Panasonic SC-BT200

Panasonic SC-BT200

A great Blu-ray system blessed with fantastic picture quality and excellent sound

> Product website
Price: $1099
> Pricing info
Blu-ray Yes DVD Yes DVD+R/+RW Yes DVD-A No DVD-R/-RW Yes DVD-RAM Yes HD DVD No MP3 Yes SACD No Hard disk (Gb) 0 Records DVD+R/+RW No Records DVD-R/-RW No Records DVD-RAM No Rated power (w) 250 DAB No FM Yes MW No LW No SW No Internet radio No Dolby Digital EX Yes Dolby Digital Plus Yes Dolby TrueHD Yes DTS 96/24 No DTS HD Yes DTS Master Audio Yes DTS Neo: 6 No DTS-ES Yes Pro-Logic II No Pro-Logic IIx No HDMI Out 1 Component Out 1 RGB Scart Out 0 S-Video Out 0 Composite Out 0 HDMI In 0 Component In 0 RGB Scart In 0 S-Video In 0 Composite In 0 Optical digital In 2 Coaxial digital In 0 FireWire In 0 USB In 1 Analogue audio In 1 Phono In No Multichannel analogue In No Ethernet 1 HDMI 1.3a Yes Internet/networking capability Yes Memory card Yes Wireless rear speakers No Head unit (hwd, mm) 6x43x33 Speakers (hwd, mm) 13x9x8 Subwoofer (hwd, mm) 36x18x32

It's fair to say that the Panasonic SC-BT200 can't match its rivals for style alone. There aren't any curvaceous speakers or touch-sensitive buttons: instead, you have a simple main unit and ordinary-looking satellite speakers.

It fares better on the feature front. An iPod dock lurks behind the front panel, as do USB and SD card inputs.

On the rear of the Blu-ray receiver is an HDMI output, and twin optical inputs for accommodating external kit (a couple of HDMI inputs wouldn't go amiss, though).

Internet access via VieraCast
Panasonic's VieraCast content provision service has permeated many of its products in 2009 - this package included. Using its Ethernet connection you can access online content from the likes of  YouTube.

The Panasonic also has the benefit of auto set-up, using the supplied micro-phone when you first switch it on.

We've been heaping praise on Panasonic's standalone Blu-ray players recently, and this player is no slouch, either. On-screen noise is virtually non-existent, and pictures look remarkably clear and three-dimensional.

Using The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor, the depth of image is stunning, as is the detail on the Emperor's sarcophagus and the artifacts in his tomb. Colours appear natural and blacks are solid.

Taut and precise sound
Panasonic systems have often fallen down on speaker quality, but the BT200's sound is very good. Instead of unattractive, boomy bass, it's taut and precise.

Dialogue has body, and refrains from sounding boxy or closed-in. Slot an iPod into the integrated dock, and you're greeted by well-balanced tunes.

The only potential stumbling block is the price. But this all-in-one package is so good, we say it's worth every penny.

Easy to set up; excellent picture clarity and detail; impressive handling of motion; dynamic, detailed audio

One or two HDMI inputs would be nice

Source: Copyright © 2010 What HiFi?

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