Panasonic SC-BT205 review

This sibling to the SC-BT200 combines fine useability with a comprehensive specification and great images and sound Tested at £600.00

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Our Verdict

Comfortably capable of some of the best audio and video available, this Panasonic delivers genuinely impressive performance from one box

For

  • Full HD audio and video specification
  • simple to use
  • sound is detailed, dynamic and powerful
  • video is clean, stable and full of subtleties

Against

  • Build quality won’t blow you away
  • floorstanders need accommodating

Having been mightily impressed with Panasonic's SC-BT200 Blu-ray system, we thought it only right that we tested its loftier sibling.

As the main receiver unit remains the same, we have high hopes. The change comes with the speakers: the four compact satellites being traded for four floorstanders – and only for a little extra outlay.

The centre channel is fairly slight and sits on its comfortable feet with a fairly slim profile.

The four identical floorstanders are a more substantial affair: they each require a few screws to connect the circular foot to the bottom of the speaker and again to join the two parts of each speaker.

Full spec for the money
As with other similar systems, they don't feel particularly robust or look too alluring – hey, the subwoofer has a chipboard ‘finish' on the rear – but thankfully they make up for it in terms of sound quality.

The Panasonic has Blu-ray and DVD playback, an integrated iPod dock compatible with music, video and photo playback, a USB input, an SD card… the list is almost endless, though it doesn't include HDMI inputs – there's just the one HDMI output for HD pictures and sound (it can decode all HD codecs).

Two digital optical inputs will take digital audio from other sources and Panasonic's Viera Cast feature allows access to some online content via ethernet.

Cracking BD images and sound
In our eyes the more important business comes in the shape of Blu-ray playback.

Playing zombie slasher Dead Snow, the SC-BT205 sets itself apart from its rivals. The level of insight with both audio and video is a step above its rivals, the system producing a poised, balanced sound capable of punch and subtlety.

Nothing else really conveys the tense calm before a zombie-slaying quite like this system. DVD images are crisp, while step up to the BD transfer of Gladiator and the wheat fields sway to glorious affect.

Top it all with fine usability – it's a machine that has an auto-set-up with a calibration mic – with the result that you have the ideal all-in-one introduction to Blu-ray surround sound.

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Specifications

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Interfaces-Ports

Number of Digital Optical Outputs1
HDMIYes
Number of Analog Audio Inputs1
Component VideoYes
Number of Digital Optical Inputs2
iPod SupportedYes
USBYes

Physical Characteristics

Center Speaker Depth8.1 cm
Front Speaker Width25.5 cm
Video Player Width43 cm
Front Speaker Depth25.5 cm
Rear Speaker Height102 cm
Weight Approximate1.15 kg - Centre Speaker, 2.30 kg - Front Speaker, 2.30 kg - Rear Speaker, 4.70 kg - Subwoofer, 3.70 kg - Video Disc Player
Video Player Depth32.7 cm
Center Speaker Height9.5 cm
Rear Speaker Depth25.5 cm
Center Speaker Width25 cm
Front Speaker Height102 cm
Video Player Height6.3 cm
Rear Speaker Width25.5 cm
ColourBlack

Network and Communication

EthernetYes

Audio

RMS Output Power1000 W
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD, DTS
Speaker Configuration5.1

General Information

Product NamePanasonic SC-BT205
Product ModelSC-BT205
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Brand NamePanasonic
Product TypeHome Theater System
ManufacturerPanasonic
Manufacturer Part NumberSC-BT205EB-K

Video

Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Video FormatsAVCHD, BD Video, DivX, DVD Video, MPEG-2, MPEG-4

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • SC-BT205 Home Theater System
  • 1 x Remote Control
  • 1 x AC Main Lead
  • 1 x Speaker Cable (centre)
  • 4 x Speaker Stands (with cable)
  • 1 x Sheet of Speaker Cable Stickers
  • 2 x (R6/LR6,AA) Remote Control Batteries
  • 4 x Bases
  • 1 x Antenna Plug Adapter
  • 1 x Video Cable
  • 1 x FM Indoor Antenna
  • 1 x Auto Speaker Setup Microphone
  • 16 x Screws

Technical Information

Player-Recorder TypeBlu-ray Disc Player
Media FormatsBD-RE, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD+R, CD-RW