Samsung HT-AS730 HTIB
For most people making their first foray into HT gear, springing for a full-blown audio rig to go along with a new TV is just too expensive, and while starting out with just a pair of speakers up front might fit the budget, it doesn't deliver the surround sound thrills that make on satisfied with the new purchase. That's exactly why HTIB systems like Samsung's new AS730 that get you going quickly but don't immediately "dead-end" your system make sense. For $500, you get a 7.1-channel receiver and a 5.1-channel speaker system with a powered subwoofer. With three HDMI inputs, three Toslink inputs, the requisite iPod dock (with analog video support), auto calibration and even 7.1 channel analog audio inputs, you can unbox this package and be set up before the popcorn is ready; better still, there's room to grow with this system. At this price point, some tradeoffs have to be made -- your Blu-ray deck will have to decode any Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA to LPCM, but that's just picking nits, isn't it? Full press release and a few photos after the break.
Samsung AS730 Home Theater System

Able to act as a true HD A/V receiver, this flexible device serves as an excellent compliment to modern digital entertainment products. Be it a Blu-ray player, game console, satellite/cable set-top box, or even iPod, with the AS730, consumers can quickly enjoy the pleasures of surround sound to match their stunning HDTV experience.

Key Features:

  • Inexpensive $500 price point (for a receiver and 5.1 speaker system with a kick-ass powered sub) makes for a great home theater starter system. Users can also replace the electronics or speakers later as budget allows.
  • 5.1/7.1-Channel Surround Sound Audio System. 5.1 speakers included, with built-in amplification for a 7.1 system (and 5-way binding posts). To upgrade to a 7.1 setup, just add new, high-quality front speakers and move the included front speakers to the rear channels.
  • Multi-channel LPCM passthrough and D/A conversion
    • Connect a Blu-ray player that can decompress DTS-MA or Dolby+THD back to the LPCM studio master at its core, then pass that signal along to the AS730 for digital-to-analog conversion.
    • No re-encoding of audio streams and no loss of secondary audio tracks from Blu-ray discs. Mix pure lossless digital audio at the BD player and pass along to the high-quality DAC in the receiver.
    • No redundant TrueHD or DTS-MA audio decoder in the receiver.
  • Flexible, high-quality connection options
    • 3x HDMI inputs and 1x HDMI output for switching HD sources.
    • 3 Toslink optical and 1 coaxial digital audio inputs for use with legacy digital devices.
    • 7.1 analog audio input and a number of other stereo analog audio, with composite video input
    • iPod docking station that will power the iPod, control basic transport functions and can pass analog video.
  • Included microphone and Auto Sound Calibration (ASC) system makes setup and calibration as simple as possible.

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Samsung rolls out the AS730 HTIB system

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Samsung rolls out the AS730 HTIB system