Like any home theatre in a box (HTiB), the E3100 comes with a Blu-ray/DVD player, a sub-woofer, and 5 speakers—1 centre speaker, 2 front and 2 back speakers. Though the speakers are pretty small, they deliver quite a punch in a smaller space like a bedroom. However, I would not recommend using this unit in a spacious entertainment room.
The Blu-ray player has a blue sheen on it, and if you tap a near field communication (NFC) enabled phone on its top surface, you can share audio files from it directly with the home theatre. In case your phone does not have NFC, you can use bluetooth. Its built-in WiFi lets you stream audio and video off the internet, from services such as Sony Entertainment Network, YouTube and a host of others. There is also a USB connector up front, but sadly behind a flimsy door. The buttons are pretty large and shaped like a tetrahedron to assure you what Sony calls ‘a sense of quartz’, and the whole design has pretty sharp edges.
There is also a glowing light on the front of the player that gives it a smart look.
In case you do not have WiFi in your house, or prefer a wired network, the player allows an ethernet connection.
Its remote control is smartly designed and has good-sized buttons; it can be used with a Sony TV too. However, the NFC tap does not work with the remote, which I would have really wanted. The HTiB can output content up to 1080p and also supports 3D Blu-ray video. Sony has also bundled an HDMI cable with the box.
Sony claims the system can output a total of 1,000 Watts, and is rated for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The unit comes with an app for Android and iOS that lets you control the player with a Sony Tablet, Android device, iPhone, iPad or an iPod touch.
What impresses me most is its quick load features; from the time you insert the disc to the time you get the picture on the TV screen, this one is pretty quick. Overall, it offers an impressive first experience if you are looking for an HTiB.