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CNET First Look
Panasonic SC-BT200Panasonic's SC-BT200 is a 7.1 home theater system with built-in Blu-ray and solid sonics for the price, but it doesn't have the Netflix streaming found on some of its similarly priced competitors.
[ MUSIC ] ^M00:00:03 >> [Matthew Moskovciak:] Hi, I'm Matthew Moskovciak, senior associate editor at CNET.com, and we're taking a look at the Panasonic SCBT 200. This is a 7.1 home theater system with built in Blu-ray, and we've seen it for selling less than 500 dollar online. Now on this system the front speakers, the surround speakers, and the surround back speakers are all the same. There's a small little speaker that fits right in the palm of your hand. The nice thing about the small size is that, if you have this in your living room, it's not going to overpower the decor of some of the bigger systems that you may see. Now the main receiver unit, it doubles as both an amplifier and it has a built in Blu-ray player. There's also a pull-out tray with an iPod dock, so you'll be able to plug in your iPod right into the dock without needing a separate dock like a lot of systems have that adds another cable. Now the nice thing about the built-in Blu-ray player is that it has basically the same performance as Panasonic's stand-alone units. So that means even though it's an integrated system, you're still going to get the same high-quality video performance and the extra features such as Amazon video on demand and YouTube streaming that you get on Panasonic's stand-alone Blu-ray players. Now while we like the inclusion of the Amazon and the YouTube streaming, we will note that other home theater systems come with Netflix and Pandora, specifically the systems from Samsung and LG, and we actually prefer that combination of services to the Panasonic's. Now if you look around back of the main unit, you'll notice that there are no video inputs. That means if you have separate components like a cable box or a game console, you're going to need to make a separate connection to your TV and to the main unit, and when you want to switch to, say, your XBOX, you're going to have to fumble with two remotes to get it going. If you're looking for a more integrated, streamlined experience, you'll have to look at some of the more expensive home theater-in-a-box units from Samsung or LG that have HDMI inputs. Now when we first pulled the Panasonic out of the box, we really didn't expect much from the small speakers. Generally when you have speakers this size, you're just not going to get an immersive home theater sound. However, we were pleasantly surprised. The SCBT 200 offered legitimate home theater sound from a small package which is something that we really don't see that often in a home theater system. Altogether, we felt like the Panasonic SCBT 200 offered a lot of performance, both audio and video, for the price. But if you're looking for the Netflix or YouTube streaming, you're going to have to go with one of the competing systems. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET.com and this is the Panasonic SCBT 200. ^M00:02:33 [ MUSIC ]