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Panasonic SC-BT300

>> Thursday, September 17, 2009

Most Blu-ray HTIBs stick to traditional 5.1 configurations, but Panasonic SC-BT300 is a full 7.1 system. The system is made up of two tall boy speakers, four small speakers for the surround or surround back channels, a center channel and the subwoofer. The tall boy speakers stand 40.2 inches high, and the circular stands are 10 inches in diameter. They're big enough to dominate a room, so if space is limited you may be better off with Panasonic's step down SC-BT200. The surround or surround back speakers are a little bigger than a soup can, coming in at 3.63 inches wide by 5 inches high and 3.2 inches deep, and each features a 2.5 inch bamboo cone driver.

The center channel is a little bigger (9.8 inches wide, 3.75 inches high and 3.2 inches deep) and features two of the 2.5 inch drivers. The sub has a 10 inch passive radiator and 6.5 inch woofer, and its footprint is also relatively small (7.1 inches wide, 14.2 inches high and 13.4 inches high). The combination receiver and Blu-ray player has a relatively nondescript look, with the faceplate featuring a reflective black finish. Toward the bottom is a flip down panel revealing an SD card slot, the auto setup mic input, additional playback controls, and a headphone jack.

One nice design touch is the pull out iPod dock just give a tug where the Panasonic logo is and a tray for the iPod is revealed. We prefer this integrated design (also found on some LG models) to the break out docks on the Sony BDV-E500W and Samsung HT-BD1250T, which cause a little more wire clutter. The included remote on Panasonic SC-BT300 is similar to the one included with the company's Blu-ray players and we're generally fans of the design.

Frequently used playback controls are given big blue buttons and the directional pad is surrounded by important buttons like pop-up menu and top menu. There is one inexplicable omission, though : an open or close button for the integrated Blu-ray player. Sure, you have to get off the couch to change discs anyway, but we prefer to hit the button before we get up so there's an open tray waiting when we get there. Panasonic SC-BT300's main receiver has a Blu-ray player built in and it offers all the functionality of Panasonic's entry level standalone player, the DMP-BD60K.

The DMP-BD60K's full review has the most detailed information, but the short story is Panasonic SC-BT300 has full Profile 2.0 compatibility, on board decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and VieraCast functionality. VieraCast is the name of Panasonic's proprietary Internet content portal, which currently offers Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Picasa, Bloomberg stock quotes, and weather. Panasonic SC-BT300 doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi, so you'll need to make an Ethernet connection to enjoy this content. The additional content is certainly welcome particularly Amazon Video On-Demand but in our opinion, we prefer the Netflix or Pandora combination offered on HTIBs from Samsung and LG.

3 comments:

dhemz September 19, 2009 at 1:17 AM  

came here to visit today..thanks for the visit....:)

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jco September 23, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

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