• $200
  • DVD, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, CD, CD-R/-RW, MP3, WMA, VCD, SVCD, and JPEG; HDMI with HD upconversion
  • Includes two front speakers, two surround speakers, one center-channel speaker, and one subwoofer
  • DVD/CD changer
RCA's RTD258 is full of surprises. There's a front-panel USB connection that you can use for most MP3 players, thumb drives, or digital cameras to play music or display pictures. There's also an included HDMI cable. What could this cable possibly be for, you might ask? Why, it's for the upconverting DVD player that has an HDMI output. If your television isn't as new as this system, you can connect the two with a component cable, although that is not included.

The disc player is a mildly unattractive box, but it will play back the majority of formats. (CD+R/+RW is absent from the list.) The discs are loaded by a tray through one of five slots on the front of the unit. While one disc is being changed, another can still be playing. If it's a music disc, there are DSP modes available to utilize all of the speakers instead of two channels. The subwoofer also has multiple equalization options to find the one most palatable to the listener's ear.

Apart from being a relatively uninspired-looking home-theater-in-a-box, the RTD258 offers features that make it a compelling option. You'd be hard-pressed to find another system in this price range that has an HDMI output, let alone an included HDMI cable.