JVC Sophisti Home Theater System review
The JVC Sophisti Home Theater System is a brand new network media player from JVC. Also known as the JVC DD-3, the Sophisti may sound like it’s a few characters short of a full word (presumably the brand designers had something against “cated”!), but don’t let that fool you – it’s a full-on media hub that connects to your PC and HDTV, while providing its own speakers and 220W amplifier. It even comes with its own DVD player.
Read on for the full JVC Sophisti Home Theater System review.
The JVC Sophisti looks more like a Set Top Box (STB) than a traditional home theater receiver, and so would seem to be targeted at the media receiver segment of the market. It’s a cool looking unit, though, with sleek black design, but its sloping front shows it obviously wants to be on top of your stack of STBs.
JVC Sophisti DD-3 Main Unit
The Sophisti’s main unit comes with a DVD player, which upscales DVDs to 780p, an AM/FM tuner (unfortunately no DAB), an HDMI interface, and power output of 220 Watts. The DVD player will also play CDs.
Sound-wise, it can decode Dolby Digital, DTS and Dolby Pro Logic II soundtracks, all of which are routed through to the Sophisti’s speakers (left, right, center channel and a cube-shaped sub-woofer). JVC has patented Direct Drive technology for driving the speakers, which apparently ensures you get the full surround-sound effect without needing separate rear speakers.
CrunchGear heard the sound from a Sophisti at CES 2007, and in their own words, “boy, do they sound incredible!”
JVC Sophisti and USB devices
Of course, not all the media you want to play will come from the Sophisti’s DVD, and its here that the Sophisti really starts to shine. It comes with USB Home, which lets you plug any USB-compatible device into the Sophisti and play its media through either the speaker or connected HDTV (depending, of course, on whether it’s music or video files you want to play!)
Indeed, such is the versatility of the Sophisti that you can play MP3 tunes from your USB-compliant MP3 player, videos from a Personal Media Player, or even display pictures directly from a camera if it has a USB port.
JVC Sophisti and your PC
Bets of all, though, the Sophisti will connect with your PC via Ethernet and play any of your media fiiles either through its speakers or onto the connected HDTV. It doesn’t have to be a wired connection, either – you can use the Ethernet port to hook the Sophisti up to a wireless router, and then stream the media (music and video) from any PC connected to your Wi-Fi network.
So whether it’s your PC in your study, your laptop, or your kids’ PC in their bedroom, the Sophisti can access all media files and play them for you in your lounge without a PC in sight.
JVC Sophisti DD-3 Specifcations
Media formats supported:
- WAV (PCM)
- MPEG-4 ASF
- 1 USB Host port
- 2 analogue inputs
- 1 digital input
- Scart socket
- 1 analogue output
- 1 digital output
- 1 HDMI output
- Component video outputs
- Headphones socket
- Local network port
The JVC Sophisti DD-3 is currently on sale now, with Pixmania selling it for under £490.