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.