A great introduction to surround sound,
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This review is from: Sony HTAS5 5.1 Channel Satellite Speaker Surround Sound System (Electronics)
Okay, so I'm new to surround sound systems but I am really impressed with this and it just keeps getting better the more I use it. Surround sound systems can easily run into thousands of pounds and, for a first buy, this seems to have everything I wanted (except perhaps wireless speakers - the add-on which enables this for the Sony is difficult to source and pretty much the same price as the system itself SONY A1542807A EZW-T100//C(A)(CE) - (Spare Parts Components)).
The surround speakers aren't too big or obtrusive but are powerful enough for a medium to large living room. They do need to be placed as close to ear level as possible to get the best out of them as the sound is very directional. The subwoofer is very powerful and, despite the fact I'm in a detached house, I've adjusted the settings to quieten it down a bit; partially because it was drowning out the surround effect and partially because explosions and gunfire in films and games were just too loud for continued use.
Setting the system up is really easy with the included microphone although I would recommend using that as a starting point and tweaking it to your own personal preference. As has been mentioned before the display is really small, a menu displayed through the TV would have been so much better but, since it's not something you have to access often, it's a minor irritation. The speaker cables provided are long enough for a relatively large room and fairly easy to place around skirting boards once you've gotten the kinks out.
The system has a wide range of connections which makes it really easy to link it up with a lot of different kit. I've connected my TV (via HDMI and optical), my PS3 (via HDMI), my DVD recorder (via HDMI) and my HiFi (via component phono) and all work a treat with regards the sound. My DVD recorder seems to have a problem displaying the recorder menus and some DVDs in the correct aspect ratio when fed through the surround system which is disappointing since they're both Sony units.
Games and films with 5.1 sound definitely make the best use of the system and are really impressive to have at home making the whole experience more immersive.
The cables I've used, and have found really great, are:
HDMI - Hama HDMI 1.3 Connecting Cable Plug - Plug, 1.5 m, Ferrite Cores
Optical - XO 2m Ultra High Resolution Professional Digital Optical TOSlink Cable - 24k Gold Casing - Compatible with PS3,Sky HD, HDtvs, Blu-rays, AV Amps **Superior-grade optical fiber to deliver better clarity and transfer digital signal**
Phono - Hama HT Blackstream 2 Phono 1.5M