Panasonic SC-BTT290 review
The BTT290 could be the ideal all-in-one home cinema package for anyone with limited space. It shares the same 1000W Blu-ray deck as its more expensive siblings but comes with four small satellite speakers that easily fit in a smaller room.
With its pop-out iPod dock, SDXC card reader and single USB port, the front of the main unit is fairly well connected, but the majority of the ports are hidden around the back. Two HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output that supports Audio Return Channel cater for plenty of sources. Stereo RCA phono and optical digital audio inputs, an FM aerial, composite video output and a USB port reserved for Panasonic’s Skype camera complete the line-up.
The proprietary speaker connections on the main unit might be a little troublesome if you need longer than average cable lengths, but the speakers themselves use spring terminal connections so you should be able to splice extra cable in if required. Each satellite is no larger than the average coffee mug, with the centre speaker being roughly twice as wide to accommodate a second speaker driver. The passive subwoofer is quite large for an all-in-one system, but is still smaller than the heavy duty active subs that you might pair with an AV amplifier.
You can get online wirelessly or by Ethernet cable, and once connected you can stream multimedia content from a networked PC or NAS device. We had no trouble playing various file formats, and only the antiquated WMV HD codec refused to work. DivX, MKV, AVCHD and MOV files were all fine. VIERA Connect is also present, giving you access to social networks like Facebook, catch-up TV from BBC iPlayer and streaming video from Netflix, YouTube and LoveFilm.
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