Philips debuts Soundbar with Blu-ray, Home Theaters galore

If there's one thing we've always maintained here at Engadget, it's that "HD people are good people." Hell, we have a whole website devoted to HD, home entertainment, and the whole "HD lifestyle," only because you warm our hearts so much. And the folks at Philips are obviously on the same tip -- as proven not only by all the wonderful products of theirs that grace these pages regularly, but by all the surround sound gear they've schlepped to IFA this year, including: a new SoundBar with Ambisound, featuring a Blu-ray disc player, optional iPod dock, 7.1 surround sound, and DoubleBASS. Available in black (HTS8160B) or white (HTS8161B). Just the thing for those of you who think that a single speaker could somehow replace seven (plus one) in the surround sound stakes. Also on hand for the less credulous, the company is unveiling a number of home theater systems with the now-mandatory Blu-ray playback, including: three separate 5.1 surround affairs for folks with on varying budgets, and a two speaker / one sub combo for those of you who want to try out "Dolby Virtual Speaker" technology after all. If all this appeals to you, you have two options -- check out the PR (after the break) or hit the read link to sift through a wild'n'wooly PDF.

Philips launches High Definition home theatre systems with Blu-ray

Berlin, Germany – For a truly immersive home cinema experience you need to think about the picture quality as well as the sound quality. Therefore, Philips now includes Blu-ray Disc playback in its extensive range of home theater systems. From the successful Philips SoundBar with Ambisound, to the conventional 5.1 and 2.1 home theater systems, all models provide the best high definition viewing experience through Blu-ray Disc playback and the best listening experience with high-end proprietary sound technologies from Philips.

New Philips SoundBar with Ambisound

For design conscious consumers who demand superior sound and picture, Philips SoundBar with Ambisound is the right choice. The new Philips SoundBar with Ambisound incorporates a complete home theater system, with integrated high definition Blu-ray Disc playback for sharp images in full HD 1080p and an optional dock for iPod in a single unit. This means you can now enjoy all your entertainment in high definition surround sound and Blu-ray Disc picture quality without having multiple speakers.

Philips has further improved its patented Ambisound technology. Compared to former models, the placement of the HD speakers has been changed so that the SoundBar delivers a wider soundstage and sweet spot for an even more immersive experience without the clutter of multiple speakers.

Additional sound features make the great listening experience from this SoundBar complete:

  • DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD for high fidelity 7.1 surround sound

  • FullSound to bring CD listening experience to compressed MP3 music

  • Clear Voice for more audible vocals in movies and music

  • Proprietary DoubleBASS for fuller and deeper bass

The touch screen controls for intuitive playback and volume control, as well as the stylish design with aluminium finishing and glass panels blend well with every living room. Thanks to the integrated Blu-ray Disc player you also profit from BD-Live which lets you directly access bonus contents for your movies on the Internet. The new Philips SoundBar with Ambisound comes in a black (HTS8160B) and in a white (HTS8161B) version.

Philips home theatre systems featuring Blu-ray Disc playback

For consumers with more space, the Philips' range of home theater systems offers the best-in-class listening experience combined with high definition Blu-ray Disc playback. The new Philips Home Theater HTS7540 is a 5.1 system which delivers high definition pictures and surround sound in a stylish design with a high quality aluminium metal finishing.

With its four floor standing pillars, magnetically shielded center speaker, and the 8" high efficiency subwoofer, the system is truly designed to deliver best-in-class audio quality for all kinds of contents. DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD secure high fidelity surround sound. Philips DoubleBASS delivers full and deep bass tones, delivering sound with more boom and panache. Philips Clear Voice, an innovative audio technology that significantly increases the intelligibility of vocals, ensures you will never miss a word of your favourite film or song. The Philips-patented FullSound technology lets you enjoy even your compressed MP3 music in CD quality.

The other models in the range come with the same high-quality audio features but smaller set ups: The Philips Home Theater HTS7520 comes with two floor standing front speakers and two smaller rear speakers, a center speaker and also an 8" high efficiency subwoofer.

The Philips Home Theater HTS7500 features four small satellite speakers, a center speaker, and the 8" subwoofer.

The Philips Home Theater HTS7200 features a stylish mix of aluminium and glass materials, with two small satellite speakers, a 6.5" high efficiency subwoofer and touch screen controls. The Dolby Virtual Speaker technology in this system is a sophisticated technology that produces rich and immersive surround sound from a two speaker system. DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD ensure that also this home theatre system delivers you the finest sound from your Blu-ray Discs.