on September 21, 2013
I've had this system for several weeks. Setup was straightforward with all speaker connections color coded. Self calibration routine to set speaker levels went easily with supplied microphone. The one problem I experienced was center speaker volume seemed low and dialogue was coming from right front only. A calibration DVD confirmed this and showed crosstalk between other channels as well. Sony support advised a system reset which has been done but there is still crosstalk between several channels that exists with [Sound Mode] ON (which is under Audio Settings, Sound Effects. I tried leaving this setting OFF but it kills the surround channels when viewing/listening to 2 channel sources - like FM Tuner, internet content, etc. I didn't have any of these issues with an older home theater system (BDV-E770W). So unless Sony comes up with a firmware fix for this it's probably going back.
Update 3/31/14 - I ended up holding on to this system even though support advised sending it back. Last night I noticed a new firmware version was avialable (M17.R.0179). The on screen nofification of this didn't work - had to check for it manually. After downloading and installing this version the channel crosstalk problem is gone.
on January 11, 2014
I purchased this system for watching movies over weekends and listening to music plus regular tv. I had tested vizio 5.1 Soundbar, sony CT260H and N7100w with my vizio 65" TV and I can rate
1. Sony N7100w as best
2. Sony CT260H Soundbar
3. Vizio 5.1 Sound bar
Vizio provides surround sound but it's not crisp and lacks HDMI
Sony soundbar is good but max volume is less.
Sony n7100w is a good home theatre setup for those who does not want to run wires with less cost and it can also function as good surround system for TV.
I had watched Man of Steel, Fast and Furious 6 and listened to regular music via Bluetooth and AirPlay and it's awesome.I felt like watching in Theatre. My living room is an open floor plan with 16x 25 with kitchen at other end. My sofas are 10-12 ft far from tv.
The only issue is with remote and sony software which is not easy to navigate and sometimes it freezes.
sony had fixed calibration issues with software update. Please make sure to run software update before running calibration.
I removed one star because the base system cannot fit in normal tv desks and cumbersome remote+software navigation.
Today I went to BestBuy and listened music from Polk, Pioneer and Klipsch Floor speakers with center channel and tried to compare with this one. This system is comparable with Pioneer 5.1 and I feel Polk and Klipsch floor speakers are for audiophiles who can tweak settings on receivers to get better sound.
A comparable ht setup will cost at least 700 without wireless speakers . Overall good value for money and easy setup.
on January 27, 2014
I've no expertise with such a system, so this is an 'all-thumbs' assessment. The physical assembly of the system is easy. The owner's manual has sketches of the components with their names and terminals, and an easy-start sheet and color coded wiring makes things easy.
My system has a Sony Bravia TV, an Apple TV (an alternative for the Roku streaming player), an AT&T U-verse provided Cisco cable box and wireless router, and an Apple iPhone 5S. All work fine with the BDV-N7100W. The most likely misstep in set-up is that the HDMI cable from the TV to the player must be connected to the correct terminals on each unit. The player identifies the HDMI input that allows ARC (Audio Return Channel) information, but the TV doesn't identify which of its four HDMI inputs is ARC compatible.
Once the physical install is complete, various settings have to be selected. There are a lot of them, and they are displayed on a many-branched decision tree on the TV. There is an automatic process for adjusting the speakers and some of the settings, but some hands on is needed. Before I was satisfied that I had things the way they should be, I'd read the owner's manual from cover to cover a dozen times.
I found the system very pleasurable for small ensembles like chamber music. The sound filled the room and made you feel that you were there. For symphonies, that experience requires more volume, and unless you like it pretty loud the 'being there' feeling won't happen. I found I wanted to adjust the speaker levels to suit myself, rather than using the automatic calibration. Individual speaker levels can be adjusted by ± 6dB in 0.5dB steps, which was enough for me.
The Apple TV works fine with the system, and I can mirror anything on the iPhone to the TV screen using the AirPlay feature. The Bluetooth connection also works with the iPhone, but doesn't provide video.
The everyday use of the system with the remote is straightforward using the displayed decision tree, but it is tedious. When the system turns on, this tree may show on the TV and can be used directly. In the Home selection, the function key can be pressed twice to produce a single column menu that toggles between 8 choices: BD/DVD, USB, FM, HDMI1, HDMI2, TV, Bluetooth Audio, and Audio. If one of these choices is activated already, one press of the function key presents this list, allowing one to toggle to another function. The HDMI1 and HDMI2 selections connect to the cable box or the Apple TV if connection is made using HDMI cables. The sound system and the built-in FM radio also can be accessed directly from the player without using the TV if one stands directly in front of the player (so you can read the small LED display on the player itself) and uses repeated pressing of the remote Function Key to select FM or Music.
Sony also provides an app for iPhone, iPad, and Android called SideView that allows the phone to emulate some features of the Sony remote (for example, home, function, muting, on/off, and volume), also including the remote's access to Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and the Sony Entertainment Network, among many others. In addition, this app provides a TV guide based upon your cable provider's menu system. Unfortunately, this app doesn't show what function you are at as you repeatedly tap the function key, so you have to look at the TV display or the LED display on the player to see what you are doing.
There are many, many settings possible, and probably you will go through them only in your early days with the system. Once set, you'll leave them alone unless some particular program stirs you to look for better choices. However, my experience the first time round was pretty exhausting. I read the 86-page owner's manual cover to cover a dozen times and tried this or that combination of settings for several hours. Along the way somehow the System Setting allowing ARC was turned off, and nothing worked. It was accident to find that this had happened, an accident after an hour's head scratching. The on-screen diagnostics and the owner manual troubleshooting guide were simply misdirection. The owner's manual is not written for a first-time encounter with the system.
I felt wilted after my encounter with the menu system. I found trying things out required a lot of running around in the menu system, and the response of the unit to changes was slow, making you wonder if you pressed the button hard enough or not. Hitting the button twice can lead to surprising results as the menu from the first push that you thought was not firm enough changes the menu for your second push, and you are unaware that happened.
Probably I'd give 5 stars for the system after I recover from battling through the menu system and have accommodated to the cumbersome operation of the remote.
Disclosures: I'm not an expert on sound quality, so this review won't be satisfying to those who want detailed information on what the speakers deliver and how they might compare to other systems. I don't own a smartphone or a 3D TV, so I can't comment on how features that require those devices work. What I can do is provide a neophyte's perspective on how this system works, what non-experts considering an upgrade from a regular Blu-ray player to something with speakers might think of it.
This is a higher-end Sony model. If you want a basic Sony system that won't cost much more than a high-end Blu-ray player, consider the Sony BDV-E3100 5.1 Channel 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System with Built-In Wi-Fi, which comes out in a few months. There's a handy comparison chart on this product page if you want to see what the differences are; basically this one has "premium design," a universal remote, 4K upscaling, Super Bit Mapping, a calibration system, and nicer speakers. If you want something even more elaborate from Sony, there's the Sony BDV-N8100W 5.1 Channel 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System with Wireless Rear Speakers, which differs from the model discussed here only in having even more powerful, floor-standing front speakers.
A clarification about something that is probably obvious to people who know about sound systems but may confuse newbies: "wireless rear speakers" here means only that there's no connection between the rear speakers and the main system. The rear speakers still need to be connected to a receiver that plugs into a wall outlet, so you'll have to make room for that box and those wires near your listening position. Speaking of listening positions, one of the neater features of this system is the above-mentioned calibration microphone, which is used to balance the speakers based on their specific position in the room. The microphone comes with a long cord; you plug it into the back of the main unit and stretch it until it's located where you'll be sitting while using the system. Because I didn't understand this at first, I inadvertently calibrated it almost backwards to begin with, and so can confirm that the performance is highly flexible; don't worry if your room layout doesn't allow for perfect positioning of the speakers. The downside is that if you move even a small distance from that position, what you perceive will shift from perfect surround to something slightly unbalanced.
Setup for the system is pretty simple. Unless you're wall-mounting the speakers you'll have to assemble the stands yourself, which is a bit of a pain, but unavoidable and comparatively easy: you hold the base in place, run the wires through it, then use a single screw to secure the whole thing. Once that's done, it's only a matter of positioning the elements of the system and connecting all the cords. (If you've bought this already, note that the subwoofer cord comes attached to the subwoofer; don't assume it's missing because it's not with the various speaker cords.) Onscreen setup is pretty quick and painless, and you can skip steps you don't care about. As I said, I'm not a sound expert, so I can't give a detailed rundown on how well the speakers work, but they sounds great to my untrained ear, particularly given their size and design. The subwoofer is very effective, perhaps a little too much so for my taste; if there's music playing in the background of a given scene, the bass tends to dominate more than I would think it should. But for all I know that's how it's supposed to sound, and in any case the overall performance is very pleasing.
Speakers aside, how well does this work as a media player? Pretty darn well. Disc load times are pretty fast, and if you activate the quick start up mode, the system itself turns on with stunning speed. The onscreen interface is nice, not visually exciting but functional, with Sony's usual mix of vertical and horizontal movement among icons. The various streaming-video apps I tested worked well: Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, and Netflix all have decent speeds, though the former two seem to need to check the connection speed pretty often, which slows down the start of playback. The Youtube app is a bit visually ugly and hard to figure out, but playback was solid. There's a wide range of other apps, so many that even scrolling through them at high speed takes quite a while. I've used the system's two HDMI inputs to connect my Wii U and an old DVD player that's set up for multi-region; the system switches quickly and both work fine. (It's nice to have clear rear-speaker sound for deciphering accents on those subtitle-free British dramas.) Playback of video though the USB device connector also worked, as did streaming from my computer. The FM radio reception is decent, and would probably be even better if I cared enough to get the included antenna positioned just so.
Complaints? I have a few. The angled sliding-top disc tray is visually nice, but a bit slow-moving compared to certain standard front-loaders. The universal remote programming doesn't have codes for the manufacturer of my TV (Sanyo), which is a shame, though plenty of other manufacturers are included, and I'm sure that if I really cared I could find a code that worked. For some reason, the only way to return to the interface while watching a video from a USB device is the remote's "Home" button, which as you would expect brings you back to the main screen, leaving you to click back through whatever directories on your USB device to get back to where you were. The next chapter button will also take you to the next video in that folder, but if you want to go up one folder and then somewhere new, you're out of luck. My biggest complaint, though, is that the onscreen displays during playback are so obtrusive. I can forgive the top and bottom of the screen being darkened when you tap the button to bring up information about duration/video quality/audio quality, but why, when you can't skip a chapter or fast-forward/rewind, should the whole screen go dark and the phrase "That operation is not permitted for this disc" flash up for several seconds? Most manufacturers have much less obtrusive ways of saying as much, and having the screen obscured somehow, counter-intuitively, heightens the aggravation of being unable to skip various warnings, trailers, etc.
If you're thinking "That's your biggest complaint? How petty!", well, you're right. This is an excellent, easy-to-use system with a lot of nice features. If you want an elaborate home theater setup that doesn't demand a lot of effort, I can recommend this one strongly. It's pricy, but for that price you get a top-of-the-line Blu-ray player and speakers that give good performance for their size and can adjust to different layouts. Beginners in the world of speaker systems could do a lot worse than to start here.
on August 1, 2014
I wish I had the energy to document all I've gone through to get my unit repaired, but after over 40 minutes on hold with customer service, I just can't do it.
Short as I can make it...
Unit would freeze when playing videos on Netflix. All other apps worked perfectly.
Drive door wouldn't open.
After 7 emails back and forth with support; was directed to call and arrange for repair.
Sent on 7/11/14 and they received on 7/14/14.
7/23/14 got a call saying they needed $119.95 to fix it. (Unit was still under warranty-bought in August 2013 so I just made it.)
I hadn't sent a receipt with the unit and they needed that to fix without charge. (not sure what good warranty registration does)
2 days later, they said they hadn't received the receipt and gave me 2 more addresses to email it to and in one they wanted my case number in the subject line and my order number in the subject line of the other.
2 more days and the unit is being repaired.
Got the unit yesterday (7/31/14) and got it set up.
Checked Netflix and it worked fine.
Time to check the drive door.
Opens and closes right away, sometimes stays open normally.
Tried a Blu-ray disc. Wouldn't read it. Was able to remove the disc.
Tried to play a video via Hulu, Amazon, Netflix.
I will do NOTHING now. Displays the message:
A tray is being operated or a disc is being read. Cannot perform this operation.
Emailed customer support and eventually got an answer back suggesting I call.
Just got off extensive hold with no help.
Sound system still works so here is my solution:
Plugged into the crippled Sony I have a Sony Network Media Player (which works perfectly) and an LG Blu-ray player.
I loved the BDV-N7100W for almost a year.
For anyone wishing to purchase this or anything from Sony, I would suggest you consider it as disposable.
If it breaks, buy something new.
(PS phone connections with service are always virtually inaudible).
and this is the abbreviated version!!
I am SO not a sound system expert, just a customer who appreciates things that are easy to install and use, and that WORK. (Nothing irritates me more than fiddling with something that just won't do what I need it to do!)
This Sony 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System hits the mark on all points. It was super easy to install and has been working flawlessly. The sound is wonderful and full. Note: Wireless rear speakers means just that. The REAR speakers are wireless, the front ones are not.
The remote to this system is outstanding, a big improvement over our older Sony Blu-ray's. I know it sounds silly to rave about a remote, but this one just does everything, right at your fingertips, and it's lightweight! That may not seem like much, but for those of us who suffer with hands that don't always do what we need them to do, this is HUGE!
The system works perfectly with our local rural internet provider. HuluPlus, Amazon, and Netflix all stream beautifully. There are a ton of other channels available, most with very narrow interests.
Overall, I am very, very happy with this system.
on September 24, 2014
First of all, let me say the speakers are fantastic. Love the "wireless" rear speakers and all of the options on the blu ray player. Problems started right away, though. The HDMI connection on the rear was too loose. I went through 3 HDMI cords thinking that was the issue, but it's the connection on the back of the device. Finally resorted to taping it securely into the back of the device. Otherwise, the screen image would randomly cut out. Then, one day, the device stopped being able to read DVDs and Blu-Rays. I went through all of the trouble-shooting, but it was a hardware issue. It was still under warranty, so I wanted to get it repaired or exchanged. Here's where the real trouble started... Sony customer service is horrible! I had to send the ENTIRE unit back, meaning the speakers, the subwoofer, the blu ray player at a cost to me of $140 in shipping, when all that needed repairing or replacing was the blu ray. The customer service person told me they could not just switch out the blu ray because it's a package and would not work if they just replaced blu ray, which I disagree with. There is a separate wireless adapter that "talks" to the rear speakers, so just replacing the blu ray would be more economical not only for me, but for Sony. Sony also gives no updates about this process. They do not email you. They do not call you. You cannot check the status online (for replacements at least). You have to call to get updates, and each time is like calling from scratch and explaining the issue. I'm still out my entire unit right now and have no idea when/if they will ship a new one. While it's a great product overall, I cannot recommend it due to Sony's poor customer service. It has turned me off so much, I will likely never buy another Sony product again.
Update: I have filed a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau as Sony has basically lost my property, and I am out $837.50 for the value of the unit plus shipping to Sony. Sony said it was an error that the original customer service person told me my unit should be replaced and instead it should have been an order for it to be fixed. Okay, fine, but that's they're fault. And they did nothing to fix it or address it. They still cannot locate my unit (as far as I can tell, it was last spotted in the exchange dept., but it is apparently a monumental task to get it moved to the repair dept.). When I call, they continue to promise the issue has been "escalated," and remind me I am calling the wrong #, I really need the repair department, but I can't have that information until the repair dept. comes to pick up my unit, but the repair dept. doesn't know it's in the exchange dept.?! It got to the point I was begging the lady on the phone to go back in the warehouse and find it and move it herself! I almost got her to do it too! Never once has Sony contacted me. Each time I call them, I am promised to get a call from customer service in 2-5 days, which never occurs. Mind you, this is not a call with information. No, this would just be a call so that I can tell someone with perhaps more "power" what is going on. Why it would take 2-5 days to even address the issue is beyond me and unacceptable. I finally got one person to promise me a call back that evening. No one called. That was 5 days ago. The nice P.R. note from "Ely" below is just that. No one ever has emailed me back. Sony has now had my unit for 21 days with no plan to replace it and no work order # for repairs. Each time I call the Laredo Tx. Service Center that has my unit held hostage, I get the run-around; and I swear they have their phone connections go haywire on purpose (as someone else pointed out, you basically hear every other word they say as their voice cuts out over static). Please think twice before buying a Sony product.
on September 6, 2014
I was so excited to receive this blu-ray player. I purchased it because it had great reviews. It was very easy to set up and the sound was awesome until the next day.. I was watching tv and all of a sudden there was this ear piercing screeching sound that came from the surround sound. I tried to quickly turn off the system but it was frozen. I had to unplug it to make it stop the noise. When I plugged it back in there was a pink screen on my tv and I couldn't get the player to work. It was still frozen. I'm returning it back to Amazon and purchasing the newer model of this system. Hopefully the newer model will last longer than one day of use.
on January 10, 2014
I purchased the Sony N7100 after first purchasing the Samsung 5500. I was not satisfied with the Samsung and returned it I then purchased the N7100. What a huge difference! Right out of the box I could tell that the overall quality was much better then the samsung. The sub has the look and feel of a high quality subwoofer plus it sounds great! The front and rear speakers are well constructed and the base stands feel sturdy. Audio output was clear and sharp just as expected.
The initial setup with the speakers and subwoofer was pretty easy as all of the plugs are color coded and connect easily to the back of the system.
I had some issues with my tv as far as the inputs go which was initially confusing. I have an HDMI running from the cable box to the system and then one from the system to my TV and that has the surround sound working great for when I watch cable tv which is often.
Bluray's look great and the speakers and subwoofer makes my living room feel like a private theater.
Speaker set up was calibrated via a mic which does all the calibrating after a few tests sounds.
Overall I would recommend the Sony N7100 the quality and ease of use was worth it. I am very happy I returned the Samsung 5500.
P.S. I am not anti Samsung or against their products, I have a LED smart TV from Samsung and it works great which is why I initially purchased their system over the Sony.
This is now the 5th Sony entertainment system in the last 8 years that myself or my family has bought. (I am the guy they call to shop and install for them.) This says something about my opinion of Sony. I feel it's the top consumer (non-audiophile) brand on the market in terms of video and sound quality, remote and menu system, and reliability. Plus I like their sleek modern designs. Now it was time for me to upgrade my system after 4 years...
This N7100W system is new for 2013 and has all the features I was looking for: 3D HDTV, wireless rear speakers, iPhone hook-up, Netflix and Pandora streaming and the new 4k upscaling. The 4k upscaling doubles the resolution of Blu-ray discs to fit the new bread of larger HDTVs and computer monitors. Even though my monitor is still 1080p, I do notice an improvement in video clarity and less ghosting compared to my earlier Sony system.
When listening to just music, these new speakers have a crisper sound and add more depth compare to my older Sony system. Maybe my older speakers has worn out over time, which can account for the difference. But I still think that once these new speakers get broken in over the next 4 weeks the sound will be even better. Plus the wireless feature is really nice. I haven't noticed any distortion or broken signals to the rear speakers.
Overall, I am very pleased with this system. I wouldn't trade my Sony for any other consumer brand. When I find a good brand I tend to stick with it.