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Altec Lansing's Powered Theater is First Foray into Home Theater

Illustration for article titled Altec Lansings Powered Theater is First Foray into Home Theater

Altec Lansing enters the home theater market for the first time with its Powered Theater line, shipping in August. Designed to be big on sound and small on space, Powered Theater comes in two flavors: the advanced two-piece PT8051 or the bigger, single-piece PT7031. Thanks to their slim forms, the units should complement home theaters set up around space-saving flatscreens and wall-mounted TVs.

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Illustration for article titled Altec Lansings Powered Theater is First Foray into Home Theater

Both of the Powered Theater units take advantage of NXT flat panel loudspeakers–which is NXT's specialty. The cheaper, one-piece PT7031 emulates 5-channel surround sound, though its more complex brother will communicate wirelessly between its two units for multiple front and rear channels, producing more convincing surround sound.

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The PT7031 is expected to carry a $600 price tag, and $1000 for the more advanced PT8051.

Press release [Altec Lansing via Electronista]

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DISCUSSION

I'm glad to see that under Plantronics' leadership, Altec Lansing is re-entering home audio. At $599, the PT7031 appears to compete favorably with the Yamaha YSP800. Unfortunately, however, the Altec Lansing unit doesn't use a VFD to display system status, only an array of blue LEDs. This lends a sense of 'cheapness', I feel — Altec needs to realize that if they intend to break into the home audio market, they need to deliver the features customers expect, like an alphanumeric VFD. Also, the PT7031 and PT8051 only have bass extension to a claimed 70 Hz, so you'll need a separate subwoofer to get a sonically satisfying performance. I personally wonder why Altec Lansing didn't at least develop a small subwoofer that would be available 'a la carte' for the PT7031 and PT8051. Their 'isobaric' subwoofers in the FX4021 and FX5051 are excellent deep-bass subwoofers for their size.