Panasonic SC-BTT270 review
The BTT270 is Panasonic's entry-level all-in-one home cinema system. The slim Blu-ray player, five mug-sized satellite speakers and compact subwoofer should be all you need to take your movie-watching experience to new heights – just add an HD TV to complete the set-up.
Each of the five satellites has a single driver that covers middle and high frequencies. They connect to the main unit using proprietary cables, but because they use spring terminals at the other end, it should be relatively straightforward to add cable extensions if required. The subwoofer uses the same connection, but because it has a non-removable cable you would have to cut it to fit an extension, thus voiding your warranty. Neither the sub nor the satellites feel particularly sturdy, and the black plastic finish doesn't really do much for us. At least the speakers are wall-mountable, so you can place them almost anywhere.
The main unit was something of a mixed bag. It looks reasonably attractive with a glossy black mirror finish, but connectivity is seriously limited. Amazingly, there are no HDMI inputs on the back, which means the BTT270 can't be used as a hub for all your AV equipment. That's not so bad for people with TVs that support the Audio Return Channel – piping audio back down the HDMI cable and making the TV the hub of the system. Otherwise, wiring up a set-top box or games console involves HDMI cables for the picture and separate cables to the BTT270 for the audio. It has just one optical S/P-DIF and one stereo analogue input to accommodate these sources.
Connectivity is slightly better around the front. An SD memory card slot and second USB port will play local multimedia files, and it can play music directly from an iPod using the pop-out dock. We had no trouble playing music from an iPhone, using the remote control to switch between tracks, but video files over USB were much more troublesome. File format support was so poor, we could only play DivX HD and Xvid video files, MP3 audio and JPEG images; other files either refused to play or simply didn't show up at all.
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