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Panasonic SC-BT735 review

Good all-in-one Blu-ray system - the speakers may be tall but as they're so slim they blend into the background well Tested at £600.00

Our Verdict

Lacks the polish of class-leading systems, but a good option nevertheless

For

  • Superbly detailed, sharply defined pic
  • clear sound
  • built-in iPod dock

Against

  • Missing a few features
  • sounds on the lean side

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Lacks the polish of class-leading systems, but a good option nevertheless

Pros

  • + Superbly detailed, sharply defined pic
  • + clear sound
  • + built-in iPod dock

Cons

  • - Missing a few features
  • - sounds on the lean side

Panasonic's SC-BT735 has very tall satellite speakers but they're just 6cm wide – making for a surprisingly discreet set-up.

In the box, you get a mic to use with Panasonic's automatic speaker calibration system. However the mic's cable is quite short; if you sit on the other side of the room, there's a good chance it won't reach.

Another niggle is that there's no test tone emitted from the subwoofer. Inevitably, this means you have to turn down the sub's level in the on-screen menus.

Picture quality is superb
Enough carping. Picture quality is superb. Panasonic's Blu-ray players have impressed us in recent months and the 'BT735 serves up a picture that easily matches its major rivals, with razor-sharp edge definition.

It is also successful at upscaling standard-def DVDs and does a fine job of producing a detailed image during I Love You Phillip Morris.

The speakers integrate well and the subwoofer produces decent bass weight – but it doesn't go particularly deep, nor does it sound especially tight. The centre channel handles dialogue clearly and concisely, but isn't as convincing as it might be. There's a general leanness to the sound not present with the Samsung set-up.

Rivals offer better spec

Specification is a mixed bag. There's an HDMI output, which is ARC compatible (Audio Return Channel), so when connected to a compatible TV, the system can receive audio via the TV's HDMI output.

But there aren't any HDMI inputs – you have to make do with two optical digital inputs for external kit. An ethernet socket allows you to hook up to the web, but you can't go wireless without the optional Wi-Fi dongle.

Rival systems offer wireless connectivity as standard. You do, however, get an integrated iPod dock.

The 'BT735 is a good all-in-one system, but it doesn't have the star qualities that we ask of class-leading systems.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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