Panasonic SC-BT230 Blu-ray Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) Review
26 May 2010
Conclusion: For a small investment, this little HTiB system offers an excellent upgrade to a TV's built-in speakers, transforming your movie and TV viewing into a more cinematic experience. The system also feeds your HDTV with some fine 1080p HD material on Blu-ray Disc as well as a number of high quality web-based streaming options. Pandora internet music streaming is not available yet but should be coming this summer in a firmware upgrade.
Pros: Built-in Blu-ray/CD/DVD player, On-board decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, Solid, if unexceptional DVD upconversion performance, Surprisingly good sound from such a small package, Super Low Price, Netflix streaming, YouTube and Amazon VOD (Pandora coming soon)
Cons: No VUDU streaming, Non-intuitive menus and operation, Limited dynamic range if pushed, Sluggish compared to other current generation players and HTiB systems, Requires SD or SDHC card at least 1 GB in size (not included) for BD-Live to work
Conclusion: If you’re looking for a convenient Blu-ray system with lots of features and cracking pictures, and you’re not overly fussed about getting the best sound quality, then the SC-BT230 is worth a look. But considering what’s in the box, £450 seems remarkably expensive particularly when you consider the lack of built-in Wi-Fi and HDMI inputs.
Pros: Networking features, good multimedia support, excellent picture quality, easy to use
Cons: Expensive, especially when you add optional extras, sound quality lacks oomph and finesse, no HDMI inputs or built-in Wi-Fi, Viera Cast’s comparatively limited content