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post #61 of 556 Old 05-19-2011, 08:07 AM
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i think i really want to get one of these...
i found a place called techonweb that has it for $299.95
does anyone know of a place with good rep and better price?
tia
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post #62 of 556 Old 05-19-2011, 09:21 AM
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I just bought mine last week from techonweb for $296, shipped today and says it shoudl take about 4 days to get to me
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post #63 of 556 Old 05-19-2011, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrk829 View Post

can i ask where you got it? i have been looking at this as well. i do have the ct 350 that i bought on clearance about last week but that does not output/ decode dolby hd and dts hd while this one does so i might return that and get this instead if i can get a good price on the 550.

There may be other reasons that the 550 is attractive, but if your BD player can decode HD audio and output LPCM, the uncompressed stream should be the same. Plus there's the unknown as to whether a 2:1 or 3:1 system actually makes use of the additional information.

Would be interesting though to hear your impressions of the 350 vs. the 550.
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post #64 of 556 Old 05-19-2011, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

There may be other reasons that the 550 is attractive, but if your BD player can decode HD audio and output LPCM, the uncompressed stream should be the same. Plus there's the unknown as to whether a 2:1 or 3:1 system actually makes use of the additional information.

Would be interesting though to hear your impressions of the 350 vs. the 550.

Possumgirl, I am using a PS3 as my BD player and my understanding is that it does decode HD audio and output LPCM but after reading the forums have left it on bitstream. I agree that I am not sure if it will make a difference on a 2.1 or 3.1 either. I personally am not a fan of the wireless subwoofer because there might be interference (not sure how much effect that would have on the sound) and that is the reason i got the 350. With the price where it is at for the 550, i can get it brand new for about the same price (~ 10 bucks more) than the 350 (which was open box and clearance at BB and return the 350 since it is still in the 30 day return window.)

the reason I am looking at the sony soundbars is the fact that i have a PS3 and KDL46EX720 and I can control everything seamlessly and with one remote.
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post #65 of 556 Old 05-19-2011, 12:02 PM
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Amazon had one seller list at 350 plus shipping. Checked Abt, and they beat that by 30 with free 2day shipping.

XBR55HX929/HT-CT550W, LN46A750/HT-WS1R, PS3 60g(now 320g WDblack), Xbox 360 60g, Wii, Gaming PC. Xbox Live:Fordlighting, PSN:Gatorsnack.
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post #66 of 556 Old 05-19-2011, 12:57 PM
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Did you have to contact Abt to price match? Because it's listed as 399 on their site.
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post #67 of 556 Old 05-19-2011, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMayhem View Post

Did you have to contact Abt to price match? Because it's listed as 399 on their site.

Used there online chat to ask if would.
Then had to call in.

XBR55HX929/HT-CT550W, LN46A750/HT-WS1R, PS3 60g(now 320g WDblack), Xbox 360 60g, Wii, Gaming PC. Xbox Live:Fordlighting, PSN:Gatorsnack.
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post #68 of 556 Old 05-19-2011, 08:43 PM
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Having played with listened to and tweaked this thing since yesterday I can confirm CaptainMEH's take that the 550 has the most disappointing out of the box sound you can imagine.

For those who care, I ended up with treble -3, Bass +4, Sub woofer +3...

I never expected a sound bar to compete with home theater system but I was expecting too much I suppose. The sound is adequate, Movies sound better than tv and Music sounds mildly respectable. The sub-woofer helps with depth but dialog seems hollow.

The reason I bought the sound bar was the system integration and the tv's speakers suck, to that end it serves its purpose.
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post #69 of 556 Old 05-20-2011, 05:18 AM
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any interference noted in the wireless subwoofer?

also, what size rooms are you listening to these soundbars?
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post #70 of 556 Old 05-20-2011, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMayhem View Post

any interference noted in the wireless subwoofer?

also, what size rooms are you listening to these soundbars?

I have not experienced any interference.

The room is 14' x 19' hardwood floor with area rug, acoustical tile ceiling. It's ~12' from sound bar to ear and I am still trying to find a good spot for the sub-woofer.
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post #71 of 556 Old 05-20-2011, 07:53 AM
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That's roughly the size I have with vaulted ceilings
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post #72 of 556 Old 05-21-2011, 07:41 AM
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Ok I have installer it above my XBR55HX929. The sync works nice, able control with tv remote.Just using HDMI with arc for speaker control. At tv start up the tv turns on the sound system, and shows checking external speakers. For start I set the center to +3, and sub +5. The sub in at right hand end just behind couch. Still playing with treb, and bass. But it's so much better than the tv speakers. The 3d pass though works great. Only try GT5.

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post #73 of 556 Old 05-24-2011, 12:22 AM
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My system consists a Sony TV (KDL-NX40711), Sony BD (BDP-BX58) and an HP slimline HTPC. I use the HTPC to record OTA HDTV if there are too many shows to watch at the same time, and to stream recorded TV from my primary computer in another room.

The components nicely constructed and appear high end. The amp and subwoofer are covered in a textured matt finish black plastic. The subwoofer "legs" are shiny black plastic and there is a down firing speaker on the bottom of the main "box". The speaker bar is logo-less on the front and is nicely finished with a plastic back and a metal front covered in very small pin holes. You don't see the internal speakers like is shown in the pictures. Both speakers are very substantial in weight.

I originally set the speaker bar within the TV's cabinet opening, it was low enough that it didn't block any of the lower part of the TV screen, but it did block the IR receiver for the remote. The speaker bar now sits on top of the bottom cabinet doors that is proped open just so it won't fall off and I can use the TV remote if I hold it up in the air. I do sense a slight improvement in sound in it's new position. I plan on securing it with a few velcro strips as I've already nudged it off two times..

I wanted to use the TV as the HDMI switcher so at first, I connected an optical cable from the TV to the system amp. There was no remote control/HDMI control integration (AKA Bravia Link) with the Sony AMP (HT- CT550W) and the Sony TV (KDL-NX40711) and Sony BD (BDP-BX58).

Next I connected the TV HDMI-1 (with ARC) to the HDMI marked TV out on the system amp and connected the BD Player to the HDMI input marked BD/DVD IN on the system amp. Turned all four items on and checked the HDMI Input Setup on the TV to check that the system amp and BD Player had HDMI Control set to ON. Then I started testing. In addition, I set the Audio setup on the TV to "external system" to turn off the TV speakers as there was an "echo" if I had both the TV speakers and speaker bar system running at the same time. When you do change the Speakers to external audio, pretty much all of the sound settings are ghosted and you must use what's available in the amp to alter the sound.

Here are some observations of the Bravia Link integration I noticed:

1. Turned off the TV power and TV/BD Player/Amp all turned off.
2. Turned on the TV and the Amp turned on
3. Turned on the BD Player and the TV/Amp turned on.
4. Turned off just the amp and the TV switched the audio back to the TV internal speakers.
5. The amp does not turn on if it was not on when the Tv and/or BD Player was turned off last (documented in the instructions)

Input Switching on the TV: There is an Input Setup on the TV setup menu and I was able to lable HDMI-1 as a BD/DVD player, HDMI-4 as PC. When I press INPUT on the TV remote, TV, BD/DVD, HDMI-2, HDMI-3, PC, Video 1, Video 2/Component and PC (VGA) are listed. Any input that is not used, the remote's navagation Up/Down buttons skips those inputs.

Remote Integration: I can pretty much can control the TV, BD Player and Amp from just the Amp remote. If I press the volume keys on the amp remote, the volume numbers change on the amp display. If I use the volume keys on the TV remote, a display is shown on the TV screen and the amp display. If I press CINEMA key on the TV remote, the amp changes to MOVIE Sound Field setting. Also, If you change the Scene Select settings on the TV, it changes the corresponding "Sound Field" setting on the amp. You can also change the sound field setting directly on the amp remote. When some GLEE music was playing, some sounded better with the NEWS sound field setting that brought up the vocals.

HTPC: Basically it's on it's own. I have a Windows Media Center remote control to use with it.

AMP menu: What was most disappointing is that there are not any on screen menus when you go into the AMP menu. That feature is only available on select 2011 Sony Bravia TV models. What I like about the BX-58 BD Player is that it's menus are all displayed on the TV screen and was hoping the amp menu would do the same. I was quickly able to figure out how the navigate through the amp menu with the amp remove. The display is large and I was able to see it easily while sitting on a couch 8' away.

Subwoofer setup: Pretty easy, just plug in the transceivers into the subwoofer and the amp and it worked without any additional setup. It goes into energy saving stand-by when no signal is sensed.

First impression of the Sony HT-CT550W 3D Sound Bar System is that considering what I paid for it, I'm very pleased with the system. It's a vast improvement over the internal speakers. I tested the system while watching DVD's from GLEE season 1, and the GLEE Season 1 Encore music BD. The subwoofer bass is very tight and not boomy. My first impression of the speaker bar is that it lacked "sparkle" for lack of a better term. I boosted the treble to the max and it improved. My problem is I'm trying to compare the sound to my stereo in the living room and I shouldn't. If I took that out of the equasion, it's a great system for the intended purpose. Watching movies.



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post #74 of 556 Old 05-24-2011, 08:46 AM
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great review. Here is one question I have regarding using the ct550 as the HDMI switcher.

Can you still have custom picture calibrations on your TV for the different devices?

For example I want to run my U-Verse box, PS3, and BD through the ct550 and I would like for each to have their own custom picture settings. Is that possible even when these devices are plugged into the ct550 and not directly into the TV?
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post #75 of 556 Old 05-24-2011, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMayhem View Post

great review. Here is one question I have regarding using the ct550 as the HDMI switcher.

Can you still have custom picture calibrations on your TV for the different devices?

For example I want to run my U-Verse box, PS3, and BD through the ct550 and I would like for each to have their own custom picture settings. Is that possible even when these devices are plugged into the ct550 and not directly into the TV?

The answer is no. With any soundbar that offers HDMI switching, you have just one HDMI cable going from the soundbar to the TV. All components connected to the soundbar are going to use the same picture setting. There are some alternatives depending on how many components you have and the inputs available on the soundbar, such as connecting a component via HDMI to the TV PLUS connecting optical to the soundbar.
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post #76 of 556 Old 05-24-2011, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

There may be other reasons that the 550 is attractive, but if your BD player can decode HD audio and output LPCM, the uncompressed stream should be the same. Plus there's the unknown as to whether a 2:1 or 3:1 system actually makes use of the additional information.

Would be interesting though to hear your impressions of the 350 vs. the 550.

possumgirl, from reading the operation manuals of both the 350 and the 550, the 550 had circles for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio (i.e. all are supported) , while the 350 had X's against them (i.e. not supported.) If I left it on bitstream, would I still get DTS-HD Master Audio on the 350 (since most Blu-Ray's come with that format as their audio?) I can see on the PS3 which format the audio is in and the DTS light on the 350 does come up when the blu-ray is output in DTD-Master HD)

Also, on the 550, since it is only 2.1, the center channel is output through both the right speakers (as opposed to the dedicated center channel on the 350.) Can this lessen the effect of the simulated surround since it is outputting everything including the dialog with the same speakers?

Although I am still interested in the 550 (more so because it is newer and can decode more formats and that I can get it for the same price as the 350) Will it really be any better since I am so far very happy with the 350?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMayhem View Post

great review. Here is one question I have regarding using the ct550 as the HDMI switcher.

Can you still have custom picture calibrations on your TV for the different devices?

For example I want to run my U-Verse box, PS3, and BD through the ct550 and I would like for each to have their own custom picture settings. Is that possible even when these devices are plugged into the ct550 and not directly into the TV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

The answer is no. With any soundbar that offers HDMI switching, you have just one HDMI cable going from the soundbar to the TV. All components connected to the soundbar are going to use the same picture setting. There are some alternatives depending on how many components you have and the inputs available on the soundbar, such as connecting a component via HDMI to the TV PLUS connecting optical to the soundbar.

the other way to do it would be IF your TV have something like scene select- I.E- Movie, Game, General, Sport, etc) IF your TV has those then it should save those settings and all you would have to do is switch those while still keeping everything hooked up to the CT550. The reason I say this, I have the PS3 and the 46EX720. The Tv outputs Dolby 5.1 but not DTS in 5.1 so when I had the PS3 hooked to the TV and the TV to the soundbar via ARC, i could only get 2.1 on blu-rays. I connected an additional optical from the PS3 to the Soundbar (so I could still control everything through the TV) and I was able to get 5.1 for DTS but the TV was confused and kept switching back to the HDMI port with ARC (so even though I could hear the audio on the soundbar, I could not see it on my TV) IF i turned the CTL-HDMI off- it worked but that beat the purpose of controlling everything with one remote.) So now i Have my HD cable box into the TV, The PS3 into the 350 and the TV to subwoofer via ARC. I still get 5.1 DD on all Cable channels that output in 5.1 and 5.1 DTS on Blu-Rays and since everything has CEC, when i Turn the TV on/off, the soundbar comes on/off. When I turn my PS3 on, the TV and Soundbar turns on and both automatically switch over to game mode (my default with the PS3.) I just hit theater mode and everything switches over to Movie mode. I am assuming the same things should apply to the 550.
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post #77 of 556 Old 05-24-2011, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrk829 View Post

possumgirl, from reading the operation manuals of both the 350 and the 550, the 550 had circles for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio (i.e. all are supported) , while the 350 had X's against them (i.e. not supported.) If I left it on bitstream, would I still get DTS-HD Master Audio on the 350 (since most Blu-Ray's come with that format as their audio?) I can see on the PS3 which format the audio is in and the DTS light on the 350 does come up when the blu-ray is output in DTD-Master HD)

Since the CT350 can't decode the HD audio formats, when you have your player set to bitstream, only the core audio tracks are sent to the CT350 to decode. You see the DTS light because it is receiving and decoding "regular" DTS. As said earlier, whether there's a discernable difference in what you hear on a soundbar is unknown.

Quote:


Also, on the 550, since it is only 2.1, the center channel is output through both the right speakers (as opposed to the dedicated center channel on the 350.) Can this lessen the effect of the simulated surround since it is outputting everything including the dialog with the same speakers?

Although I am still interested in the 550 (more so because it is newer and can decode more formats and that I can get it for the same price as the 350) Will it really be any better since I am so far very happy with the 350?

I've no idea really if the 550 sounds as good, better or worse than the 350 since it has only L/R speakers. One of the things I really like with my 350 is dialog clarity so I'm not tempted to explore the new kid on the block.
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post #78 of 556 Old 05-24-2011, 06:29 PM
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@lbfong
To get around the problem with a blocked IR sensor on the TV, you might could use something like IRblasters. I know Logitech and others make them, and they aren't very expensive.
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post #79 of 556 Old 05-25-2011, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

Since the CT350 can't decode the HD audio formats, when you have your player set to bitstream, only the core audio tracks are sent to the CT350 to decode. You see the DTS light because it is receiving and decoding "regular" DTS. As said earlier, whether there's a discernable difference in what you hear on a soundbar is unknown.

I've no idea really if the 550 sounds as good, better or worse than the 350 since it has only L/R speakers. One of the things I really like with my 350 is dialog clarity so I'm not tempted to explore the new kid on the block.

Thank you for the quick reply and feedback Possumgirl. So if i was to leave the player on LPCM, all the audio tracks should be received by the soundbar (as opposed to just regular DTS in the case of bitstream?) I noticed that when i played a Blu-Ray with LPCM- it was outputting in 7.1, while on the bitstream setting it was outputting 5.1 DTS (The blu- ray audio was in DTS-5.1 Master HD according to the cover) Was I able to tell a difference- not really- but i am not an audiophile and this is my first Soundbar and HDTV.

I have to agree, I am very satisfied with the 350 and was really looking for Dialog clarity and a decent simulated surround sound effect and both of those are great on the 350 so I might just skip checking out the 550 as well.
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post #80 of 556 Old 05-25-2011, 07:40 PM
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Picked one of these up at Conn's last weekend after selling my Bose Cinemate 2. Saving up for a B&W system and thought this would be good enough for now.

I felt the same as most, when I first connected it I thought "oh God what have I done?" but as I connected my hdmi cables into the receiver the sound became tons better and not so hollow. As I tweaked the settings, the sound got even better... But now days later I'm noticing the sound isn't as good as I remember it sounding the first day.

Now to the point of my post: amp settings. I was hoping we might be able to gather some calibration settings that are working for everyone. For instance I've already screwed with my settings under the movie mode and was wondering if anyone had the original or better settings?
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post #81 of 556 Old 05-27-2011, 12:35 AM
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I've no idea really if the 550 sounds as good, better or worse than the 350 since it has only L/R speakers. One of the things I really like with my 350 is dialog clarity so I'm not tempted to explore the new kid on the block. [/quote]

I think this is probably the deal breaker for me. I have to have dialog clarity.... I bought both systems(CT550, CT350). Will check em out. I have to have that clear center channel. I have had surround before with hardly a center channel(4.1)it was garbage, except for the sound effects. I just picked up a Sony 55"HX929 and I cant wait to sync my 3D player and 3D surround.

Thanks...
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post #82 of 556 Old 05-28-2011, 08:48 PM
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I was just thinking how awesome it would be if you could turn this into a true 3.1 by connecting a second wireless sw. Hmm..
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post #83 of 556 Old 05-31-2011, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal hd View Post

I've no idea really if the 550 sounds as good, better or worse than the 350 since it has only L/R speakers. One of the things I really like with my 350 is dialog clarity so I'm not tempted to explore the new kid on the block.



I think this is probably the deal breaker for me. I have to have dialog clarity.... I bought both systems(CT550, CT350). Will check em out. I have to have that clear center channel. I have had surround before with hardly a center channel(4.1)it was garbage, except for the sound effects. I just picked up a Sony 55"HX929 and I cant wait to sync my 3D player and 3D surround.

Thanks...[/quote]


i agree, but i just can't imagine Sony would take such a big step backwards with the 550w. Here's hoping they knew what they were doing with the 2.1 setup.
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post #84 of 556 Old 05-31-2011, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nino956 View Post

I was just thinking how awesome it would be if you could turn this into a true 3.1 by connecting a second wireless sw. Hmm..

Nino

A second wireless subwoofer would turn this into a 2.2 system. Nothing wrong with that as that was the original setup for almost all two channel systems in the 1970's / 1980's before multi-channel.

To make this a 3.1 system you would need to add a center channel which would require additional drivers and electronics inside the soundbar itself. Or the addition of a third speaker and a way to drive it and furnish it with the correct sonic information.

David Freeman
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post #85 of 556 Old 07-21-2011, 10:39 AM
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has anyone stuck with this model after the initial bad reviews? I've read a few accounts of people experiencing some much better audio after an initial "break in" time.


also curious as to what the best way to set different video calibration settings for different devices would be through this setup? Having all the devices go through the soundbar into the TV means the TV will always be set on HDMI input 1. I'd like to create a few different setting modes outside of the default Sony "scenes". One for standard TV, one for film, one for games
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post #86 of 556 Old 08-02-2011, 01:11 PM
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Hi- I'm looking to pick this up for a living room where I can't easily install surround speakers (inaccessible crawlspace + toddler (no wires)). I also can't use the HT-CT150 because all the inputs have to plug into the sub, and I can't keep the sub out in front of my system (again, toddler). In all honesty, I want decent movies, but I'm more interested in simple, good sound for 2.1 audio sources. This system fits the bill, but it's $100 more (at least) than something like the sony HTSS380 which is a 5.1 system with iPod and more features. What am I better off going with- the CT550 or the HTSS380 without installing the rear speakers? Thanks!
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post #87 of 556 Old 08-10-2011, 09:34 PM
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Price of this is $250 at newegg.com, just ordered one for myself.
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post #88 of 556 Old 08-11-2011, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H8nXTC View Post

Price of this is $250 at newegg.com, just ordered one for myself.

I'm in for the Newegg deal as well. Looking to pair this up with my new XBR-52HX909. Feedback is pretty sparse on this model but the 350 is too hard to find, and in most cases more expensive, so I'm taking my chances on the 550.
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post #89 of 556 Old 08-13-2011, 08:30 AM
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Well, I am very happy with the HT-CT550W so far. I bought it to replace a lower end Sony 5.1 that did not fit well with my new homes open layout. I was looking for good, turn key, wiring free sound and this unit fits the bill. Will post more once I get the settings nailed down. Had a no luck getting the ARC to pass Dolby but that may be due to some older HDMI cables in the mix. Hooked the audio up optical and it sounds great. The sub sounds really good, and I currently have it lowered to +3, not sure why it is getting a bad rap with others. My space is a large open floor plan and it fills the space nicely at half volume. My family has lost patience with my tweaking so it may take a few days to get it dialed in. Sounds as good or better than the HT-CT350 I listened to at BB and the build quality seems a lot nicer to me. I really like the metal grill on the soundbar portion, seems a more cat\ oddler resistant than the fabric covers. The sub is also a nice rubberized flat black as opposed to the scratch prone gloss on the other models I looked at. I'm happy, especially at $250! Anybody else have feedback or settings recommendations?
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post #90 of 556 Old 08-13-2011, 12:43 PM
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For reference, these were forum member norcal hd's posts in the "Sony HT-CT150 and CT350" thread, about testing out the Sony CT550, Sony CT350, Yamaha YHTS400 and Yamaha YSP2200.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post20500187

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post20505943

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post20507211
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