• The built-in DVD player is an added bonus; many other sound bars, costing as much as 50 percent more, do not offer this.
• An included subwoofer provides bass energy, filling out the sound very nicely. It's not a Sunfire or a Velodyne subwoofer, but you'll certainly be glad to have it in the system.
• This sound bar provides very strong video quality for legacy DVD-Video discs.
• Philips offers an included iPod dock, unlike some sound bars that charge extra for iPod integration.
• The HTS8100 has no video inputs, meaning you will need to connect your video sources to your TV set.
• While it provides decent surround sound, audio could be more powerful. Try using this one in a smaller room for best results.
• The unit doesn't support the latest HD audio codecs for HD surround sound from Blu-ray, as Dolby True HD and DTS HD do.
All said, this is a nice little speaker package - a DVD player, a subwoofer, an all-in-one virtual surround speaker, and an iPod dock - that is a pretty darn good deal, considering what all these various components would cost separately. The video quality is pretty strong, the audio quality is competent, and you get everything you need to get into home theater on the cheap. The Philips HTS8100 is the perfect choice for a small-to-medium-sized room where aesthetics are important and a 5.1 or 7.1 dedicated theater is just not in the cards.