Not only does it play DVDs and CDs but also DVD-Audio, DivX, MP3, WMA and JPEG files. When playing music files, the Music Shuffle feature categorises your songs automatically according to their tempo, and then plays back songs to suit a certain mood, such as ‘mellow’.
The system’s amp generates a respectable power output of 330W, 100W of which is channelled to the slim passive subwoofer. The unit decodes Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks, plus it offers Dolby Pro Logic II processing and a range of EQ modes.
The sheer amount of features on board means there’s loads to explore, but Panasonic’s canny menu design makes it a joy to navigate. Bold, bright colours and large text are the order of the day, with sensible submenu structures helping you find the right option in no time. The remote is very cluttered but the buttons are organised into helpful sections, and the main controls are pleasingly intuitive.
If you’ve never dabbled in networking before don’t worry, because set-up is very easy. But it helps if you’ve already installed a router with DHCP, as you can simply plug in the LAN cable and you’re ready to go.
In action, the SC-PTX7 is an impressive performer. Give it a decent disc to play with, such as ”Revenge of the Sith”, and it pumps out the sort of sharp, noise free pictures that we’ve come to expect from Panasonic DVD players. The use of 1080p upscaling helps of course, particularly on a Full HD TV, ensuring that every speck of detail is groomed and preened before being thrown on screen in all its glory.
As a result, the movie’s opening CG-heavy space battle looks magnificent, with well-resolved detail on spaceship close-ups, smoothly tracked movement and powerful colour reproduction. The blackness of space looks suitably deep, and try though we might we couldn’t spot a single trace of MPEG block noise. Thumbs up all round.