Not sure why manufacturers still sell DVD-only hone cinema systems when many people are embracing Blu-ray or cutting out discs altogether to download stuff. But despite that, Samsung has an upscaling DVD home cinema set up for those of you not ready to buy HD discs (but somehow want to upscale your DVD collection).
The Samsung HT-C550 is a 5.1-channel system and sports the company’s Anynet system of linking various consumer electronic systems together to be controlled by one remote control. There is also an iPod dock so you can connect that Apple-based unit to the system.
The system can be used with an amp or you can directly connect the speak set that comes with the player. Setting up is easy, just hook up a scart (or HDMI to get upscaled images at 1080p) and plug in the speakers at the back that are powered by the unit.
The sound quality isn’t too bad, but won’t be serious competition to dedicated amps and speakers, but pleasant enough.
As for video quality, we were a bit disappointed that the unit didn’t automatically sense that it was connected to an HD TV and set the upscaling and output to 1080p. Rather this is set at SD out of the box and has to be changed manually. When setting on 1080p or BD-Wise, the quality improves, but for older films the difference may not always be discernible.
The iPod dock will play music through it as well as video, which is a nice touch. These is also a USB port for connecting up portable hard drives and playing content off that.
Overall, it is a reasonable budget system, but we can’t help feeling that for a few quid more you could future-proof yourself with something that features a Blu-ray player.