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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.
|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|
|Anynet + (HDMI-CEC)||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|
|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
|16.9 x 2.5 x 12.4" (43 x 6 x
|Weight||8.5 lb (3.9 kg)||8.5 lb (3.9 kg)|
|Speakers||2 Front, Center, 2 Rear, Subwoofer, Surround Sound Bar||2 "Tallboy" Front with additional swiveling top speakers, Center, 2 Surrounds, Subwoofer|
|Front Speakers||165W x 2||165W x 2|
|Front Top Speakers||N.A.||165W x 2|
|Surround Speakers||165W x 2||165W x 2|
|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
|14.2 x 2.9 x 2.7" (36 x 7 x
|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
|7.9 x 15.4 x 13.8" (20 x 39 x
|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)|