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      15.06.2009 17:41
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      A great system, but now a little behind the times. I'd still have one again though :)

      I've had the HT Q20 as the main speaker system in my bedroom for a couple of years now (I have a large bedroom ;)), and it's been absolutely sublime for what I paid for it (£179 I think).

      I've been very impressed with the audio quality its self - I mean I'm no audiophile, but I know what sounds reasonable. It does a good job of sort of 'surrounding' me with music, which in my opinion a surround sound system SHOULD do. We have a newer Panasonic system in our living room that's atrocious for music - not much better than the TV its self.

      It's attached to either my TV or my laptop/iPod, depending on what I'm doing. Annoyingly there's only one audio input, so I end up having to reach around the back and swap phono cables every now and again. But frankly it's worth it for the price.

      There is a USB port in the front which, contrary to what some reviews on the 'net say, doesn't actually support your iPod. Well you can plug it in and it'll charge, but don't expect to play any music from it. I have used it on occasion to play music from a flash drive (that's the other thing - it only recognises devices formatted in FAT32), but generally I don't bother because most of my music is bought off iTunes and so is in the wrong format. I did try to get it to play some video files I'd stuck on there the other day, but it just sat there 'searching' for it for 15 minutes. So I gave up. My advice: best ignore the thing.

      The remote is very good. It's quite large, but then there are a lot of buttons on it. The volume and tuning keys glow in the dark, which is quite helpful when you want to listen to music with the lights off. As is the 'dimmer' button, which dims the lights and screen on the front of the unit to an acceptable level.

      What else is there... Oh, setting up was easy. The speaker cables themselves go into plastic colour coded things that slot into the back of the DVD player, so there's no panicking about getting left and right or front and back mixed up. It is essentially normal speaker cable, though, which clips into the back of the speakers themselves like they might in a normal hifi system. So if you do want to extend the range of the speaker cables (as I did), you can. Generally they're long enough, it's just that I needed my subwoofer in a bizzare location.

      When you first turn it on, the unit can be a bit noisy. I'm not sure whether it's the fan in the back or the disk drive starting to spin, but something sounds a bit like a ww2 bomber for about a minute or so. But then it could just be the fact that I've owned it for 2 years and have had it in use pretty much every day.

      The DVD player bit is great too. I've used it fairly frequently and I've never had a problem. It is, however, a scart connection to your TV, so it doesn't upscale to HD. It has a component output but I've never used it, and I suspect it's not much better. So don't expect upscaled pictures, basically, but it's still pretty good.

      Really a fantastic system. If I wanted another one, I'd without a doubt get another Samsung. I don't know how I'll cope at Uni next year without it - don't think it'll fit in my room somehow!

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      25.09.2008 12:21
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      A great home cinema system for the price!

      A home cinema system is a must for any true movie enthusiast, looking to re-create that cinema feel in the living room. Whilst nothing beats the cinema experience for movies, a good home cinema system goes a long way to enhancing the home movie experience. I have the Samsung HT-Q20 home cinema system in my house, and whilst it's certainly not the best system available on the market, I find it does a pretty good job for the price.

      The Samsung HT-Q20 is almost a complete home entertainment system, since not only does it offer a dvd player with 5.1 surround sound, but it also has a built in radio tuner, plays audio CD's and has a USB slot for MP3 player compatability. These features were key in my decision for purchasing the system, as it basically meant that there was no need for me to purchase a separate Hi-fi system, which I also needed at the time. I bought the Samsung HT-Q20 nearly 2 years ago now, for around £160 at the time, which felt like money well spent, and whilst the system has been very good in the main, it's certainly by no means faultless.

      The system looks great, as you would expect from a Samsung product, and comes in a sleek, matte black design with a metallic silver lining throughout the range of items. The home cinema system consists of a DVD player, 5 speakers, a sub-woofer and the remote control. Set-up is fairly simple, the only hassle involved is basically the positioning and set-up of the speakers, but once this is done, it is ready to go. Where surround sound can be complicated, is getting the system to work on all entertainment systems in the home, from the digital box, to the dvd player, to the games console. To get all these to work on the system, means making sure that all are somehow connected, and I found that I had to do a lot of research online to be able to do this.

      The DVD player is excellent, playing a wide range of different formats. As well as regular DVD's, it also plays blank media DVD's, both + & - formats, including re-writeables. Obviously this depends on the brand of blank media used, but in my experience, most top branded media works fine. As well as DVD's, the system also plays music CD's, which is a great bonus, and also features Jpeg playback too. This is another great feature, meaning that it is possible to create a media DVD / CD containing pictures, which the DVD player is able to playback as a slideshow on screen. I am now able to view all my digital photos that are backed up on DVD, on my tv screen.

      The DVD player also has a built in FM radio tuner, and comes with a small aerial that can be plugged into the back of the player, and has up to 30 preset channels available. Another very useful feature on the DVD player is the USB host, which allows for MP3 player to be connected to the system, and listened to through the surround sound. This is a great feature which is compatible with many makes and models of MP3 players, which are listed in the manual, but on the downside, it is not compatible with any Apple Ipod's.

      The Dolby Pro Logic II 5.1 surround sound consists of the 5 speakers and the sub-woofer. The speakers, 2 for the front left & right, 2 for the back left & right, and one for the center, are small, but very effective and clear. Unfortunately they do not come supplied with stands, which are an additional extra cost unless you have other means of placement for the speakers. The DVD player has a number of pre-set effects in the audio set-up for the sound quality, including cinema, music, stereo etc. There is also the option to manually configure the audio set-up, but this is more for experts. The Sub-woofer sits next to the DVD player, and creates the bass effect on the audio, meaning you can actually feel the sound as well as hear it.

      Set-up of the speakers is fairly simple, once you have identified which speaker goes where. The cables connecting the speakers can a bit of a hassle, and difficult to hide, especially for the back 2 speakers, however the system does feature a way to get around this. The Samsung HT-Q20 incorporates a wireless facility for the speakers, which would mean that the speakers can be positioned and connected without the use of the wires. The downside to this is that an additional wireless ready kit needs to purchased and connected to the DVD player, and at around £100, the Samsung SWA-3000 wireless adapter barely seems worth it. Positioning of the speakers is very important to get the full effect of the surround sound, and information on the best settings for home cinema systems is readily available on the internet, and is well worth looking in to.

      The Samsung HT-Q20 home cinema system is a nice piece of kit. There are many better systems available on the market, and being 2 years old now, there are many newer too. Although saying this, the Samsung HT-Q20's sound quality is excellent, and it does have many great features. The Samsung HT-Q20 is not widely available anymore, due to it's age, but can be found priced at around £120, which is at the cheaper end of the home cinema system market, and for this reason can still be considered a very good buy.

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