If you already have a DVD player, or you don't want to get locked into a DVD player that doesn't have all the features you want, this is a good home theater system for you.
Since it doesn't include a DVD player, it's a lot less expensive than one that does have one, and you can get a DVD player with features like Progressive Scan to add to this great system to really make your home theater watching experience look and sound terrific.
Overall, quality from Sony has always been high, and this unit is no exception. The 100 watts of power is ample for a home theater unit in all but the largest rooms. The integrated Dolby sound processing makes sure that your audio experience will be as pure as digital sound can make it. It's fairly easy for even an amateur to set up and use. And the SubWoofer will blow your socks off. The stereo AM/FM tuner that's included has enough presets for the whole family. And it has more than enough inputs and outputs for all but the most demanding audio/video connoisseur.
5.1 Surround Sound can only be appreciated in person, in a room set up correctly. One of the things you will really enjoy is how the sounds seem to come from in back of you and then zoom around to the front. But its fairly small size makes it easy to set up, even in an apartment. You won't believe your ears when you hear it, and you won't believe the price when you see it. It's the only complete system in a box for this price.
I don't think I could recommend this system any higher for those who already have a DVD player and want to add the home theater experience, or for those who want to get a DVD player with different features than a whole package deal. I'm now recommending this unit, which is still available, over my original choice of the Sony HT-DDW740 which is no longer available.
on September 5, 2003
Most of these reviews sound like they were written by people who work in the advertising department at Sony. I don't so I'll give you the real deal.
The sound is pretty good, what I would expect from mini speakers. The subwoofer adds that extra boom to make the sound more rich. The surround sound is great when watching DVDs. It's almost like being in the theater. I would like more sound out of the rear speakers when listening to music though, almost nothing comes through.
There are a couple things that I think could be better. First of all it's not as easy to use as a toaster, but I was able to figure most things out after reading the manual. The digital optical cable hooks up to Video-2, not DVD, so when I watch a DVD I have to select Video-2 instead of DVD. Whose stupid idea was that? The "universal" remote is the most complicated thing I've ever seen. I'm a technical person, but I can not figure out how to enter the codes to control my other equipment. It seems like I got the wrong instructions or something because it doesn't make sense. Don't even bother trying to route your video signal through the reciever unless you don't care about using s-video or component video. All it has is the normal video out. And finally, when you turn it on it takes a few seconds before the sound starts playing. Maybe it has to boot up Windows or something...
I don't mean to sound like I hate this reciever, I did give it four stars after all. But those are just some of the things that annoy me. Overall it's a great product for the price. I just need to go buy a new universal remote before this one drives me crazy.
on October 26, 2003
This is a great HT system for those who already have a DVD player. The sound quality for this system is very good. The sound coming out the center speaker is bright and rich.
When I narrowed down my choice between this Sony and the Kenwood 306, I compared the sound of the two side by side. When the volume is turned up at medium high ( somewhat higher than normal listening volume), the Kenwood starts to produce very noticable hiss noises from the satellite speakers and the sound from center speaker starts to have noises. While the Sony does not have the noises and the sound becomes even brighter and having more depth at the higher volume.
The Sony wins hands down and that made the decision clear for me. Paid $280 at Circuit City in September.
The volume from the satellite speakers are not as high as I expected but that can be configured from the receiver.
on December 17, 2003
This is a great home theater system for the price, I paid $264.00 from Amazon. The music it plays is rich and full--good highs from the satellite speakers and the sub is good without being too boomy--you can adjust the levels of all 5 speakers including the sub. The best part is sound from the Dolby digital 5.1 and DTS--WOW! I recommend one try the Gladiator DVD encoded with DTS. The surround sound effect is really dictated by how the DVD was encoded at the factory so it can vary from DVD to DVD. All the home theater one will need unless you live in a mansion!!!
on March 20, 2004
I have never had anything but the audio coming from the stereo speakers on my TV, and I was blown away the first time I heard this system. I bought this system brand new off of eBay for $250 total in late February 2004 and have been completely satisfied since.
I like to relax in my room now and crank that sub all the way up untill my windows rattle and the pictures on the wall shake. It did take me a couple hours to get set-up becuase I went crazy in getting everything just perfect in the settings. This system can get as loud as you'd want for a small to medium sized room.
One of the main reasons I got this was for Pro Logic II decoding on my Gamecube games, and Wow it's awesome to hear on games that support it. But the real treat comes when watching DVDs in Digital or DTS. For the first time I experienced true surround in my room and it was incredible. I recommend trying Saving Private Ryan DVD in the first beach-landing scene with the bass cranked all the way up to feel the explosions.
The receiver is pretty straight-forward and easy to use if you read the manual first. Some of the settings don't change the overall sound that much. I use different modes when I am listening to sound from different equipment...
Audio CDs - Dolby Pro Logic II MUS mode
DVD's - CSTEX B Movie mode
Gamecube/Radio - Dolby Pro Logic II MOV mode
Overall an excellent budget system (A Sony too!). I recommend.
on January 4, 2004
I'm a pretty picky person when it comes to sound systems. However, with a family, I can't afford to spend a lot on a "great" sound system. I was a little skeptical at first but after I started using this sytem...I was pretty happy.
I did replace the 24 guage wire with 16 guage wire for all the speakers and even added a nice subwoofer cable. Makes all the difference in the world.
Nice Starter Unit!!!
on February 3, 2004
All i can really say for this system is Oh My God! After it took me awhile to figure things out like the initial setup which still needs some work, i got it working with my new DVD recoder and i was blown away, my ears were ringing and house was shaking...just kidding, but it was lound and sounded wonderful, so much better than my old audiovox crap. Excellent deal for the money and i am truly happy. I have been waiting along time to replace my old system, so glad i did. I did check alot of reviews and there weren't many unhappy people. I am truly impressed. Remote is hard to figure out so i did it from the reciever, no big deal. so look no futher, this is a great unit.
on December 8, 2003
This is a nice home theater system. Might not be
right for audiophiles, but good enough for average guy
like me. And for me price was right and I get Sony
brand name with it. I was thinking about buying Onkyo
system, but would have cost me additional $300 which
I couldn't justify.
One curious thing about the receiver was that it accepted
both digital coax and optic, but in the manual Sony recommended
using coax, I wonder why. Hmm...
on July 26, 2003
At first I thought that this sytem would'nt meet my audphile demands, but it proved me wrong. I got it for only ... and it is awesome! The receiver has 500 watts, and very useful options like prologic II and its jaw-dropping cinema ex sounds. Te satallites deliver the rich sound you expecet from sony, and the sub is very clean and powerful. I live in a large 2-story house, and my parents complain that the whole house is shaking!If you want audiophile sound for only ..., this is the #1 pick!
on September 9, 2003
I have been wanting a home theater system for a long time and this one was a great first choice. The instructions take a little longer to digest through than I thought they would, but within 2 hours everything was set up, adjusted and I was watching a dvd. Great for someone who already has a dvd player they like and only needs the basic system. I live in an apartment and the sound is fantastic.