Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
Decent sound, decent deal but TERRIBLE interface
on November 26, 2013
This all-in-one Phillips system was a decent deal considering what I paid for it. The sound quality is quite good, although it was tremendously improved with the addition of a powered subwoofer. The picture quality is good, too - 1080 P is nice (our 3-year old Apple TV is only 720 P). The main unit is compact considering it contains a Blu Ray player and 6 amplifier channels (5.1 surround sound). It was easy to set up, and the user menu features are decent, including the ability to individually adjust the volume and delay for each speaker in the system.
The connection to our wireless network took a few tries but we eventually got it to work.
The main deficiency is the terribly slow interface. It is very frustrating to try to search for things in Netflix and YouTube, for instance. The remote must have a weak IR LED also, because many commands seem to be ignored. When doing a search, the unit is constantly trying to pull data from the network, and until it has completed this task, you can't enter the next letter. And this is with a 12 Mb/s Internet connection that appears lightning fast on our desktop, the Apple TV, smart phones, etc. Only the Phillips unit is sluggish like this.
When we first got our Apple TV several years ago, I felt that it was a decent interface but not up to Apple's usual standards. Now, the Apple TV seems like a revelation when using it - it is very quick, scrolls easily, responds readily to commands from the remote control. The Phillips is TERRIBLE in this regard.
To add insult to injury, the Phillips unit promises that the user can download a free app for the iPhone or similar smart phone. I tried to do this but found that the app was not available in the US iTunes store, only in the UK store. So I went there but found out that I could not download the app - my Apple ID would not work in the UK store.
In addition, there is a process for connecting your phone to the Phillips unit, but it did not work despite several tries. Perhaps the digital infrastructure for these things works in Europe but not in the US? I don't know, but it was very frustrating.
Overall, I'd say this is a decent unit but be prepared to be frustrated by the terrible interface issues.