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Samsung HT-E6730W 3D Blu-ray Home Theater System with Vacuum Tube Audio - Review

Combining the Old with the New and Blu

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Samsung-Ht-E6730w 3d Blu-Ray Home Theater System With Vacuum Tube Audio
The Samsung HT-E6730W home theater-in-a-box system combines 2D and 3D Blu-ray Disc playback with a vacuum tube-equipped 7.1 channel audio system that includes a wireless receiver module for the surround speakers. However, the story doesn't stop there.

This system also features internet and network streaming, which includes to access both online media content or content stored on your PC or additional network connected devices, as well as two HDMI inputs and a USB port for additional device connection. For more details, continue with this review. Also, after reading this review, also check out my supplemental Product Photos, as well as a sampling of Video Performance Tests.

Samsung HT-E6730W Overview

Blu-ray Disc Player Section: The Blu-ray Disc player section of the HT-E6730W features both 2D and 3D Blu-ray playback capability via HDMI 1.4 audio/video output. Built-in 2D-to-3D conversion also provided.

Compatible Formats: The HT-E6730W can play the following discs and formats: Blu-ray Disc/BD-ROM/BD-R/BD-RE/DVD-Video/DVD-R/-RW/DVD+R/+RW/CD/CD-R/CD-RW, MKV, AVCHD, MP4, and more (consult user manual).

Video Processing: The HT-E6730W also provides DVD video upscaling to 720p, 1080i, 1080p output via HDMI connection (adaptable to DVI- HDCP).

Networking and Internet capabilities (Smart Hub):

Samsung HT-E6730W employs a menu that provides direct access to online audio and video content sources, including Netflix, VUDU, Hulu Plus, Pandora, plus additional content accessible via Samsung Apps.

Also featured is Samsung All-Share (DLNA), which allows connection into a home network with the ability to access digital media files from other DLNA network connected devices, such as PCs and media servers.

CD Ripping: An added bonus provided in the Blu-ray Disc player section, is the ability to rip audio from CDs to a connected USB Flash Drive.

Product Overview - Receiver/Amplifier Section

Amplifier Description: Vacuum Tube Hybrid amplifier employing two 12AU7 Dual Triode vacuum tubes in the preamp stage provided for the left and right front channels, combined with Samsung's digital Crystal Amplifier Plus technology provided on both the main and wireless surround amplifiers to provide a warmer, low distortion power output to the speakers.

Amplifier Output: Main unit 165-170 wpc x 4.1, Wireless Receiver for surround channels 165 wpc x 2 (speakers and subwoofer rated at 3 ohms impedance - no THD rating given).

Note: No reference given (such as RMS, IHF, Peak, number of channels driven) for stated amplifier power output ratings.

Audio Decoding and Processing: Dolby Digital, Dolby Prologic II, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio/Essential

SFE (Sound Field Effect - Hall 1/2, Jazz Club, Church, Ampitheatermm Off), Smart Sound (evens out extreme volume changes between scenes or sources), MP3 Enhancer (upscales MP3 file playback to CD quality), Power Bass (increases subwoofer output), 3D Sound (Adds more pereived audio depth by pushing front and surround channels forward - not accessible when listen to the FM tuner function).

Auto Sound Calibration (ASC): Automatic speaker setup feature using test tones in combination with a provided microphone.

Audio Inputs: (in addition to HDMI): One digital optical, One set analog stereo.

Speaker Connections: On board connections for Center, Front L/R main, Front L/R height, and Subwoofer speakers, wireless transmitter (slot provided) provided to wireless receiver/amplifier module for powering surround L/R speakers.

Video Inputs: Two HDMI (ver 1.4a - 3D-enabled).

Video Outputs: One 3D and Audio Return Channel-enabled HDMI output (same HDMI output referred to in Blu-ray Disc player section overview), One Composite Video.

Video Processing: Direct pass-through of external video source signals (2D and 3D) up to 1080p resolution, DVD and media upscaling to 1080p. 2D-to-3D conversion capability.

Additional Connections: Built-in WiFi, Ethernet/LAN, iPod Docking Station input, USB, and FM antenna/cable input.

Product Overview - Loudspeakers and Subwoofer

Samsung HT-E6730W Blu-ray Home Theater System - Vacuum Tubes

Samsung HT-E6730W Blu-ray Home Theater System - Vacuum Tubes

Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Loudspeakers: Impedance - 3 ohms, Frequency Response - 140Hz - 20kHz

Center Speaker: .64-inch Soft Dome Tweeter, Dual 2.5-inch midrange/woofers, Dimensions (WxHxD) 14.17 x 2.93 x 2.69 inches, Weight 1.98 Ibs

Front L/R: Drivers .64-inch Soft Dome Tweeter, One 3-inch midrange/woofer, one 3-inch passive radiator, 3-inch full range for top (height) channel, Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.54 x 47.24 x 2.75 inches. Stand base (WxD) 9.44 x 2.76 inches, Weight 10.36 lbs.

Surround L/R: 3-inch full range, Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.54 x 5.57 x 2.7 inches, Weight 1.34 lbs.

Subwoofer (Passive Design): 6.5-inch side facing driver with 10-inch passive radiator on opposite side, Frequency Response 40Hz - 160Hz, Dimensions (WxHxD) 7.87 x 15.35 x 13.78 inches, Weight 12.56 lbs.

Included Accessories: Wireless Receiver/Amplifier module for surround speakers, TX wireless transmission card, speaker cables for all speakers and subwoofer, iPod Docking station, Remote control with batteries, Auto Sound Calibration (ASC) microphone, composite video cable, Quick Start Guide, and User Manual.

Additional Components Used for Performance Evaluation and Comparison:

Home Theater Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR705.

Blu-ray Disc Player: OPPO BDP-93 used to play Blu-ray, DVD, CD, and streaming movie content for comparison.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System Used for Comparison: Klipsch Quintet III in combination with Polk PSW10 Subwoofer.

TV/Monitor (2D only): A Westinghouse Digital LVM-37w3 1080p LCD Monitor

Software Used

Blu-ray Discs: Battleship, Ben Hur, Cowboys and Aliens, The Hunger Games, Jaws, Jurassic Park Trilogy, Megamind, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

CDs: Al Stewart - A Beach Full of Shells, Beatles - LOVE, Blue Man Group - The Complex, Joshua Bell - Bernstein - West Side Story Suite, Eric Kunzel - 1812 Overture, HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Sade - Soldier of Love.

Set Up and Installation of the Samsung HT-E6730W

Setting up the Samsung HT-E6730W is fairly straight forward. However, it is important to mention that you should look over both the provided Quick Start Guide and User Manual, so that you know how to set up the wireless rear surround sound speaker module, how to use the Auto Sound Calibration (ASC) system, and set up the internet streaming functions.

Speaker and Audio Setup

Once you unbox everything, place the Blu-ray Disc player/Receiver combination near your TV, then place the center speaker above or below your TV.

The next step is to assemble the front L/R "tall boy" speakers. You need to attach the section house the speaker drivers to the provided stands. Once this is done, you attach the assembled units to the stand bases. Place the assembled speakers in the front of room, to the left and right side of your TV.

Once the front speakers and subwoofer are placed, set up the surround speakers. First, insert the TX Card in the main unit and place the wireless receiver module behind your listening position. Then connect the surround speakers to the wireless receiver module using the provided color coded speaker wire. When you turn on the main unit, the wireless signal should lock into to wireless receiver.

Now, place the subwoofer in a spot in the room that will give the you best bass response - usually either on on the left or right side of your TV.

Also, if you desire to mount the center or surround speakers on the wall, you will have to provide your own wall mounting hardware

To determine if all your speakers are properly connected and active, you have two options: You can either use the manual speaker settings option to set the distance and volume level for each speaker (a microphone and built-in test tone generator is provided), and/or you can use the Samsung Auto Sound Calibration (ASC) feature that uses the microphone and test tone to perform these tasks automatically.

One interesting thing is that any manual speaker settings are separate from the automatic Auto Sound Calibration settings. This means that you can use either method according to your preference. Also, a built-in graphic equalizer is also provided to you fine tune speaker frequency response in relation to your room or personal preferences.

Internet Setup

Samsung HT-E6730W Blu-ray Home Theater System - Photo of Rear HDMI and AV Connections

Samsung HT-E6730W Blu-ray Home Theater System - Photo of Rear HDMI and AV Connections

Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Additionally the HT-E6730W provides network and internet connectivity via either wired or wireless connection. The built-in WiFi, option is very convenient if you have a wireless-enabled internet router, but you can also connect the system to your router using and Ethernet cable. I did not have any difficulty using either connection. However, it must be noted that in many cases a wired connection is best for streaming audio and video as it is a more stable connection, less prone to interruption. Use the option that works best for you.

Proceed to the next page: Video and Audio Performance - Final Take

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