Back in January, JVC slated its TH-SB100
soundbar + subwoofer + Blu-ray player system as "3.1-channel," which kind of made sense since the soundbar housed LCR drivers. There's been something funny in the punch since then, because the TH-SB100 has morphed into something with 4.1-channel status. It's still a soundbar system, but JVC
is using magic called "front surround" to get the outermost drivers to handle the left/right channels and the inside two drivers to handle the center + surround audio. It sounds crazy to us, but we'll try to keep an open mind because otherwise things look pretty good -- 220-Watts total, wireless subwoofer, and Dolby Digital, Pro Logic II and DTS processing in the soundbar. If all you've already got a Blu-ray player, opt for the $400 TH-BA1 (soundbar + sub only), otherwise get onboard with Blu-ray and grab the $700 TH-SB100 (complete with Blu-ray deck).