CHEAP HOME THEATER IN A BOX.
If you find this system on sale for 50% off it might be worth your consideration for a child’s room or a guest bedroom. The Philips HTS3400D/37 is a definite pass if you are looking for a home theater kit to be used in the living room.
Swing and a Miss for Philips
Difficult setup and mediocre performance make this Philips system a definite pass.
Home theaters in a box offer the promise of complete digital entertainment to the technically impaired. As such, it is important to remember this target audience when reviewing this kind of system. These consumers are not necessarily looking for the highest possible audio, or the latest in HD resolutions, they are looking for ease of setup, reliable performance, and decent quality at a good price.
Unfortunately, the HTS3400D/37 did not deliver on any level of expectation. Setup was not as easy as I wanted and there were some problems that, depending on your level of technical expertise, will present challenges. The extension cables were too short to accommodate anything larger then a modest living room and the proprietary connectors used by Philips means that finding extension cables will be difficult. The wall mounting brackets were also a letdown. Rather than the more common swiveling brackets, Philips includes a stationary pair, which severely limits potential mounting scenarios.
The main problem I encountered while using the system was its finicky disk reader. The slightest smudge made disks unreadable, and in a house with children, this is a major problem. Another annoyance was the exorbitantly long load times for DVDs. I understand that DVD players take a few seconds to load a disk, but upwards of five seconds is both excessive and unnecessary.
Playback quality was unremarkable, neither good nor bad, just what you would expect from an inexpensive home theater in a box. There have been reports from other consumers that the system is prone to developing audio hissing. I did not experience this, but I also didn’t live with the unit for six months.
After watching a few movies on the system it’s clear that Philips dropped the ball on this one. Aside from the possible noise issues, long load times, short cords, and the finicky reader module that will annoy the pants of you, this is a good buy.
Composite AV (RCA) Out: 1
S-Video Out: 1
Component Video Out (Y PB PR): 1
RF In: 1
Coaxial digital audio Out: 1
AM and FM antenna: Yes
Subwoofer: 6.5-inch high-efficiency woofer
Center Channel: 1-inch conical dome tweeter, two 3-inch full range woofers (magnetically shielded)
Satellites: 1-inch conical dome tweeter, 3-inch full range woofer
See the Amazon page for PHILIPS HTS3400D/37 Review here