Philips HTS5563 review
Philips produces several all-in-one home cinema systems, but the HTS5563 is one of its best. It’s a 5.1 surround sound system with 3D Blu-ray playback, Smart TV functions and local media streaming. It should look great wherever you put it thanks to its industrial-looking silver speaker grilles.
Each satellite has a single speaker driver inside it, but we were expecting good things from its claimed 1,000W of amplification. It’s well equipped for anyone with additional set-top boxes or games consoles, as it has two HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output that supports Audio Return Channel, but it only has one composite video output for legacy devices. Audio support’s better, with optical and coaxial S/PDIF inputs, and a stereo pair of analogue RCA phono inputs.
It’s a shame that Wi-Fi isn’t integrated given the price of the system. You must run an Ethernet cable from your router to the TV to get online or buy the optional wireless dongle (Philips WUB1110/00 WiFi Dongle, £40 from Pixmania.co.uk). The SD card reader is also reserved for BD-Live content, rather than playback.
Once connected to the internet, you can stream content from a networked PC or NAS device. Our test files played perfectly, so you should have no trouble finding file formats that work. You can also play files locally using the front-facing USB port.
Philips also includes the latest version of its NetTV online portal, although the experience is basic at best. Beyond YouTube video streaming and Box Office 365 on-demand films, you get Facebook and Twitter, a web browser and Napster music downloads. The other apps are from minor companies, and the additional app store currently has nine other applications available to download, including two that ‘celebrate the female form’. If you already own a Smart TV you’re unlikely to find anything of major interest here.