Well, I searched around on the internet for a HTiB set that would do what I needed, and the AS720 seemed to be all I neeeded. Most of the reviews were good, except for some complaints the sub wouldn't go up loud enough (I have NO IDEA what the hell they were talking about, I run the sub on level 0 and the volume on the back at about 75% and it's absolutly insane! I'd hate to see it at +10 and full on the back!)
I went to futureshop and they had a set on display and hooked up. I listened to some retarded christmas song DVD on it and I have to admit, it was one of the worst sounding sets on display (even worse then the $99 Insignia HTiB set at BestBuy
). I remember reading on here that it sounded like crap in the store but great in your house, but I couldn't justify spending $679 plus tax on something that sounded so terrible.
Luckily I was able to find a set on sale and then price match it and got a crazy price so they ended coming home with me
I just setup the AS720 HTiB set yesturday and boy is it amazing! We had a crappy old RCA HTiB which didn't have Dolby 5.1, only ProLogic. Because I got a Sonly PS3 and Rogers HighDef PVR for christmas, I wanted an HDMI switching AV receiver and new speakers (especially a new sub, the 6.5" passive unit just wasn't cutting it anymore).
I was able to pickup a brand new set of AS720's for $371 plus tax and for that price I just couldn't pass them up.
I was able to get that price by doing the following:
Future Shop was selling the AS720's for $679.99 and they had a few in stock. BestBuy was selling them for $399.99 but had no stock (in their stores anyways, but their website showed stock
), so I was able to print out the BestBuy website showing stock and take it in to future shop and they match the price, plus take off 10% of the difference... $680 - $400 = $280 x 10% = $28 so $399 - $28 = $371.99 plus tax.
I had ALL KINDS of trouble setting it up and I'm a computer tech!! I connected the new speakers and receiver using all the same cables as the old RCA receiver (other then a new subwoofer cable), and I couldn't get any output out of the subwoofer at all!! The only way I could get the sub to work was to hit the "stereo" button on the remote (so it shows Left Front, Right Front, and sub on the display), AND THEN TURN THE POWER OFF TO THE RECEIVER, TURN IT BACK ON, AND THEN THE SUB WOULD WORK! How retarded was that? I was almost ready to pack it up and take it back... but I read the manual and went through the speaker setup, and as soon as I changed my front speakers to "small" instead of "large", BOOM, the sub came to life. I canged the rears to small and disabled the "surroud rear" set (for 7.1 i guess). I was now able to play DVD's (Dobly Digital 2.1??? wtf is that?? I thought all DVD's were 5.1!!!) and BluRay (yay, 5.1 DTS
Next problem came when I tried to watch T.V. in high def. I stuck on National Geographic HD and the sound blew me away! Even for an 8" sub it was plenty loud and deep, but just a little muddier then I would have liked it (I'm a car audio nut, so like my subs tight). I messed with the crossover (which settings I found out only adjust the sound to the mids/highs, not the sub) and levels but just couldn't get it they way I liked it. In the middle of me messing around with the sub it kicked out and wouldn't come back on again! When I looked at the display on the receiver it was only showing Fronts and Sub, like 2.1. The T.V. was on a commercial. As soon as the show came back on all 6 lights lit up, but no sound from the sub
. Turn the receiver off and back on fixed the problem, 5.1 with the sub working, but I'd have to do that every time it went to commercial. After screwing around for a few hours I gave up and went to hooking up my media PC. I ran the coaxial digital out to the receiver, and set it up as "CD" on the receiver (it sucks you can't change the names of the inputs). Unfortunatly when I enabled "true 5.1 digital output" on my crappy realtek soundcard, the sound just kept repeating like a broken record. When I have it in "digial plus analog" output, it sounds fine but only the fronts and sub light up on the amp. In true digital it shows all 6 but the audio is screwed. I put the amp in the "NEO16" mode for the output from my computer and it sounds great even if it really is faking the 6 channels. I'll probably pickup a PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series card (only $99, can't pass that up and what the hell good is that MiniPciXpress slot good for anyway?) and run 7.1 analog audio cables to the Samsung receiver. No issues with decoding then
Magically the NEO16 setting fixed the problem with my Rogers High Def PVR box too. When it goes to a goofy commercial the amp switches to NEO16, and when the show comes back on it switches back to digital
. The sub stays on the whole time. Sweeeeeeet.
I went out and bought a replacement sub (Velodyne 12" DLS-4000R) and the adjustability of it blows away the Samsung 8" sub anyday. You know when your sub comes with it's own remote control, it's serious
Super happy with the Samsung unit. Some goofy decoding problems with output to the subwoofer, do they really need to make it that big??, looks sexy but I'd like to be able to disable the blue LED ring around the power light, without dimming the main display, and keep it disabled permenantly. I'll probably pull the cover off and snip the power to the LED(s) that light it up.
The samsung speakers absolutely BLEW ME AWAY. Listen to Britney Spears - Pieces Of Me
on this system (even with the stock sub). WOW. Neo16 mode set to Music (or Cinema if you want to hear Britney sing out of the center speaker) and it sounds just wonderful.
Anyway, sorry for such a long first post. If you have the chance to get these (especially for $400 or under), don't delay. Even though they sound like crap in the store, it will blow you away in your home.
-Jamie M.(P.S. Who would like to trade my used for 2 hours Samsung 8" powered sub from the AS720 set for a pair of your almost new or new AS720 satellite speakers? I know some of you just use the receiver with your own speakers, so might have an extra set of satellites kicking around . I'm just itching to get the 7.1 setup!!!)