Sound bars are nothing revolutionary, but JVC's newly announced TH-BC3 packs a few features worth mentioning. At the top of the list is the inclusion of an HDMI 1.4 enabled ARC (Audio Return Channel), which allows for simplified wiring since audio can travel in both directions through the HDMI cable. Additional connectivity options include one analog input and two digital audio inputs (optical and coaxial) plus a subwoofer pre-out. A slick push-open iPod / iPhone dock is another nice edition especially when combined with a composite video output. In terms of more general specs, the device features 30 watts per channel, a built-in FM tuner, and SRS StudioSound HD which is basically a branded complication of SRS TruSurround HD and SRS TruVolume. SRS TruVolume is designed to eliminate volume changes when switching sources while TruSurround HD can convert up to 6.1 channels of audio for playback over two speakers. JVC says the speaker will be available in February for $249. If that's above your budget, the TH-BC1 is essentially the same product minus the ARC and iPod dock and will be available this month for $149.