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Panasonic SC-BT200 review

Barry de la Rosa
4 Jan 2010
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
414
inc VAT

Impressive speakers and YouTube access make the SC-BT200 great value, but performance and format support could be better.

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Panasonic's SC-BT200 comes with four small satellite speakers. These little boxes punch above their weight, and we were impressed by the full-bodied sound. The receiver comes with a microphone for automatically setting up the speaker positions and timings, and the surround effects were crisp and atmospheric.

A small tray with an iPod dock slides out of the front of the receiver, but you'll need to connect the composite video out to your TV to watch videos or photos stored on an iPod. There's a USB port under a narrow flap on the front, as well as an SD card slot, which is handy for storing BD Live content and means you won't have to leave a USB flash drive plugged in.

You can play files from SD cards, USB sticks and data discs, but only JPEG, MP3 and DivX files are supported, and the SC-BT200 doesn't read DVD+R discs. DVD upscaling is average, and you can't play Blu-ray content recorded to DVD, although AVCHD files burnt to DVD are supported. You can't stream media from your PC, but the SC-BT200 has access to Panasonic's Viera Cast internet service, which currently includes YouTube and Picasa. You can log into both services to access your own content, and the ability to play video playlists or watch photo slideshows is handy.

Performance was poor. The SC-BT200 took over a minute to access the main menu of our Blu-ray film. Skipping chapters was slow and there's no onscreen display of chapter numbers, which is annoying. The menu system can also be slow to respond, especially when switching from watching a disc to accessing the online Viera Cast service.

Despite this, the SC-BT200 is an impressive package for the price. Not only do the speakers sound beefier than their size would suggest, but the player packs in internet services, support for DTS-HD Master Audio and a built-in iPod dock. Media streaming is missing and format support is weak, but if you need a Blu-ray home cinema kit on a budget, you'd be hard-pressed to find better value. The SC-BT200 wins our Best Buy award.

Details

Price£414
Rating****
AwardBudget Buy

Connections

HDMI inputs0
HDMI outputs1
Component inputs0
Component outputs1
Output resolutions480i, 480p, PAL (576i), 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Total SCART sockets0
SCART socket typeN/A
S-Video input0
S-video output0
Composite inputs0
Composite outputs1
Stereo phono inputs1
Stereo phono outputs0
Coaxial S/PDIF inputs0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF inputs2
Optical S/PDIF outputs0
Multi-channel inputno
Speaker configuration5.1
Main unit end speaker connection typeproprietary
Speaker end speaker connection typespring terminals
Other connectionsiPod dock, setup microphone, FM antenna, optional wireless rear speaker kit
Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking supportnone

Playback

Surround sound formatsDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD HRA, DTS-HD MA Essential
Optical driveyes
Supported playback disc formatsBD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE, DVD-RAM, DVD±R, DVD±RW, CD-R, CD-RW
Audio format supportMP3
Video playback formatsMPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX
Image viewing formatsJPEG
RadioFM RDS

Speakers

Speaker configuration5.1
RMS power output1000W
RMS power centre250W
RMS power front250W
RMS power surround250W
RMS power subwoofer250W
Wall mountableno
Centre speaker cable length3.0m
Front speaker cable length3.0m
Surround speaker cable length8.0m

General

Extrasremote control, composite cable, FM antenna, speaker wire, auto-setup microphone
Size430x327x63mmmm
Subwoofer dimensions181x315x361mmmm
Centre speaker dimensions250x81x95mmmm
Front speaker dimensions92x81x128mmmm
Surround speaker dimensions92x81x128mmmm
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on30W

Buying Information

Price£414
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.digital-fusion.co.uk
Detailswww.panasonic.co.uk