Conclusion: Despite some size and cable issues, the HTS8140 is an impressively squashed down home cinema that produces the goods when it comes to both picture quality and surround sound. Its built-in upscaler means DVD pictures are pushed to near-HD standards, while Ambisound sprays audio effects to every corner of your room – a bit like your incontinent cat, only more pleasant.
Pros: The Philips HTS8140 looks fantastic and futuristic in equal measure. Tap a finger on the sparkling glass front panel and it slides across to reveal the disc tray. On the audio front, Philips’ Ambisound technology succeeds in “wrapping” the audio around you effectively, while the dedicated subwoofer serves up plenty of rumble and growl to give movies a low-end boost.
Cons: The system is a bit larger than most soundbars and, with the separate subwoofer, you’ll also need to keep some floor-space free. The sub also needs to be connected to the bar, and the lead provided is long and thick – so you could end up having to hide some cables after all.