Pros Stylish and perfect size for a bedroom. Not the best for music but great for movie clarity.
Cons Sub only has only 4 preset settings and sometimes cannot handle even the lowest setting. I think we might have a defect on the BR player as it always freezes and or says please wait until we unplug it. This could go on for hours if not unplugged.
Summary We are going to try replacing but if this happens again its gone. Taking 5 min to prep and unplug and wait and reboot kills the mood to even watch tv.
Pros Outstanding sound and picture quality, Internet compatable, built-in Blu-Ray player simplifies home theater system
Cons Reliability, no HDMI inputs means more complex set-up and operation, surround sound speakers lack mounting provisions
Summary I bought this system to go with a Samsung 46? LCD TV (LN46B650). To begin, it couldn't read DVDs due to a faulty circuit board. I had to drag it into an authorized service center and wait nearly 2 weeks for the repair. Wish I'd gone to Best Buy or Sears versus buying online!
Once it was back, it couldn't read the first Blu-Ray disc I put in. Ugh! My Sony PS3 was able to read the same disc easily. Fortunately, it's played 4 other Blu-Rays since then but I've got a sinking feeling it's going to be one of "those" systems, which won't read DVD that have so much as a speck of dirt on them.
The system has an HDMI output jack to send the Blu-Ray signal directly to the TV. It does not have any HDMI input jacks for other components :-( The Sony HT-SS2300 system we recently bought for the home theater in our master bedroom has 3 HDMI inputs and one output.
HDMI cables simplify set up and operation because they transmit audio and video. All you have to do with the Sony is run HDMI cables from the components to the logically labeled inputs and then run one HDMI cable from the output to the TV and bang, you?re done. You never have to fuss with the TV?s HDMI settings and everything operates off the tuner remote, which has buttons that coincide with the names on the input jacks.
With the Panasonic, you have to be more creative, and have a considerably better memory! You first have to scare up two optical digital audio (?ODA?) cables (not included) and run them from two components to the Panasonic tuner to get your surround sound. You only get two because there are only two ODA input jacks on the tuner. ODA cables are not as commonly available in stores like HDMI cables are so you?ll be best off ordering them online (about 11 bucks from Amazon). They also operate on light pulses, so bending them can reduce performance. Then, you have to run more cables (component or HDMI) from the components to your TV to get your HD video.
In my case, I used an ODA cable from the TV to the tuner -- because my TV is connected to the Internet and I wanted surround sound from movies downloaded from online and another ODA from the cable box to the tuner. Then, I ran one HDMI cable from the cable box to the TV and another HDMI from the Panasonic to the TV for the video feeds.
Once the whole shebang was rigged up, I had to remember which HDMI input went with each component so I could change over to it on the TV program menu. On mine, HDMI 1 is the cable box and HDMI 2 is for when I want to play DVDs from the Panasonic. Then, I have to pick up the Panasonic remote and switch over to the audio channel which coincides with the item I?m going to use. On mine, it?s D-IN-1 for the cable box, D-IN-2 for Internet TV, and BD/SD for the Blu-Ray player.
I get excellent digital surround sound out of everything so I?m happy but it?s extra steps that I don?t have to take with our Sony. Panasonic, put HDMI inputs in the SC-BT300.1 please!
The two front ?tall? speakers come with their own stands but the four small surround speakers don?t, nor do they have any holes to mount on a stand or wall mount. That means you?re relegated to the sticky pads that come with the stands. Not a long term effective mounting method, particularly for speaker stands which tend to get knocked over from time to time. The Sony has thoughtful threaded holes built into the speakers for secure mounting on a speaker stand or wall mount. I guess Panasonic assumes its customers will just plop the little speakers on a shelf, on top of a window sash, or inside a houseplant or something. Unfortunately that wasn?t an option for me and I had to stick ?em onto my Sanus speaker stands. Hopefully, kids or dogs won?t ever knock them over!.
Relatedly, the Panasonic Proprietary Speaker Wires (tm) means you should be careful about your speaker stand selection. If you buy adjustable stands, you probably won?t be able to push the small end of the Panasonic proprietary speaker wire UP through the speaker stand tube without getting caught on the ?second stage? of the stand. And you sure as heck ain?t gonna get the big Panasonic proprietary plugs down through any speaker pole unless you somehow find one 3 inches in diameter. Buy non-adjustable stands with a straight tube or be prepared to splice in some speaker wire. To be fair, the majority of surround systems on the market use proprietary plugs nowadays, though the Sony proprietary ends are much smaller than the Panasonic ones so they may fit into a home theater speaker stand tube.
In sum, you probably won?t be disappointed if you buy this system. But if you do, buy a couple of digital optical cables before it arrives, get straight tube speaker stands, and buy it from Best Buy or Sears with the extra warranty so you don't have to wait two weeks like I did if it doesn't work!
Pros Produces great sound on movies/music, has great speaker design., has a lot of features
Cons No WiFi, A bit slow on disc loading and startup. Internet features can be a bit sluggish but not too bad
Summary Sound: 10.0
Blu-ray performance: 9.0
Overall Performance/Interface: 7.0
Definitely recommend. This will not disappoint.