Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great, depending on intended purpose
on May 19, 2007
I bought this theater system almost two years ago, and it hasn't given me any problems. Though I give it a bit higher rating than some of the other reviewers, I agree with what they say for the most part. First, the pros: Divx playback. This was essentially THE single reason I was in the market for a system, and why I chose this one. At the time, it was hard to find a decent compromise between quality and expense, and this was one of the few systems I could find that had Divx playback (from nearly ALL disc formats - many only playback from CD-R, but this one supports CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, etc) and wasn't either out of my price range or too cheap to provide reliability. While Divx playback isn't as hard to find as it was two years ago, it still isn't a given in most systems - and this sytem's ability to play almost anything I could throw at it is indeed why I give it a slightly higher rating. It handles avi and divx with ease, and looks great, so I finally can unhook the second PC from my television and simply burn my video collection to DVD, without having to go through the arduous process of re-encoding the video. Aside from the Divx capability, the sound is good, the menu operation is expansive without being daunting, and the remote is well designed (I know that sounds silly, but awkward remotes are a pet peeve of mine, and I've taken back a number of electronic devices because of them). Even little things won me over with this system, for instance, Yamaha is extremely generous with the amount and quality of the speaker wire they provide - a small but good thing.
The cons - most of them are minor, but could still make or break the system for you, depending on what you are looking for. True, only Dolby Pro Logic and DTS 5.1 - so maybe not the system for you if you are also in the market for HDTV. And yes, the reviewer's comment about the "angle" icon not going away if you are watching a DVD with multi-angle selection. Fortunately, this is rare for me - in fact, I've only had two in all the time I've used it. It's a small annoyance, but typically uncommon scenraio, so I'll let it slide. Hopefully, the future media centers (and I'm sure many present-day models do) will be smart enough enough to incorporate ethernet plugs for firmware/software updates - something like that would have this bug taken care of already. But again, it's a rare occurance that DVDs have this feature. Also, when reading the file names from data discs, that might contain something like Divx or MP3s, it would be nice to be able to scroll left and right and see more of the file name - again, a small complaint, but forgiveable given the playback reliability. Lastly, and to me, this is the biggest con, maybe right above the lack of DDS, is that there is only a digital coaxial input, no optical (toslink), which is a real bummer if you have a dish or digital cable. I don't know why they did this either, seeing as how digital coaxial is less prevalent than optical - and seeing that most other systems simply provided both, rather than gambling on one or the other.
So, in all it really depends on what you are looking for. If you are an audiophile with cutting edge equipment looking for a sound system, you might be better served by something else. If you're in the market for a nice multi-disc unit that can reliably play your ever-expanding collection of divx videos, and deliver great sound - all without breaking the bank, I would recommend it all the way.