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Philips lx8300sa - first impressions & review

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by andershn, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. andershn

    andershn
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    Despite being unable to find a review (online) for the Philips lx8300sa home cinema system I decided to buy one. And as I couldn't find a review I want to help others who consider a purchase by writing about my impressions after one week with the set.

    My major reason for deciding on this set is that the technical specifications look great: It it plays most video formats (incl. divx) as well as mp3's and can show jpg-images, and it reads a number of disc-types: DVD, DVD R+, CD (ISO9660), SVCD, and SACD. Radio tuner. Progressive scan. However, my need was mainly for a music-system.

    Setting up the system was very simple; it is to be used in my living room of 4x5 m2 in a third floor appartment in a century old building (with flexible wooden floors and brick outer walls). For this I was happy to see that it came with plenty of cable for the loud speakers: 15 m for each of the rear speakers, 5 m for front and centre speakers, and 3 m for the sub-woofer. The sub-woofer cable also contains a power cable for the main unit as the power inlet is located in the sub (which also contains a cooling fan). The front and rear speakers do feel a bit 'cheap' and too plasticky when handled but this will hopefully be forgotten once they have been stuck to the walls.... (The main unit takes up only little space and looks much better).

    The remote control is physically well-balanced and nicely heavy, and well laid-out. However, I do miss some functions. Most importantly, there is only one button to switch between different modes, so that in order to switch between e.g. tuner and disc-playing you have to cycle through the modes which feels cumbersome. This button is also used for turning on the system with the consequence that you cannot switch on to the mode you were in when stand-by mode was entered (the "stand-by" button on the remote can only be used to put the system in stand-by). Also the response from the remote seems a bit sluggish. The general impression is that the set was designed for using as a DVD-player, and other functions only included as extras. Quite annoying.

    Once switched on, you notice a faint buzzing noise from the cooling fan in the sub-woofer. I fear the sound may also be heard through quiet sequences in movies or music, but when the sound volume is at a reasonable level this is no longer a problem. The box has an equaliser with a handful of predefined settings, but regrettably when you switch between these a short pause in the sound occurs. This is also true when switching between stereo and Dolby PLII.

    These were the bad points, and now for the good ones!

    For the price this set gives very good, clear sound, at least up to the level I dare play at in this place (and I expect to a much higher level). When using Dolby PLII for a normal music CD the sound is greatly improved compared to normal Dolby (which I didn't really expect). The equaliser (pre)settings range from "rock" to "classic" with a decreasing amount of bass; bass and treble levels can be adjusted individually in addition to the equaliser settings. Thus, you can get pretty much the sound setting you want. The bass from the sub-woofer can both be felt and heard while still sounding in good balance which gives good effects for movies and especially pop/rock music. (I still have not listened to any SACD's but appreciate having the option!).

    The system plays most media formats I have thrown at it - most notably divx and mpeg; Windows WMV and Apple AAC were not recognised, though. I do not have the option to use progressive scan, but DVD-movies do give a sharp picture - when I compared the DVD-version of The Fellowship of the Ring with a divx-version of the same the DVD had a noticeably sharper picture with better colour and contrast, and of course the AC3-sound was much superior to the mp3-sound of the divx-version. The divx-movie still looked much better than either TV or VHS, though! Unfortunately, there is no option to make playlists (from CD-tracks, mp3's or video-files), but if I were to use it as a juke-box I would hook up my computer anyway.

    After one week of getting to know the system I am very happy with it. To the price (best offer in Denmark on the Net: 400€) I think the perfomance and technnical specifications are excellent. The nuisances described above will hopefully turn out to be minor as these should only occur rarely. I certainly recommend it!

    Any questions or comments are of course welcome!
     
  2. rupal

    rupal
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    :lease: hi
    i agree with andersh's review, i got this lx8300sa, and looks good ! I have one problem though, pls help if you have any ideas :

    I have my Yamaha amplifier system RX-V450, and I want to connect this (either directly or via the lx8300sa DVD player) to the sub-woofer of the lx8300sa, so that when I play my audio CD's on my CD-player connected to the Yamaha, I can hear the sound on the lx8300sa sub-woofer system.

    But for that I have this problem that
    (a) To connect directly from my Yamaha to the lx8300sa sub-woofer : The latter has this special cable which can connect only to the lx8300sa DVD player, my Yamaha can take only a "normal" sub-woofer cable. Anyone knows of an adapter I can use, to hook up my Yamaha directly to the lx8300sa sub-woofer ?
    or
    (b) If I try to use the lx8300sa DVD-player as just a pass-through, i.e. if I connect my Yamaha to the AUX-IN of the lx8300sa DVD-player <which is in turn connected to the lx8300sa sub-woofer>, that doesn't work either... should it ?

    So, any suggestions anyone ?

    Thanks !
    Rupal
     

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