New line-up targeted at designers, creators, and professionals
- Sounds great, Nice design, HDMI support
- Only HDMI support for video, Not great for music
If you have HDMI capable devices at home and don't mind being without analogue connections, the Sony HTSF1000 might be a good choice, offering great sound and a stylish design.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
One of the big buzzwords in home entertainment at the moment is HDMI; a form of media encoding that carries both digital video and audio signals through a single cable. No only does it offer the highest picture and sound quality, but it greatly simplifies the setup process. It's no surprise then that Sony's new range of home theatre systems is focusing heavily on this medium. The HTSF1000 is a slim, modern looking package that offers great sound quality while having the dubious honour of being entirely HDMI based. But although HDMI has several strong benefits including less cable clutter and superior video, sticking strictly to a single connection type does have its downfalls.
The major problem is that a lot of consumers don't have HDMI compatible devices yet, and even if they do some components will still be unsuitable. Games consoles for example only come sporting analogue connections; even the next generation Xbox 360 still operates via component (although a HDMI connection is due for this system shortly). Furthermore, only the new generation flat panel televisions carry HDMI ports, so many people will find themselves out of luck with this product. It is clearly targeted at the early adopters market and so it will be unsuitable for some people, but for those who want the latest and greatest, having a fully digital home theatre package is the logical next step.
The HTSF1000 carries two HDMI inputs and a single output, which seems a little bare at first glance, especially when you consider the system doesn't come with a DVD player. Realistically most people will be connecting their own DVD player and maybe a PVR to the system, but in the future, as the number of HDMI devices grows, you may need space for a set top box, games console, media centre or any number of other components - so an extra input would have been appreciated. Despite lacking other video inputs there are several choices for audio, including three analogue ports and both optical and co-axial support.
After using the system for more than a few minutes you will quickly understand why HDMI is such a selling point. This system delivers great quality across both audio and video streams. Our DVDs were crisp and suffered less aliasing and loss of detail than we typically see on an analogue connection.
Audio was where this system really shone. We found the tonal balance perfect for DVD watching. The deceptively small subwoofer offered just the right level of crunching bass that gave our movies a great, visceral feel. Surround audio was well rendered, as highlighted by our test scenes from The Matrix. You could hear individual ammunition shells falling all around you, mixed in with water droplets and chipped granite. There was a good level of differentiation between sounds and they were well positioned. For movies, this is one of the best systems we've heard in recent months.
The HTSF1000 didn't perform quite as strongly in our music tests, but it was still above average. Generally movies require a different sound to music, and so those that excel in one area are weaker in another; this system was no exception. The powerful and very prominent bass tended to overshadow the music a little, giving it a dark sound. The highs lacked a little of the extension we're used to hearing, and while the differentiation between musical elements was very good, we felt a little clarity was lacking. The bass heavy sound is most suited to rap, hip hop and electronic music.
It comes with all the usual features and support, including Prologic, Prologic II, Dolby Digital and DTS. There are several sound fields for music listening, such as Jazz and Orchestra, as well as Sony's Cinema mode. We found these made a difference to the audio, but for the most part we preferred the default sound.
The unit looks quite sleek and modern, with a silver and black motif. The speakers are tall and thin rather than chunky like some other Sony home theatres we've seen recently and the whole package will take up minimal space if you position things correctly.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 2 Google Pixel 4a review: The Goldilocks Google phone
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review: Wrong Number
- 4 LG NANO99 NanoCell 8K TV review: Prestige at a price
- 5 LG Velvet review: Fake it till you make it
Latest News Articles
- Apple’s Clips 3.0 update features a new interface, more stickers and soundtracks, and HDR recording
- Acer’s Halo smart speaker boasts Google Assistant and RGB lighting
- iMovie for iPhone and iPad is updated with HDR and 4K 60fps support
- Some of Netflix’s most popular movies and TV shows are streaming for free
- A Google Nest Hub might join you for your next hotel stay
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Best Australian Amazon Prime Day deals
- Why do gamers like RGB Lights?
- Huawei Matebook X Pro (2020) review: The real deal
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?