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Samsung HT-C5500 Blu Ray Surround Sound system

September 2, 2010

Having put off upgrading to Blu Ray for long enough, we eventually decided to do the deed last week. The Samsung was chosen because we already have a Samsung HD TV, have had for nearly two years now, and having same brand products made sense from a compatibility point of view. Not that it really is an issue these days.

Price was also a significant factor. We looked at LG items but these were more expensive and the reviews were more variable than the Samsung reviews.

Once ordered on www.amazon.co.uk, it was simply a case of wait for delivery. CityLink didn’t disappoint, by delivering a day earlier than expected.

The box was smaller than expected, let’s hope the system lives up to expectations. After all, size doesn’t matter, does it?

Once open, it was clear why the box didn’t need to be large. The player itself is slim, about three quarters the height of my old Kiss DP-500 DVD player. The speakers too are all very demure, with the main front and rear speakers being around the size of a 1kg bag of sugar. The centre speaker is small enough to sit on the TV stand in front of the TV without getting in the way. The biggest item is the sub woofer. I guess not even Samsung can defy the laws of physics on this one.

All items are finished in the same shiny black gloss that the TV is, so the whole lot looks good together. Good job we did decided to go all Samsung.

Plugging it all together was easy, the speaker cables are helpfully colour coded so there is no messing about wondering if you have the speakers connected right. Having an AV amp built into the Blu Ray player really is useful as it cuts out a lot of the cable issue that would otherwise need to be considered.

There is just one niggle with the design of the rear of the player. The speaker cable sockets and the power lead are too close together. The power lead gets in the way a bit when connecting the speaker cables and sliding the player into an enclosed media unit like I have at home. It’s a small niggle I know, but its details like this that make the difference between easy to set up and utterly hassle free to set up.

There was one more issue to overcome on the speaker front. Having already got speaker cable running under the floor to my old speakers, it made sense to make use of that, rather than work out how to get the supplied cable across the room. Connecting the speakers to my existing cable wasn’t a problem, but since the Samsung has sockets on the ends on its cable I would not connect the other end of my existing cable to the player, I had to connect it to the ends of the supplied rear speaker cable instead, not ideal as it means a huge wad of rolled up speaker cable in my auto cabinet behind the player, but it works.

So, all connected, time to turn on and take a look, better check the manual to make sure I select the right options and create any problems for myself.

It was page 28 by the time I got to the setup instructions. All the previous pages were about putting everything together and what all the buttons do.

Setup was straight forward; choose language, screen format and head to the auto sound setup, making sure the supplied microphone is plugged in and in place. Cue, the biggest surprise so far. Those small speakers kick out a LOT of volume and the bass really does make its presence felt, and I mean that literally. It thumped and rumbled through the sounds test. The volume of the auto sound configuration can not be adjusted, so choose your moment to do this carefully. One hour after the little one has gone to sleep isn’t the best idea. Thankfully she didn’t wake up, but should I need to repeat the process, I’ll be checking the time first.

Not having any Blu Ray disks to hand, I did a quick test using a standard DVD and then the iPod dock, just to make sure all was working okay.

I can confirm what many others have said in their reviews, the sound really is rather good. Which is a huge relief as it is what is most important to me.

The last thing that remains to be decided on is where and how to place the speakers. Their size is such that speaker stands would be utterly wasted on them, as would a bracket. So direct wall mounting it is; there is a small slot provided on the back of the speakers so all that’s required is a screw in the wall to hang the speakers off. The front speakers will probably be placed on the TV stand, either side of the TV.

First thoughts.

Well, I’ve not had a chance to play a Blu Ray on it so that opinion will have to wait.

Playing a DVD, I can’t honestly say I noticed any improvement in the picture, even though it does apparently upscale. Maybe its because it was an animated feature I chose.

Sound, is definitely a massive improvement over the standard speakers on the Samsung LCD TV. Not hard to achieve really.

Connecting the XBOX 360 to one of the players HDMI input ports was easy, as was changing the XBOX’s out to 720p, the resolution of my TV. The result is a much better XBOX picture, sharper and clearer, just so much better to look at.

I have yet to play a game on the XBOX to test out the sound but I play a video file from the wife’s laptop, which worked the same way as usual. Again I can’t say I noticed any difference in picture, but the sound from the speakers was the same massive improvement, even though the source file didn’t have surround sound encoded.

The Internet@TV was just too tempting not to test either. Connection via my wired network was easy and other than physically plugging the cable in, nothing was needed to get the player connected. A few minutes of patience was required while it downloads a few updates and Samsung Apps. There are the expected social networking apps for twitter and facebook, the video apps for the likes of youtube. Useful apps like weather. All expected and no doubt decent, but having a laptop in the living room I am far more likely to use that for any of those sites rather that the Blu Ray player.

The only one I would really want is an iPlayer app, which I have seen hinted at but didn’t see on the list.

All in, I am so far pleased with this excellent and good value player. I have yet to use it in anger, but I see no reason for my first impression to change much.

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From → Reviews, Technology

13 Comments
  1. xavier cal permalink

    How do you conncet the xbox to the sound system and display the picture at the same time

    • limey permalink

      Hello,

      Its because the Samsung Home Cinema system has HDMI inputs that take video and audio. So the XBOX output goes into the single HDMI input and its the Home Cinema system that sorts out sending the video to the TV and the audio to the external speakers.

      So long as you have a Home Cinema or AV amp which has an HDMI input you will be okay.

      • Xavier permalink

        So put the HDMI from my Xbox to the home theater system, but then what do I do to display picture on my tv?

        • limey permalink

          Your Home Theater system will have an inpiut selecter, set the input to the right HDMI port and it will direct the audio and video to your connect TV and speakers.

          For example, on mine I have two HDMI inputs, one for my PVR and one for my XBOX. When I want to switch between them, I cycle through my inputs until I get either HDMI 1 or HDMI 2 as my selected input.

          You’ll need to check the manual for your system for how to select different inputs, it’ll likely be a single button to cycle through all the different inputs.

          • Xavier permalink

            I’m still not understanding if you don’t have anything connected to the tv then how are you receiving a picture????
            Because If on cable goes from the home theater to the Xbox and the other one goes from the home theater to your pvr then how are you getting any pictures On your tv with nothing going to it?

          • limey permalink

            Hello Xavier,

            I only specified to you input cables. There is also an HDMI out port for connecting the Home Theater system to the TV.

            Is it a Samsung HT C5500 that you have?

          • Xavier permalink

            Yes I do, it only has one HDMI port, that’s why I’m not understanding how you input 2 things into that one port

          • limey permalink

            Is it this that you have?

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-HT-C5500-Blu-Ray-Home-Theater-System-HTC5500-/270741300134

            I think I see the problem now, that page lists the following:

            Connections
            Inputs Analog Audio x 1, Digital Audio (Optical) x 1, USB
            Outputs Analog Audio x 1, Component x 1, Composite x 1, HDMI x 1

            I note that it does not list any HDMI inputs, only a single HDMI output.

            The one that I have has two HDMI inputs and well as the single HDMI output. I assume this is a difference between the UK spec and the US spec..

            That being the case, all I can suggest is connect your XBOX to the TV as normal. if you want better sound, you may be able to connect the XBOX to the optical input on the HT for improved sound.

            Sorry I can’t help any further.

          • Xavier permalink

            I figured it was going to have to be the optical, I just need some more help, thanks for your time and tech support!!!

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