Samsung’s Blu-ray sound bar
Sometimes form beats function. In home entertainment, snobs like me scoff at the thought of compromising sound quality for appearance, but sometimes you have to settle for less. While it would be nice to have floor standing speakers in your living room system, your room (or more likely your domestic partner) sometimes limits what you can use.
If you are in a situation where you want to upgrade from using your TV’s sub par speakers but don’t have the ability to use a full surround system, a sound bar just might work for you. A sound bar attempts to create a simulated surround experience from just one speaker (well, the one speaker has multiple drivers in it wired in different phases and with timing delays, etc). It doesn’t actually work though. But it does sound better than the TV’s speakers!
Samsung will begin selling the HT-BD8200 sound bar solution this Spring that may fit the bill. Not only does it solve the form factor problem, it also has a wireless subwoofer (needs electrical power still), and includes a Blu-ray player. But if that’s not enough, it also includes an iPod dock, and can stream video from Netflix and audio from Pandora.
There is also a WiFi option for this system so you only need power to the sound bar and video to the TV.