Hub Smart Hub
Dimensions (WxHxD) 16.9 x 2.5 x 12.4" (43 x 6 x
32 cm)
16.9 x 2.5 x 12.4" (43 x 6 x
32 cm)
Weight 8.5 lb (3.9 kg) 8.5 lb (3.9 kg)
Speaker System    
Speakers 2 Front, Center, 2  Rear, Subwoofer, Surround Sound Bar 2 "Tallboy" Front with additional swiveling top speakers, Center, 2 Surrounds, Subwoofer
Channels 5.1 7.1
Total Power 1,000W 1,330W
Channel Wattage    
Front Speakers 165W x 2 165W x 2
Front Top Speakers N.A. 165W x 2
Center Speaker 170W 170W
Surround Speakers 165W x 2 165W x 2
Subwoofer 170W 170 W
Speaker Dimensions (WxHxD)    
Each Front Speaker 3.7 x 11 x 2.8" (9 x 28 x 7 cm) 3.7 x 47.1 x 2.8"  (9 x 120 x 7 cm)
Center Speaker 14.2 x 2.9 x 2.7"  (36 x 7 x
6.9 cm)
14.2 x 2.9 x 2.7"  (36 x 7 x
6.9 cm)
Each Surround Speaker 3.5 x 5.6 x 2.7" (9 x 14 x 69 cm) 3.5 x 5.6 x 2.7" (9 x 14 x 69 cm)
Subwoofer 6.6 x 13.8 x 11.2" (17 x 35 x
28 cm)
7.9 x 15.4 x 13.8" (20 x 39 x
35 cm)
Speaker Weight    
Front Speakers 2.1 Ib (1 kg) each 8.2 lb (3.7 kg) each
Center Speaker 1.9 lb (0.9 kg) 1.9 lb (0.9 kg)
Surround Speakers 1.3 lb (0.6 kg) each 1.3 lb (0.61 kg) each
Subwoofer 8.1 lb (3.7 kg) 12.6 lb (5.7 kg)

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I like the idea of wireless rear speakers