Built around an impossibly thin Blu-ray receiver, the diminutive Panasonic SC-BTT270 5.1 home cinema system wants to redefine bijou home entertainment
The Panasonic SC-BTT270 might be small and feature-rich but is let down by average audio quality.
Panasonic SC-BTT270: Features
It may be modest but this system's spec is ambitious. The Blu-ray player is 3D ready, there's an integrated iPod dock, and it'll jump online to Panasonic's VIERA Connect portal. While the latter may lack depth, not to mention BBC iPlayer, there's enough here to distract.
Streaming video is covered by YouTube, DailyMotion, Acetrax, Bloomberg and Euronews while social media is handled by Facebook, Picasa and Twitter clients.
The system can also play back media files from USB and across a LAN. File support is at its most comprehensive when you keep things local.
Panasonic SC-BTT270: Design & Connectivity
The main unit is slim and anonymous. Behind a fascia flap, you'll find a USB and SD card slot, while to the right is that rather cute pop out dock.
There's a second USB on the rear for the brand's dedicated Wi-Fi dongle if you're unable to use Ethernet. Unfortunately, the system can't integrate with other kit, as there are no HDMI inputs; could be frustrating if you want to get surround sound from your games system.
The four bundled satellite speakers are just 117mm tall and 80mm wide, which means you can hang them on the wall, pop them on a bookshelf or balance them on straws; they're partnered with a slightly larger horizontal centre speaker. Standing just 289.5mm tall, subwoofer is similarly compact.
Panasonic SC-BTT270: Performance
Panasonic has an enviable reputation when it comes to Blu-ray. Its standalone decks routinely set the bar, and some of that DNA can be found here. The HD video quality from the player section is excellent, and it works faultlessly with 3D platters, as well as DVD and CD.
As befits its 3D badging, the SC-BTT270 can also depth convert non-3D sources and play back 3D still images in MPO format.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the SC-BTT270 is the clever vertical audio processing which creates wraparound virtual speakers to give extra height and width to the soundstage. You can just about make what the post-processing is trying to achieve, but the lightweight speakers supplied don't really do the tech justice.
The sub is a mid-bass plumper and doesn't drop that low, while the satellites sound as shiny as they look. This means the system isn't particularly dynamic. Panasonic claims a 1000w RMS output, somewhat fatuous given that the unit only draws about 85w from the mains. Still it goes loud and sounds smooth.
Panasonic SC-BTT270: Verdict
If space is tight and you want a neat do-it-all solution, the SC-BTT270 will tick plenty of boxes. As an example of ultra-compact electronics, it's rather fine, and sonically represents a big upgrade from basic TV sound. We rate it good for small rooms and tight budgets.
Panasonic SC-BTT270 availability: Out now.
Panasonic SC-BTT270 price: £331