The SC-BTT370 is top dog among Panasonic’s 'compact' Blu-ray systems, which combines the full complement of features from its flagship DMP-BDT310 player with a 1,000W 5.1-channel sound system. So if you don’t have room for (or don’t like the look of) the 1,024mm-tall towers that come with the more expensive SC-BTT775 system, then this system’s smaller units provide the ideal solution.
The SC-BTT370 is also the 5.1-channel version of the SC-BTT362 2.1 system we tested recently, which impressed us with its state-of-the-art features and hugely enjoyable sound quality. So how does it fare when stretched to a 5.1 system?
Unsurprisingly the design is the same as the SC-BTT362. The two front speakers stand 404mm tall, which is actually quite large compared with the dinky sats you get with most all-in-one systems, but still manage to stay the right side of imposing. Their visual appeal is heightened by the slightly curved edges and circular stands, which are detachable and allow you to channel the cable inside them for maximum tidiness. Of course, the de rigueur gloss-black finish makes everything look as snazzy and modern as ever.
Also in the box are two rear satellites, which at 117mm high are so small you can plonk them on shelves or cabinets without the need for a major reshuffle. The centre speaker is equally easy to accommodate, measuring a dinky 145 x 81mm, while the passive subwoofer is styled in a fetching gloss black finish and is reasonably unobtrusive. All the relevant cables are supplied in the box, each one with a differently coloured plug that corresponds with the terminals on the back of the receiver.
As for the SA-BTT370 Blu-ray receiver, it looks identical to the other three Blu-ray systems we’ve covered. Measuring 38mm from floor to top panel it satisfies the modern-day clamour for all things slim, while there are plenty of treats to be found on the front panel, chief among which is the iPod dock tucked away in a pop-out tray on the right. Slot your iPod or iPhone onto this and you can listen to your music library through the system, all controlled using its remote and onscreen menus. It’s joined by a USB port that lets you connect other makes of MP3 player and devices, plus an SD card slot for multimedia playback and BD Live storage.
A very helpful array of sockets awaits on the rear panel, including two HDMI inputs that allow you to pass AV signals from external sources through the system to your TV – essential if your TV only sports a couple of inputs, or if you want to listen to TV shows in surround sound, for example. Even more pleasing is that the system will pass on signals when it’s in standby, so it doesn’t consume unnecessary power.
You also get a single HDMI output (a 3D-compatible v1.4 port no less), optical digital and analogue stereo inputs, composite video output, an Ethernet port, a second USB port for the Skype communication camera and a slot for the optional transmitter kit (SH-FX71), which facilitates wireless rear speakers.