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If you live in a flat and don’t have space for a 5.1 speaker system in your living room, then perhaps its time to take a look at what Philips has to offer. The Philips HTS6100 is a soundbar home theatre system that only takes up a small space and can deliver a unique home cinema feel to any room.


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This soundbar sports a black finish that can sit elegantly in any room. Up front, users can find a black plastic panel that hosts the display and automatically slides to the right, revealing the DVD disc compartment. On top of the bar are seven buttons (power, source, volume up and down, stop, play/pause, and open/close DVD tray) to control the unit manually, while an iPod jack (to connect the iPod docking station), USB port, and 3.5mm MP3 Link jack can be found on the right side.

Opening the rear compartment reveals the subwoofer connectors, audio-in (left and right) port, as well as a component, composite, and HDMI-out port. There is a ‘cable out’ point on the rear cover that keeps the cords organised, sparing your home theatre area with all the messy wires.

Besides the soundbar, the unit also comes with a big subwoofer that looks like it can pump out the lows with ease. The subwoofer hosts the AM and FM radio antennae, a coaxial digital-in, and two sets of audio-in jacks to connect audio from a cable box/recorder/game console.

 


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Connecting the two together is easy: just attach the power supply to the subs and then connect the subwoofer to the soundbar using the ‘interconnect cable.’ The only thing left to do is to connect the unit to any TV or projector using the available connection ports.

Turning the unit on for the first time will bring you to the Ambisound setup. This program will ask the user what the room acoustics is (hard or soft), where the sound bar is going to be placed (middle of room, corner of room, near the right wall, or near the left wall), the height of the SoundBar system (where it is placed), and where you are going to position yourself.

After calibration, we dived straight to our movie test, with us playing various movie clips to see how the soundbar performs. Despite not being a 5.1 speaker system, the unit was still able to push audio around our testing room and somehow enveloped us in sound.

The HTS6100’s subwoofer was able to produce the deep rumbles that we wanted to hear in war movies like Letters From Iwo Jima and action movies like Terminator 3. The unit was also able to produce clear highs and mids, with conversations being understandable at all times.

The upscaling function of the soundbar was good, providing us with noteworthy video from our DVD. Of course, the quality cannot be compared to Blu-ray movies, but for what it’s worth, this system can definitely breathe new life to your existing DVD collection.

 


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The included docking station allowed us to listen to our music from our iPod, although it is not compatible with the new iPhone. The unit played our music at high volumes without distorting; with the preset sound effects (rock, jazz, classic, party) enhancing our music tracks. The unit also comes with a USB port that can play MP3, WMA, DivX, and JPEG files stored on memory sticks or portable hard drives.

Despite the good audio quality, the Philips HTS6100 is still ‘limited’ to what it can provide users as it cannot perform like a 5.1-channel speaker system. Sure we were able to hear sounds over our shoulders, but unfortunately, it still failed to provide a total surround sound experience.

Overall, the Philips HTS6100 soundbar is a product that can still give you a healthy dose of ‘surround’ sound minus the messy setup. It is perfect for small rooms that cannot accommodate five speakers and is guaranteed to simplify the way you watch movies. This speaker system is now available with an RRP of $899.95

See page over for product specifications and pricing.

 

Philips Soundbar DVD Home Theatre HTS6100 Specifications:

Picture Enhancement: High Def (720p, 1080i, 1080p) video upscaling

Sound System: Ambisound, Dolby Digital, Dolby Prologic II, DTS, Stereo
Sound Enhancement: Treble and Bass Control, Smart Surround, DoubleBass, ClearVoice, FullSound
Equalizer settings: Action, Rock, Concert, Classic, Drama, Jazz, Gaming, Party, News, Sports

Loudspeakers:
Loudspeaker types: Integrated with main unit
Speaker Drivers: 2 x 1″ Soft Dome tweeters, 6 x 2.5″ Full Range woofers
Speaker Impedance: 6 ohm
Subwoofer type: Active
Subwoofer driver: 1 x 6.5″ Long Throw woofer
Subwoofer impedance: 4 ohm
Subwoofer freq range: 35-200 Hz

Video Playback:
Compression formats: DivX 3.11, DivX 4.x, DivX 5.x, DivX 6.0, DivX Ultra, MPEG1, MPEG2
Playback Media: DVD-Video, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, Video CD/SVCD, CD-R/CD-RW
Video disc playback system: PAL , NTSC

Audio Playback:
Compression format: MP3, WMA
Playback Media: Audio CD, CD-R/RW, USB flash drive
MP3 bit rates: 32-256 kbps and VBR

Still Picture Playback:
Picture compression format: JPEG
Playback Media: CD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, USB flash drive
Picture enhancement: Slideshow with music playback, Rotate, Zoom

Tuner:
AM/FM

Connectivity:
Front / Side connections: Dock connector, USB, MP3 Line-in
Rear Connections: HDMI output, Component Video output, Composite video (CVBS) output, TV in (audio, cinch), Easy-Fit speaker connectors, Interconnect (to Power Box)
Subwoofer (Power Box): FM Antenna, AM/MW Antenna, Coaxial Digital input, AUX In (cinch, 2 pairs), Interconnect (to Main Unit)

Dimensions: 958x163x141mm
Weight: 7kg

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Philips Soundbar DVD Home Theatre HTS6100 | $899.95 |  | www.philips.com.au

For: Slick soundbar; Easy to install; Can fit in small rooms; Good upscaling; ‘Surround sound’ with extra speakers; USB port for music, video, and photo playback
Against: Cannot replace 5.1-channel speakers as it does not give you a full surround sound experience
Conclusion: Surround sound with Philips’ soundbar.

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