What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 4:00pm

Philips HTS8100

Tested at £700

The Philips certainly looks the part, but class rivals sound better

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  • Smart looks
  • convenience
  • easy to use


  • Poor bass integration
  • weak soundstage

This Philips design is a complete home cinema solution in which a single speaker unit with a built-in DVD player sits beneath your TV on ‘surround' duties, while a subwoofer augments the bass.

The DVD player – which has a smart sliding door in keeping with the ‘style system' ethos – offers 1080p upscaling, has a USB input and comes with simple and easy-to-use menus.

It works, but only to a degree.
The system's great picture – rich images that are tightly gripped and detailed – is let down by it's sonic weakness.

There's no genuine ‘surround' – an impressively wide soundstage, yes, but surround? No.

The centre of the soundstage is weak, too, meaning voices are thin, and bass integration very poor, making the whole soundfield confused.

A decent stab from Philips at a convenient solution, but it needs better sound before it challenges similar designs from the likes of Yamaha.

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