I ordered this on monday night at arround 6pm using standard first class delivery and I recieved it at 10am on wednesday morning. It was here in a flash!
The reciever arrived in a big box (one of the biggest that arrived at my house) and inside, first thing was the reciever, It looks more like a blu-ray player due to it's compact design and has a black aluminium front-plate and the rest of the box is gloss black, so it's nothing like other bulky recievers, I was well impressed! Next in the box you had the subwoofer, I do admid it is pretty big but it has a plenty of room for the air intake and it is a front-firing subwoofer (which you can't hear where it comes from), so I don't need to worry about disturbing my parents in the kitchen underneath me and it still produces good base too! The 5 speakers were last thing to come to (except from the manuals, remote control, etc.) and I think that they are the most stylish I have seen with a glossy black finish and they can also be mounted on the wall or on stands (except the centre channel one) and I found all of these satilites to produce a nice and clear vibrant sound making me always think "am I in my bedroom theatre or a real theatre?"
So the speakers sound great, look great, etc. Is installing them easy? Simply, yes it is. On the back of the reciever, on the right hand side, you will see 6 speaker terminals and the same as on the speakers itself. You can't go wrong here, each speaker wire is colour coded, so basically match the colour to the speaker, it's that simple and the speaker wires are just normal speaker wires, these ones are silver plated copper to make it look nice. If you have your TV and Reciever at the front of your room (unlike me) thier won't be a problem. Front Left/Centre/Subwoofer/Front Right cables are about 3m long and the 2 others for the rear are about 10m long, but if you have your Reciever and a Projector at the rear of the room (like me), you will need to buy your own speaker cable. Search 20m Fisual Strand and you can get a cable that is identical to the included ones. Inputs on the unit are good to, offering you the option to connect a wide veriety of devices. Thier is 3 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output, 2 Toslink inputs (optical), Coaxial Input, 3.5mm Jack input, RCA inputs and more. The HDMI passthrough is version 1.4 too, so you can pass through 3D and thier was no quality loss on my 1080p Projector at all! After you have wired everything in, simply connect the auto calibration microphone, place it where you sit, press "auto cal" on your remote and remain silent for 2 minutes then your fit to go! The systme can also go very loud (have to keep it not-too-loud to not annoy my parents, lol) The remote control is easy to use with batteries included too! The remote is like one of those that are included with recievers such as Onkyo's, etc. The reciever has alsorts of different sound presets, you can set it to Bypass which will play sound from the source without any further processing (it isn't 2 channel sound from 5.1 source but is on a 2 channel source), Bass Blast which gives you amazing bass from all the speakers without any loss what so ever in clarity, Natural Plus which basically plays the back left/right speakers the same as the front left/right and the center in mono which is ideal for background music/disco/kareoko at a house party and there are also other modes too. I use Bypass for 5.1 channel sound and from a 2 channel source such as a PC via 3.5mm jack, I use PLII Movie because this converts it to like a pseudo surround sound experiance which I like and also makes the sound clearer (PLII Movie and PLII Music are only available from Stereo and PLII Sources, not Dolby Digital or DTS).
BTW, I didn't set mine up using the optimizer microphone because it didn't work for my room, could be an available option but I couldn't use it. Also if you have an XBOX 360, set the audio output to Dolby Digital 5.1 (not WMA Pro) or if you have a PS3 (I have both), go into sound output settings and manualy select Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 as this reciever supports both of these and the sound is fantastic! It doesn't support DTS HD but it still sounds fantastic, trust me, it's 100x better than TV Speakers or iPod Docking Stations!
If you are looking for a budget surround sound system or are new to the audio visual technical world and don't know what to buy to make a surround sound system, GET THIS! You won't have wondered that you have made a wrong turn. BEWARE! You will never turn back to stereo or mono sound after buying this!
- UPDATE 14/12/2012 - I watched the "PSY - Gangman Style" music video from youtube (1080p) on this setup (This surround sound + my Optoma HD600X-LV HD Projector) through a normal 10m 3.5mm cable connected to my laptop. I set the volume to 50% (20/40) on BASS mode and it was extremely loud (like being at a disco with loud music, or maybe a little louder) and it still sounded absolutely crystal clear (no distortions or detail missing from the sound). So which begs the question, "Is this system good enough to host a party that you intend to have loud music and maybe a disco, even in a very large room?", Definetly!!!