Philips Soundbar

The Philips HTS8141/98 won the award for Best of CES, an innovations award that recognises the best of consumer electronics products in the industry’s hottest product categories. It is also one of the few systems in the market that delivers both surround sound and high definition display with HDMI output.

Basically, the Philips HTS8141 is similar to the HTS8140 except for some slight differences in the design outlook.

The subwoofer has a dimension of 12.7” (W) x 16.7” (H) x 12.7” (D) and weighs 12.7kg, while the main unit is 40.5” (W) x 6.6” (H) x 6.1” (D) at 8.9kg. The sleek, glossy black design complements most flatscreen panel tv and monitors in the market, especially suited for large panel displays up to an average of 52” tv. Its main unit has a 4 ohm center speaker with two 2.5” woofer drivers and two 1” soft dome tweeter. Meanwhile, the left/right surround speakers sport four 2.5” full range woofer.

Setting up the Philips HTS8141/98
Setting up the Philips HTS8141/98 is easy. The modern design is meant for hassle-free installations without the tangling wires and complicated connections. Users may either place this unit on top of a table or mount it on the wall. It is recommended that the unit should be placed nearest to the height of the listening ear-level.

What users see on the I/O panel is 3 outputs for HDMI, component video and composite video. As for the input, there is just one port for composite video, three for analog audio, one for digital coaxial audio, one for digital optical audio and one USB. Philips also provided an easy-navigation manual that helps users to set up the system without much hassle.

A remote control is also provided.

When users turn on the system for the first time, there will be a set of instructions on the tv to complete the Ambisound setup in order to obtain the best possible surround sound effect. It is important to complete this setup before inserting a disc to play.

Philips included its EasyLink function within this system. The EasyLink function is one which uses the HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) protocol to use a single remote control for HDMI CEC-compliant devices. These connect to the system through HDMI, and there is no guarantee that it works 100 percent.

Philips HTS8141 soundbar home theater

Sound and Video Quality
Excellent is the word awarded for this system, and users will be able to reap the most out of this system by ensuring setting it up with the right listening area. Whether it is music or video, it is well reflected with the capabilities of the 1080p HD feature. It allows 1080p up-scaling for anything lesser. Users do not miss the lack of a subwoofer, because the bass is sufficient even if it is not a true, complete system, with the DoubleBASS feature. This feature captures the low frequencies and recreates them in the audible range of the subwoofer.

Philips HTS8141/98 includes built-in decoders for DTS, Dolby Digital, and Dolby ProLogic II. It has a digital AM/FM RDS tuner and allows 1080p DVD upscaling. The media formats it support are DVD-Video, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, VCD, MP3, WMA, JPEG, DivX Ultra, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.

While the Ambisound technology deploys surround sound with fewer speakers, it does not really satisfy the claim of truly embracing a 5.1 sound experience. Philips also added the FullSound technology to restore details to compressed MP3 music. It combines Philips’ existing expertise in music reproduction with the latest generation Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for a fuller bass and boosting the voice and instrument clarity and details. Meanwhile, the Faroudja DCDi delivers sharp, high quality video on a progressive scan tv. It melts the jagged edges especially with moving images. The DVD pictures are surprisingly sharp and the system succeeds in widening and extending movie audio to deliver clear dialogs and deep, rumbling bass.

However, users need to take note that not all high definition tv sets are fully compatible with the system. Incompatibilities may cause artefacts to be displayed on the picture. Some users may experience progressive scan picture problems, and this can be remedied by switching the connection to the “standard definition” output.

Philips HTSB8141/98

Pros and Cons
Philips is following the trend of easy installation and knowing the market that desires. Set up is easy, and users enjoy the luxury of both sound and video playback with one system.

While the HTS8141/98 may be pursued by those who are interested in a system that does both sound and video playbacks, users need to be aware that not all high definition tv sets are fully compatible with it. Users should check with the dealers for this compatibility issue, otherwise there may be artefacts displayed on picture playback.

For DivX playback, user needs to note that only DivX videos that are rented or purchased using the DivX registration code of this unit can be played. The DivX code details can be found under the general setup of this system, and only an average of 45 characters can be displayed for subtitles.

An average user who would like to minimize usage of space without may wish to purchase the Philips HTS8141/98, especially for its convenience. However, before the decision of purchase, it is best to check whether the system is compatible with your high definition tv set. For the price it asks for, this unit may be one of the nearest real 5.1 channel system available at the market that comes along with video playback.

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