I was looking at what DVD/Blu-Ray 5.1 systems I can get on my credit card points (because this is not something I want to or can afford to spend Real Money on).
Some options include (eg the highest-specced ones I have enough points for):
Samsung HTD5300 5.1CH 3D Blu-Ray Home Theatre System — which gives the impression of looking ugly and perhaps being under-powered, with piddly little speakers, though it does claim to be 1000W. Has an iPod dock. FM-only tuner; I like to listen to AM, but that’s not fatal, as I can use another radio or listen online.
LG HB806TGW 5.1ch 3D Blu-Ray Home Theatre System — 850W. Aesthetically pleasing. Only has FM tuning. Seems to be able to playback off USB. No mention of an iPod dock.
Panasonic Home Theatre System SC-BTT370GNK — Aesthetically pleasing. Appears to only have FM. Includes iPod dock.
I’m pondering three questions:
1. (Most importantly) which might give the best sound? They seem to retail in the $400-700 range, so I know they’re not going to be as high fidelity as $1000+ systems, but that would be out of my budget. Of course it’s become impossible to search the web for reviews of consumer electronics, because Google tells you about eleventy billion web sites which claim to have reviews, but in fact merely announce when you visit that you can “Be the first to review this product!”
All things being equal, I’d probably lean towards the Panasonic.
2. CEC appears to be a technology that allows devices to control one another via HDMI cables. If my Samsung TV has AnyNet(which is their version of CEC), would a Panasonic Blu-Ray receiver with VieraLink (which is their version) or an LG with SimpLink be able to control it?
3. Hmm, I wonder if the two with iPod docks are compatible with my (relatively ancient) fourth-generation iPod, which I got in 2005 and is still going strong? (Panasonic lets you download manuals, but that part of their web site appears not to be working.)
Anybody got any advice for me?