- Cheap price, satisfactory sound quality from the front speakers and particularly the subwoofer
- No presence in the back speakers, lack of S-Video inputs, confusing setup
A reasonable alternative for people who want 5.1 and already have a DVD player. It comes at a budget price but there are better options.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
Kenwood's SAT5100 Audio Visual Control Centre comes with the bare essentials: that is, a subwoofer, a set of speakers and a receiver/amplifier. This kind of kit is a good solution if you want to upgrade to a surround system but are happy with your existing DVD and VHS players.
Very few cables came with the system itself, apart from power cables and those to connect the speakers. We also found the manual a little confusing, and it would be even more so if you had little idea of the difference between optical, coaxial and component inputs.
Setting up the other components was a breeze, as the speakers and subwoofer were clearly colour coded and labelled. Made of brushed plastic with a few hints of metal, the system looks reasonable, if not particularly striking. The receiver unit is bulky and heavy, but as you just planting it in one spot and leave it there, this isn't a huge problem.
It has a reasonable series of inputs too, including two component inputs (and one output), three digital audio inputs (two coaxial, one optical), three composite inputs (and two outputs) plus the basic analog inputs. We would have like to see S-Video inputs included (they are available on the next model up, the SAT6100), and were also irritated by the optical audio input being limited to the CD/DVD setting when a second one, corresponding to the six-channel DVD setting, would have been useful.
The settings were easy to work out, and after a few minutes buried in the manual we were able to explore the full functionality of the system. It would have been easier to do this on screen instead of from the confines of the small LCD, which made navigating a little tough.
The system offers a wide variety of sound modes, including Dolby Digital and Pro Logic, and DTS and DTS-ES. You can also change the volume of the individual speakers and select from a few audio presets, including panorama and night, which we particularly liked. This function is essential as it goes some way to combating the biggest problem we had with the system: the volume of the rear speakers. In high-volume DVD scenes, they sounded quite reasonable, as did the whole system, but in normal or low volume situations, they were soft almost to the point of being inaudible. The front speakers on the other hand sounded great, and the subwoofer provided a rich, deep bass that resonated without becoming overbearing or distracting.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- 3 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 4 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- CCSecurity Analyst/Security ArchitectACT
- FTSenior PHP Developer / ArchitectQLD
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- TPProject ServicesACT
- CCAutomation DeveloperNSW
- CCUser ResearchNSW
- FTProject Manager (Cyber Security) - Permanent - IT Services - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTBusiness Analysis | Business Case | ProcurementVIC
- CCJava DeveloperACT
- FTSenior Wintel EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager - Infrastructure / LogisticsNSW
- CCProject Manager - Security - TelcoVIC
- FTProduct LeadVIC
- FTInformation Security ManagerACT
- FTSoftware Engineer - Build/Image MaintenanceACT
- FTTIBCO Support Analyst - PERM DESKVIC
- FTICT Sales Account ManagerQLD
- CCTibco Integration Specialist l Port MacquarieNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)QLD
- FTTest AnalystACT
- FTProject Manager - Knowledge Management implementationVIC
- CCEnd User Services ArchitectNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - Qld Health - Short term contractQLD