Sony BDV-E370 Blu-ray home cinema kit
See no evil, hear no evil
Review If you can’t be bothered messing around with a separate Blu-ray player, amp and surround sound speaker set-up, then an all-in-one home cinema kit such as the BDV-E370 from Sony may be just the sort of set up you’re looking for.
Sound and vision: Sony's BDV-E370
The main unit combines a Blu-ray player with an integrated amp and surround sound decoder capable of delivering 850W of power. This drives a 5.1 speakers configuration that includes twin front and rear satellites, a very thin centre channel speaker and a passive subwoofer.
In terms of design, the main unit won’t win any awards. It’s quite boxy and has a slightly odd looking lip on the front that houses the playback controls. It’s certainly not as attractive as something like Samsung’s more elegantly styled HT-BD1252. On the plus side the glossy black finish does mean that it tends to blend into the background drawing little attention to itself when it’s sitting in your AV cabinet.
When it comes to setup, however, the system couldn’t be more straightforward. There’s colour coding on the speaker wires and connectors so it’d difficult to go wrong when you’re hooking up the cables. More impressive is the fact that the BDV-E370 is one of the few budget systems to have an auto calibration feature.
All you have to do is call up the configuration menu, plug in the supplied mic and position it where you usually sit in the room. The system then sends a blast of white noise from each speaker to the mic and uses the results to automatically set the individual volume levels and delay times for each speaker – something that saves you a whole load of hassle.
Alas, there are no HDMI inputs for hooking up external HD kit
Given the price tag, the rear of the E370 isn’t exactly laden down with ports. While you do get component alongside the HDMI out, there are no HDMI inputs for connecting external high definition kit like a Playstation 3. Instead, you’ll have to feed audio from external sources into it using either its optical or coax digital inputs.
to be honest
and im not sounding rude. that speaker package wouldnt do HD audio any justice.
to me this seems like a step back from their first dvd+ amp combos. ok the amp was basic but it handled audio switching pretty well for a cheapo package (im on my 3rd home cinema setup now, but ive been into it for 10+ years)
but personally i wouldnt go with anything sony that plays optical these days. their optical units always die far too early.
I love the backplate. So it's not like an Apple device that's almost as nice at the back as it is at the front, but it's like the engineers are answering the question of why it needs a noisy fan: because it has Java!
(though we have a Philips VCR/DVD combi that has a noisy fan without using Java)
Locked to regions?
Since my collection of DVDs is from both EU and AUS, what's the chance that half of my collection would be locked out? Ditto with the different region set-up with BluRay.
I'd be interested in this set-up since even if St. Steve does finally release BluRay on a Mac Mini, there's no way of getting HD sound onto my current (Logitech Z-5500) sound system.
I know that's Sony's claim but the manual actually states the power consumption of the thing as 170w.......
BluRay will never catch on...