Is high-performance wireless surround sound truly possible?
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A complete review of Yamaha's new YSP-4100 and YSP-5100 Digital Sound Projectors
Background - Don't Forget The Sound
As a home theater fan, you've likely given into your entertainment urge and purchased a beautiful new high-defintion television. To truly show off your set, you've already upgraded your cable or satellite service to HD and purchased a new blu-ray DVD player. You are set to show off your new "home theater" to your friends and family. Or are you? You may be missing a very critical element - the sound!
A true home theater experience is not only based around a beautiful television, but also an enveloping surround sound system. The inadequate speakers built into your TV just don't cut the mustard and can't pull you into the action. The question is not IF you need better sound, it is HOW are you going to get it?
Surround Sound Options
Traditionally, the only way to outfit your room for surround sound involved running speaker wire throughout the room and hooking up an audio/video receiver with a surround sound speaker package. While this continues to be a high-performance solution, it is often not practical for several reasons; cost, complexity, and the simple desire to not see speakers and wires run throughout the room.
For these reasons, Yamaha came up with an innovative solution known as sound projection. With a sound projector, the different channels of surround sound are "beamed" from a single component and bounced off of the walls, windows and furniture in your room to create an enveloping and realistic surround environment without running speaker wire.
The sound projector literally takes the place of the audio/video receiver AND speaker package, thereby eliminating the need to run speaker wire throughout the room. Simply place the projector above or below the TV and connect your source components (cable or satellite box, dvd player, video game system, etc.) and you are set to go.
NOTE: It is important to note that sound projectors are very different from sound bars. Sound bars change the characteristics of the sound to make your ears think the sound is coming from a different direction when in reality it is not. Having personally hooked up a variety of different sound bars I can definitely say they are not nearly as effective as using a true sound projector.
The New Models: Yamaha YSP-4100 and Yamaha YSP-5100
Over the last few years, we have installed over a hundred sound projectors in nearly every type of room environment, with excellent results. Given our success with the current sound projectors, we were especially excited to receive two new top end models, the YSP-4100 and YSP-5100. Let's take a close look at the key improvements in these new sound projectors:
Compare the Yamaha YSP-4100 and Yamaha YSP-5100, What are the differences?
There are two main differences between the YSP-4100 and YSP-5100; physical size and number of speakers. The YSP-5100 is roughly 7" wider than its counterpart making it a perfect fit for large screen flat panel TVs. Generally speaking if you are working with a 50" or larger TV the 5100 is the better choice. The second difference is in the number of speakers. Both models feature forty 1 1/2" beam drivers and two 4 1/2" woofers. The YSP-5100 adds a pair of balanced-dome tweeters.
Sound Projector Photos
Conclusions and Recommendations
Armed with impressive new features and cool wireless accessories, you should absolutely consider the YSP-4100 or YSP-5100 for use in your next television system. The simplicity and lack of wires makes it a high-performance / cost-effective option that just can't be ignored.
That being said, there are still a few situations when a traditional home theater system (audio/video receiver with wired speakers throughout the room) should be considered:
Overall we have had tremendous success installing Yamaha's sound projectors. They have given us a clean and easy way to provide high-quality surround sound without breaking the bank. The added features such as UniVolume, Dolby TRUE HD and DTS HD Master Audio decoding, and wireless subwoofer compatibility only add to the appeal of these products. Plus, music fans will definitely fall in love with the wireless iPod / iPhone adapter. You quickly become spoiled by the ease of selecting the music on the iPod and having it magically beamed to the sound projector - too cool!
For More Information or to Purchase
If you have questions or would like to purchase a sound projector you may do so by calling us toll-free at 800-616-5354 or ordering on-line. We are an authorized Yamaha and Yamaha On-line dealer and would be happy to assist you. When calling feel free to ask for me (Steve Hartfelder) or my brother Dave Hartfelder.