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Panasonic SC-PT480 DVD Home Cinema System review

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Panasonic SC-PT480 DVD Home Cinema System
  • Panasonic SC-PT480 DVD Home Cinema System
  • Panasonic SC-PT480 DVD Home Cinema System
  • Panasonic SC-PT480 DVD Home Cinema System
  • Panasonic SC-PT480 DVD Home Cinema System
  • SC-PT480 Home Cinema System (5.1 Speakers, 1000 Watts, 1080p Upscaling, DVD Player)

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Space-saving speakers
  • Built-in iPod dock
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Fiddly springclips on speakers
  • Disappointing subwoofer
  • Poor onscreen layout

Key Features

  • 1080p Up-Conversion
  • Passive subwoofer
  • HDMI output
  • DVD player/receiver unit
  • 5 satellite speakers
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £149.01

Panasonic continues to push the boundaries of Blu-ray with its cutting-edge players and systems, but that doesn’t mean the company is turning its back on DVD just yet. And why should they? With discs going for peanuts in supermarkets and the nation’s shelves heaving with standard-def discs, there’s plenty of life left in the format yet. So if you’re looking for an affordable all-in-one home cinema system but aren’t quite ready to upgrade to Blu-ray, then the SC-PT480 might be just the ticket.

As systems go it’s as simple as they come – five bookshelf style satellite speakers, a combined DVD player/receiver unit and a passive subwoofer. The DVD/receiver is a straight-laced set-top box, which lacks glamour but is by no means an eyesore. It’s adorned with a glossy plastic front panel, part of which drops down to reveal the disc tray, and there’s a nicely-sized display panel on the right. This shows the running time by default, but switches to the current Title and Chapter when you press a button on the remote. Pleasingly, Panasonic has squeezed all the electronics into a very slim case, which won’t take up much space under your TV.

The rear panel is sparse but covers the essentials. You get an HDMI output, which allows you to take advantage of the deck’s 720p, 1080i, and 1080p upscaling, as well as a Scart output for older TVs. On the audio side there are analogue stereo and optical digital inputs, which will come in handy if you want to channel your Sky or Freeview box through the system. Otherwise that’s it, apart from the FM radio aerial and speaker terminals.

The supplied speakers are ideal for rooms with very little space to play with. The identical fronts and rears stand just 119mm high, which makes it easy to perch them on shelves or cabinets, while the horizontal centre channel is equally compact. What’s more, they’re a lot more robust and attractive than we expected (based on our experience with some previous Panasonic systems), sporting a fabric mesh over the front and subtly curved corners. The springclip terminals on the back of each one are a bit fiddly but overall these are impressive little speakers.

They’re joined by a subwoofer that’s equally living-room friendly in terms of size, measuring 289mm high and 145mm wide. But its build quality is more indicative of the price tag – it’s light and hollow, with an ugly exposed MDF back panel. It’s also passive, which means you’re not likely to get the same sort of tight, powerful bass punch as you would from a powered sub, but then that’s par for the course at this price.

MitchyC

September 10, 2010, 2:30 am

Does this home cinema have a 3.5mm input so i could connect my mp3 player up to it?

Geoff Richards

September 10, 2010, 11:54 am

Aside from the built-in iPod dock?





Yes, it does. It has regular analogue stereo inputs (red/white phono) which you can hook up a non-Apple MP3 player to via a cheap 3.5mm to phono cable (headphone at one end, red & white phono at the other end; £5 on eBay)

Bazza of Watford

September 22, 2010, 1:36 pm

In the review it mentions "the FM radio aerial and speaker terminals". What is the best way to use the unit for playing "the radio"?

Deyton

October 20, 2010, 4:56 am

Hi, I've recently bought the PANASONIC TX-P50U20B and a Sumsung 1680 Blu-Ray player. I have retained my speakers from my old stereo which broke, this stereo supported dolby digital 5.1 input which was processed by my Sony DVD which had built in decoder and 5.1 outputs direct to my hifi which had 2 front floor standers (built in subs), 2 rear surrounds and a front centre. I don't want to throw away these speakers even though they are Aiwa and from 2001/2, the floor standers were really nice. So the question is 1) should I get a dedicated AV amp and make these speakers work with it or just buy a home cinema system like the Panasonic SC-PT480?


2) Bear in mind the surrounds use the single phono type connect, could I cut the end off to split the stripe and black leads?

Ingrid Carolina

November 21, 2010, 7:37 pm

Hello, I have no knowledge at all about this equipment. I do have a question can I listen a to a regular CD (music) in this equipment? Do a need to have a separate music system or this is enough for music (CD)





Thanks for your help!!!

Geoff Richards

November 22, 2010, 10:09 am

@Ingrid - yes, this will play music CDs just fine

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