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Panasonic SC-BTT490 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £430
inc VAT

Great sound and the same fantastic feature set we expect from Panasonic

The SC-BTT490 is Panasonic’s flagship mainstream all-in-one home cinema package. It might lack the same premium audio components of the more expensive BTT590, but it does have full-height front satellite speakers that are far easier to place in a room if you don’t want to wall mount them.

Panasonic SC-BTT490

In comparison, the mug-sized rear satellites look fairly puny next to the towering 1.2m tall front speakers, but both use the same 6.5cm speaker drivers so there should be no difference in sound quality – even if the front channels receive more power from the internal amplifier. Each speaker, including the passive subwoofer, connects to the main unit with proprietary cables, although the speakers themselves have spring terminal connections, so extending them should be easy.

Panasonic SC-BTT490

The main unit itself is barely bigger than a regular Blu-ray player, yet it still has room for a pop-out iPod dock, a front-facing USB port and an SDXC card reader. Its back panel connectivity is impressive too, having two HDMI inputs and one Audio Return Channel-supporting HDMI output for high-definition sources and a composite video output for older devices. Analogue RCA phono inputs and a single digital optical input take care of audio, and there’s also an Ethernet port, an FM radio antenna and a second USB port. Unfortunately, the rear USB port’s dedicated to Panasonic’s Skype camera, so we had to use the front port to play our test files.

Panasonic SC-BTT490

Thankfully, file format support is excellent, with the BTT490 managing to play almost all of our test files. The only exception was WMV HD, but as this is rarely used any more. Integrated Wi-Fi means you won’t need to run an Ethernet cable to your TV to get online either.

Once connected, you’ll also be able to access Panasonic’s VIERA Connect online portal. It lets you access BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube for streaming video, as well as Skype, Twitter and Facebook for social networking and a whole host of other services from smaller providers.

Switching from on-demand content to Blu-ray movies, the BTT490 continued to impress. Like Panasonic’s other Blu-ray players, there are plenty of image quality settings and speaker adjustments you can make to produce great audio. Panasonic’s all-in-one systems are typically some of the easiest to use, and the BTT490 is no exception, having a simple menu system and icon-based layout that makes changing settings both quick and easy.

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Price £430
Rating ****


HDMI inputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
Component inputs 0
Component outputs 0
Output resolutions 480i, 480p, PAL (576i), 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Total SCART sockets 0
SCART socket type 0
S-Video input 0
S-video output 0
Composite inputs 0
Composite outputs 1
Stereo phono inputs 1
Stereo phono outputs 0
Coaxial S/PDIF inputs 0
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF inputs 1
Optical S/PDIF outputs 0
Multi-channel input yes
Speaker configuration 5.1
Main unit end speaker connection type proprietary
Speaker end speaker connection type spring terminals
Other connections 2x USB2, FM antenna, SDHC memory card reader
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11g


Surround sound formats Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Surround Pro Logic IIx, DTS Decoder 2, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Low Bit Rate, DTS ES, Neo:6, DTS 96/24, Dolby TrueHD
Optical drive yes
Supported playback disc formats Blu-ray, BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE, DVD, DVD±R, DVD±RW, DVD-RAM, CD, CD-R, CD-RW
Audio format support MP3
Video playback formats AVCHD, DivX HD, MKV, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, MOV, XVID
Image viewing formats JPEG
Radio FM


Speaker configuration 5.1
RMS power output 1000W
RMS power centre 180W
RMS power front 370W
RMS power surround 250W
RMS power subwoofer 200W
Wall mountable yes
Centre speaker cable length 1.9m
Front speaker cable length 2.8m
Surround speaker cable length 8.0m


Extras remote control, FM antenna
Size 430x279x38mm
Subwoofer dimensions 297x179x406mm
Centre speaker dimensions 277x68x80mm
Front speaker dimensions 79x67x137mm
Surround speaker dimensions 100x77x1120mm
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 48W

Buying Information

Price £430
Warranty one year RTB