All at a price that is only around double the cost of a decent Blu-ray player. All this, and the surround sound aspects too? It all seems to be a little too good to be true so let’s delve a little deeper.
Typical Clean and Simple Samsung Style
Samsung have a knack of designing their systems to look simple, stylish, and instantly recognizable. The sharp lines of the speakers and the HT-E4500 main unit are in stark contrast to the slightly more rounded style that Sony have started using in the BDV-E190 for example, but the system looks none the worse for it.
At only 55mm high and 25mm deep, the main unit is slim and does not hint at the power it contains, and yet there is still plenty of real estate on the front of the unit to include all the information you could need on a display panel. It’s a similar story on the rear of the device with Phono audio, optical and HDMI outputs on the rear.
Moving back to the front of the unit, and there are some really nice quality touches to be found. Details such as the brushed aluminum volume and power buttons, and the raised playback buttons show a typical attention to form and function.
The centre speaker measures a much wider 228mm by 77mm high with the subwoofer coming in at a relatively high 350mm by 168mm wide. All the speakers are light (varying from 320 grams to 470 grams) so mounting will not be a a problem and it’s only the subwoofer at 2.6kg that feels like it’s got any real substance to it.
Feature packed, but you’ll need a wired connection or a separate adapter…
Samsung’s updated Smart Hub enables you to access Twitter, YouTube and Facebook among many others, and some new features allow you to share photos and keep children entertained with the new Kids feature.
Should you feel so inclined, you can also surf the web on your television, but it’s more likely that the Samsung AllShare Play feature will be more useful. This allows you to share movies, photos and music from a compatible PC or mobile device.
To get access to the online features, you’re going to need to connect your system to a network of course – there is an Ethernet port at the back for this. But if you want to do it all this wirelessly, you’ll have to purchase the WIS09ABGN Wi-Fi dongle separately. Whilst these have come down in price over the last few years, it’s still a £30 to £40 option so factor this into the cost if you need it.
Plenty of Power, and the full 5.1 experience
As well as the online features, the Samsung HT-E4500 also boasts some of the other features we’ve come to expect. Things such as HDMI with Audio Return Channel and (if you’ve a television that supports it) the ability to play 3D Blu-ray through the player.
Other features such as Samsung’s Crystal Amplifier Plus, Smart Volume technology, Power Bass and eight digital sound modes will all to help get the very best out of the player.
The best features however lie in the basics – the ones that every home cinema should have. The first is surround sound – nothing else quite compares to the full 5.1 surround sound experience. Second is power – with a 1000w output, this system has the ability to fill most rooms with sound. Finally with this being a Blu-ray system, you’ll be getting the best visuals available if you play a high definition Blu-ray disc, otherwise you’ll get pretty close with the upscaling capabilities of the player.
What to consider…
As we’ve said many times before, to get the full benefits of the system you’ll need to connect the device to your modem or router. If you cannot connect a physical network cable to the system, you’ll need to invest in the optional Wi-Fi adapter. We really wish manufacturers would start including it built in though…
Why you should buy the Samsung HT-E4500
There is a lot to commend Samsung for. With the HT-E4500 they’ve produced a good looking player that gets all the basics right – 5.1, Blu-ray and decent power. The thing we have to praise them for most though is getting it all down to such a good value price. For a system that has so much going for it, we would expect to pay closer to £300 – to get it in at under £250 is the icing on the cake and makes the HT-E4500 easy to recommend. Rating: /5