Samsung, a worldwide leading consumer electronics manufacturer, has recently announced that it will expand its home theater in a box (HTiB) systems equipped with Blu-ray players. The offer will now include an additional HTiB, which will begin shipping next month. With the new product, Samsung's offer will include a total of three models, the last one of the lot being the cheapest of them all.
The new $799-suggested model is going to be dubbed HT-BD2E and will essentially provide a 5.1-channel HTiB system - whereas the company's previously released HTiBs were 7.1-channel systems.
Currently, Samsung and Panasonic are the only consumer electronics vendors that are offering HTiBs with integrated Blu-ray players. However, with the new product, Samsung has succeeded to release the most aggressively priced Blu-ray-equipped HTiB system to date. "As the Blu-ray market broadens, more people will be interested in home theater systems with built-in Blu-ray." said Reid Sullivan, marketing VP for digital audio, video and imaging.
All of Samsung's HTiBs feature built-in BD 1.0 Blu-ray player, HDMI-CEC, 1080p up-scaling of DVD content, outboard subwoofer, selectable 24/60 fps BD playback, Ethernet port for firmware upgrades, FM tuner, no AM tuner, and decoders for all surround formats approved for use on BD discs except for the DTS HD Master lossless-compression format.
Unlike the other two models, the BD2E comes with five small satellite speakers, a passive subwoofer and 800 watts of RMS power. Users that require more than 800 watts of power can take their pick from the company's 7.1-channels models, which provide a maximum of 1100-watt amplification. These sell between $999 and $1,499.
According to James Kiczek, Samsung's digital audio marketing manager, sales of the first Blu-ray HTiBs, "met expectations based on price points and distribution."