* Prices may differ from that shown
REASON FOR PURCHASE
One of our spare bedrooms, which has been gradually taken over by my husband is now fondly known as the "X Box" room where he will often disappear for hours on end resulting in me enjoying some much needed peace and quiet. A few years ago he constantly grumbled that the television was too small for him to enjoy his games and as a result, I finally gave in and agree to share the cost of a large flat screen television, which we fitted to the wall. In addition to this, he decided to push his luck by informing me that the sound quality hindered his gaming experience and once again, I gave in and this review discusses our purchase of the Philips HTS3357 DVD Home Theatre System.
My husband generally tends to leave both the researching and purchasing of household items to me, particularly as I'm totally unlike him where I will not simply dive in and buy the first thing that catches my eye. I decided upon Philips, as it's a high quality brand and our previous experiences with their products have always been very positive. I had initially intended on purchasing the HTS3367 model, which we have in our living room, but unfortunately, it was out of stock at the time of our purchase some three years ago. The system is designed from a high quality black and silver coloured polished metal and plastic and consists of an amplifier offering a total output of 600 W RMS and input sensitivity of 500 mV Aux in, 250 mV TV in and 500 mV MP3 line-in.
The subwoofer weighing in at 4.75 kg with its measurements of 159.5 x 355.5 x 370 mm offers speaker drives of 203 mm (8") woofer and frequency dimensions of 40 Hz - 150 Hz. The two front speakers measuring 95.5 x 198.3 x 75 mm and weighing 0.62 kg offer a frequency response of 150 Hz - 20 kHz and a 3" full speaker driver. The 435 x 93.5 x 67 mm centre speaker with a weight of 1.34 kg offers a frequency response of 150 Hz - 20 kHz, 2-way satellite and speaker drivers of 2 x 2.5" full range speakers. Finally, are the two rear speakers weighing 5.99 kg with their measurements of 95 x 1184 x 73.7 mm, which offer a 3" full range speaker with a frequency response of 150 Hz - 20 kHz. We are provided with a remote control together with two AAA batteries, scart cable, FM wire antenna, AM/MW loop antennae and MP3 line-in cable.
Due to the weight of the bundle of items together with the bulky packaging, I decided to order online and have my purchase conveniently delivered to our door. Accompanying the system is a comprehensive 55 page User Manual together with a double sided A3 size Quick Start Guide, which provides easy to follow instructions for set up together with extremely helpful supporting images. Positioning the speakers to obtain maximum performance as per the directions was easy, but the task I was dreading the most was successfully connecting the assortment of cables. However, I was surprised to discover that each of the plugs belonging to the various speakers displayed a specific colour, which simply needed to be matched with the corresponding colour socket on the rear of the main unit. Such a simple idea, but not one I've ever come across before.
Connecting the radio antennae was another effortless task with the assistance of the Quick Start Guide, particularly as the connection points are clearly defined on the supporting diagram. I do not intend discussing connections in this review, particularly as it depends on how many individual items you wish to use with your system. In our "X Box" room we have just the games console connected, but in our living room, everything is connected with the exception of the kitchen sink, eg Sky box, DVD player and a DVD recorder as much to my dismay, my husband has a thing for gadgets! The user manual provides detailed information on five different options for basic connections and discusses the necessary cables and I'm not even going to try and explain how to do this, as this is well beyond my technical expertise! The main unit, which houses the DVD player offers a wide range of modes and I cannot identify anything any different from our living room player.
When we first purchased the system we initially located the rear speakers on the floor, but due to their height in comparison with the size of the spare bedroom we found them somewhat cumbersome due to their large bases, which each measure approximately 260 x 26.5 mm. Consequently, as the speakers had been easily fitted to the bases by way of a small plug and a screw we are now in the process of fitting them to the wall once I have completed the task of giving the room a full make-over. There is a sufficient amount of cable provided with all of the speakers, so we will be able to erect them on a rear wall and trunk all of the visible cable. The speakers in relation to our living room system are very similar in size and due to the room being much larger they blend in well with their surroundings as I have managed to discretely position the large ones without interfering with their overall performance.
The appearance of the main unit, which operates from a power supply rating of 220 - 240 V; 50 Hz and power consumption of 100 W is considerably pleasing to the eye with its contemporary finish with minimal buttons, which can often be confusing, particularly as I am not technically minded. However, it is a little bulkier than I would have hoped for with its weight of 4.04 kg and measurements of 435 x 55 x 367 mm although I strongly suspect that in a couple of years with the ever increasing changes in modern technology, that the size of newer models will dramatically reduce in size.
The setting up of the unit is extremely easy by way of the remote control and I was able to carry out this task within just a few minutes by pressing just one of the easy to press buttons. From start to finish after removing the system from the box and setting up the main unit, I would estimate that it took approximately three quarters of an hour to fully set up. The only downside with the remote is that it offers a whole host of different buttons; some of which are very small and those people with problems with their fingers may find themselves selecting the wrong buttons. There are buttons on the remote, which we will probably never use such as the zoom or repeat, but a handy feature for us is the radio, which I generally tend to use when carrying out my housework.
THE SURROUND SOUND EXPERIENCE
As we were familiar with the surround sound experience in our living room I was not expecting any huge surprises, but I must admit that I was absolutely amazed when my husband turned on one of his shooting X Box games. The system offers the most fantastic sound experience, as games, television programmes and films are brought to life and therefore, enhancing our enjoyment. Yes, I said the word "our", as I very often take residence in the "X Box" room to play my games although I own only a few, but it's what I class as my "me time" where I'll enjoy playing more calming games such as Harry Potter. There is no crackling or interference with the sound, which is delivered efficiently and effectively.
I must admit that my initial experiences with surround sound weren't that positive, particularly as any sounds boomed around the room causing me to jump out of my skin. However, I wouldn't be without it now, as it offers the most spectacular experience when enjoying films or playing games, particularly those that are creepy! Whilst this is a point my husband would never consider, cleaning the system is relatively easy by way of a lint free cloth, as yellow household dusters seem to leave their fibres on the fronts of the speakers. We have experienced no problems with our system despite owning it for approximately three years and for the reasons discussed above, it comes with my full recommendation.
You can normally make a purchase on Amazon, but at the time of writing it is currently out of stock. However, this system is available on the Philips website although there is no listed price.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.
I got this Philips Home Theatre system as a present for my birthday about two years ago. Having had it for two years, I am still very impressed with the quality this seemingly simple system offers.
The installation is very straight-forward with all wires and sockets colour-coded making it nigh-on impossible to get the set up wrong. We managed to put all the wires underneath our wooden floor, ensuring the room is not full of wires. As the wires are very thin and well protected, this is a much better solution that installing wireless systems as these are prone to disturbances and all require separate power sources.
Performance-wise, this system is truly impressive. Given the price in comparison to many of its alternatives, it splits up Sky TV signal very well, but really comes into its own with a high-quality DVD. If a proper Dolby Surround channel is recorded on a DVD or a CD track, the sound becomes truly incredible. A number of films we have seen recently really make you feel like you are in the thick of the action with very clearly defined sounds coming from all around you, adding an extra dimension to watching films in your lounge that you used to only be able to get in cinemas.
Ive owned this for around 6 months now, and have been reasonably pleased with the system. Being fussy and having a Philips tv, I partly chose this to match, but there are better looking systems on the market. The other deciding factor was cost, at £135 it offered great value for money compared to others.
The dvd player itself is a bit on the large size and because of the storage unit i have caused me some problems. Apart from this set up was quite simple.
The sound quality is brilliant, much better than just the tv speaker. One thing I found a little vague in the installation instructions was when setting up the speaker sound levels and delay settings. This wasnt really explained clearly and seems to assume you have knowledge of home cinema systems already.
My only critism is the button on the system to change the source is very slow to respond.
It also has a radio feature, unfortunately not DAB and is without RDS.