Panasonic SC-PT875W home theatre system

Panasonic's latest DVD sound system has an iPod dock and USB connection

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Panasonic SC-PT875W

Pros

  • USB file playback, powerful sound, wireless rear speakers

Cons

  • Distortion at high volumes, no Blu-ray playback

Bottom Line

Panasonic’s SC-PT875W home theatre system is a good addition to its Viera range of plasma televisions. It’s reasonably constructed and the DVD playback quality is good. Plus the lower price point makes this a good option for budget buyers.

Would you buy this?

Panasonic's SC-PT875W home theatre system swaps out the SC-BT207W’s Blu-ray disc player for a standard DVD player. It's still on par with the Panasonic SC-BT207W for sound quality and it also has wireless rear speakers, plus its lower price makes it a good option for budget buyers.

Setting up the SC-PT875W home theatre system takes some time but is aided by the wireless rear speakers. You’ll have to find a power point for each one, but not having to run cables from the front of your living room to the rear will ease any set-up headaches.

Four floor-standing speakers and a centre speaker take care of treble and mid-range duties while the Kelton subwoofer handles a reasonable approximation of mid- and lower bass registers. The system is rated at 1250W RMS, which is a pretty impressive rating — but you’ll have to take this with a grain of salt, as this is quoted at 10 percent distortion levels. The Panasonic SC-PT875W home theatre system does produce room-shaking, ear-splitting sound but you might also detect some clipping and distortion.

At a reasonable listening levels though, sound quality is acceptable. Treble is detailed and accurate enough to pick out individual notes in the music, although as the volume level rises the system's tweeters become a little harsh. Despite the light weight of the floor-standing speakers, mid-range is reasonably well represented. We found a few areas where mid-range response seemed to drop off though, leaving the SC-PT875W home theatre system sounding somewhat lifeless.

The stand-alone Kelton subwoofer is lighter than we would have liked — in our experience, the heavier the subwoofer the better the sound quality — but it reproduced lower bass notes adequately. It won't give you the same low frequency kick as a dedicated unit such as the B&W PV1 subwoofer, but when watching an action movie it provides a small amount of rumble to add some cinematic authenticity.

Picture quality through HDMI was impressive. We found the SC-PT875W home theatre system's DVD upscaling to 1080p to be detailed and smooth, introducing some vibrancy and extra colour into our DVD movies when compared to a non-upscaling unit. The inclusion of a USB port on the system with support for MPEG4 video and JPEG photo files as well as MP3 and WMA audio means you can view content from a USB flash drive on your television.

Like the Panasonic SC-BT207W, the SC-PT875W home theatre system has a pop-out iPod dock which is compatible with all recent release ipods with a dock connector. The remote control works reasonably to navigate through the player’s sub-menus.

Panasonic’s SC-PT875W is a reasonable DVD home theatre system. If you don’t need the integrated Blu-ray player of the SC-BT207W, you can save over $500 by opting for this system instead.

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