For the most part, the home theater debacle has been solved thanks to the advent of the soundbar. A wide array of companies produce them and offer packages that range from just a soundbar (2-channel), to a soundbar with a subwoofeer (2.1-channel), to a soundbar with a subwoofer that supports a set of wireless rear speakers (5.1-channel). Toss in a PS3, which has a Blu-ray player and plays back movies and TV shows from a variety of sources, and you’ve pretty much got the home entertainment conundrum solved for under $1,000. However, this hasn’t stopped the folks at In2Technologies from developing an all-in-one setup designed to take you from “zero to 5.1 Surround Sound in 15 minutes.”
At first blush it appears to be a glorified stand outfitted with a set of speakers. Peer a bit closer, though, and you’ll notice that it packs in much more: a Blu-ray player; dual 10-inch subwoofers; integrated left, right and center channels; dual down firing 5.25” midbass in the center channel; an iPhone/iPod dock;Ethernet connectivity and support for a set of wireless speakers (they haven’t mentioned how they are powered). All of this connects to your choice of flat screen via one HDMI 1.4a port.
So will it succeed? We’re skeptical. If the price is right, which would have to be in the sub $1000 range. But the odds of that happening is extremley slim. Perhaps it will boast unparalled sound quality, but that doesn’t negate the design, which isn’t all that slick and looks more like two pieces of wood with an HTPC wedged in between. That said, we’ll reserve judgement until we can get our hands on one or see a final production model, which we might have missed at CES.