Please note: this information was current as of July 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
The Samsung HT-BD2
is basically a Blu-ray (high-definition digital video) player with a built-in amplifier and a 7.1 surround sound speaker system.
Apart from a single HDMI (digital video and audio) socket for a flat-panel TV and connections for the seven speakers and subwoofer, there are component connections for the best possible analogue video, or composite if you have an older TV. You only get two digital audio (Toslink) inputs for a PVR or Foxtel box and an analogue stereo connection for your iPod or other MP3 player.
CHOICE tested it alongside several other models that were Blu-ray players only to see how it would rate as a player. See our Blu-ray test
. As a player it didn’t make the What to buy list compared with some of the other models, but if you’re interested in a Blu-ray home theatre system it scored OK overall and for ease of use.
When used with the HDMI connection, the HT-BD2 does a good job at upscaling DVD movies to 1080p resolution (that’s 1080 lines on your TV screen), but it doesn’t support all DVD regions and won’t play video CDs. You might also find that dirty discs from the video rental store or your kids’ DVD collection don’t play well on this machine, as it didn’t perform well on our damaged DVD test.
The bass response and channel separation performance is reasonable and the 7.1 speaker system delivered good performance when listening to movies. However, it could take you some time to adjust the system for your room during the initial setup, as there’s no auto calibration for the speakers.
The latest Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats are supported, to deliver the best possible sound for Blu-ray movies. However, it is geared more to watching movies rather than listening to music.
As with most "all in one" solutions, the Samsung HT-BD2 does several things adequately, but nothing exceptionally well. If you want to enjoy Blu-ray movies and need to save some space in your lounge room, it could pay to wait until more affordable models become available.
The HT-BD2 does several things adequately, but nothing exceptionally well.