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Review Price £758.99

Panasonic SC-BTT880 set-up and operation

Because the tower speakers all come in three pieces, setup is a long-winded process – there’s certainly a lot of screwing involved. You also need to rig up the wireless rear kit (below), which involves finding a free plug socket for the receiver and hiding the cables as best you can (no, it’s not truly wireless). Speaker placement is also trickier than usual given their height and large footprint.

Panasonic SC-BTT880

But once you’ve solved these conundrums the rest is plain sailing thanks to Panasonic’s typically friendly onscreen presentation. Menus are dressed in welcoming pastel shades, crisp graphics guide you along and lists are presented in large text. Onscreen wizards make Wi-Fi setup and speaker configuration simple.

Panasonic SC-BTT880

It sticks with the same Home menu Panasonic has used for the last few years. It’s a grid of nine options, each one represented by a large square icon. Select one and these squares are quickly replaced by the next level of options. It’s a smooth and attractive system, little wonder Panasonic hasn’t updated it.

Panasonic SC-BTT880

In places the GUI feels a little clunky, particularly the blocky media playback menus, but on the whole you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your way round.

Panasonic SC-BTT880

During playback you can press the Options button on the remote and investigate the myriad picture and sound tweaks without having to visit the full setup menu. For pictures there are five presets and a User mode that lets you adjust contrast, brightness, sharpness, colour, gamma, 3D and noise reduction. Also included here are Panasonic’s Detail Clarity, Super Resolution, and Chroma Process enhancements.

Panasonic SC-BTT880

Individual channel levels can also be adjusted using the dedicated buttons on the remote. This handset is classic Panasonic – simple layout, clear labelling and good use of colour to highlight important buttons. We also like the large rubbery feel of the keys, and the intuitive placement of the direction pad. Just two gripes – the volume buttons aren’t big enough and it’s not backlit.

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Edward Dekkers

August 4, 2014, 7:04 am

Just a quick side note. Even though the DLNA does not allow the playback of DivX or MKV (which is about as stupid as I've ever seen - why not?), it's worth pointing out you CAN share from a network device via normal SMB and play the files that way. Attach a network drive, point it at your NAS and you're good. The ONLY problem with this is that High Bitrate video can cause stuttering because of the SMB protocol overhead and stupidly manufacturers are still only using 100Mbps network modules in these things. Gigabit adapters would fix that.

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