By Mark Fleischmann • December, 2008
Price: $500 (Entry level system)
At A Glance: Each speaker handles front and surround channels • Integrated DVD (not Blu-ray) player • Strong aesthetics and build quality
4.1 Channels from 2.1 Speakers
Manufacturers of home theater gear work within a rigid framework. That makes it easy for consumers to recognize product categories—speaker systems, receivers, separates—and investigate the trade-offs between performance and price. But these product categories can also be staid and boring because they rarely investigate alternative system architectures. To shake things up a little, you have to look into compact systems, including entry-level ones like the JVC TH-F3 DVD Digital Theater System (to use the official nomenclature).
These HTIB systems may have seven, five, or two speakers, with or without the decimal point signifying a sub. For this one, the magic numbers are 4.1 channels and 2.1 speakers with energy-efficient switching amplification. The physical distribution of amplifier channels in compact systems often breaks the usual pattern of having the sub channel in the sub and the other channels in the receiver. In this system, all channels are in the receiver. The receiver may or may not have a built-in disc drive. In this case, it has a DVD drive.
See complete informative article courtesy of HomeTheaterMagazine: http://hometheatermag.com/hometheate...heater_system/