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Panasonic SC-PT650 Home Theater System

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Panasonics entry level HTIB

Panasonic's entry level HTIB

Summary

  • Product Name: SC-PT650 Home Theater System
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Date: December 19, 2007 21:20
  • MSRP: $299.95
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting
  • Buy Now

RMS Output Power: Dolby Digital Mode
Front Ch 125 W per channel (3 Ohms), 1 kHz, 10 % THD
Surround Ch 125 W per channel (3 Ohms), 1 kHz, 10 % THD
Center Ch 250 W per channel (6 Ohms), 1 kHz, 10 % THD
Subwoofer Ch 250 W per channel (6 Ohms), 100 Hz, 10 % THD
Total RMS Dolby Digital mode power 1000 W

FTC Output Power: Dolby Digital Mode
Front Ch 63 W per channel (3 Ohms), 120 Hz–20 kHz, 1 % THD
Surround Ch 34 W per channel (3 Ohms), 120 Hz–20 kHz, 1 % THD
Center Ch 113 W per channel (6 Ohms), 120 Hz–20 kHz, 1 % THD
Subwoofer Ch 121 W per channel (6 Ohms), 45 Hz–120 Hz, 1 % THD
Total FTC Dolby Digital mode power 428 W

Preset Memory FM 30 stations
AM/MW 30 stations

FM
Frequency range 87.9–107.9 MHz (200-kHz step)
87.5–108.0 MHz (100-kHz step)
Sensitivity 2.5 μV (IHF)
S/N 26 dB 2.2 μV
AM Sensitivity S/N 20 dB at 1000 kHz 560 μV/m

Phone jack
Terminal Stereo, 3.5 mm (1/8") jack

Music Port (Front)
Sensitivity 100 mV, 1.2 kOhms
Terminal (Input) Stereo, 3.5 mm (1/8") jack

Discs played [8 cm (3") or 12 cm (5")]
DVD (DVD-Video)
DVD-RAM (DVD-VR, MP3, JPEG)
DVD-R (DVD-Video, DVD-VR, MP3, JPEG)
DVD-R DL (DVD-Video, DVD-VR)
DVD-RW (DVD-Video, DVD-VR, MP3, JPEG)
iR/iRW (Video)
iR DL (Video)
CD, CD-R/RW [CD-DA, Video CD, SVCD, MP3, WMA,
JPEG, HighMAT Level 2 (Audio and Image)]

Video system NTSC

Composite video output
Component video output (480p/480i)
HDMI AV output CEC Ver.1.3a


[Front\speakers\SB-HF650]
Type
1 way, 1 speaker system (Bass reflex)
Speaker unit(s) Impedance 3 Ohms
Full range 6.5 cm (2 1/2") Cone type
Input power (IEC) 125 W (Max)
Output sound pressure 80 dB/W (1.0 m)
Frequency range 95 Hz–25 kHz (-16 dB)
120 Hz–22 kHz (-10 dB)
Dimensions (WxHxD): 3 5/8" x 5 19/32" x 3 3/4"
(92 mm x 142 mm x 95 mm)
Mass 1.3lbs (0.6 kg)

[Surround\speakers\SB-HS650]
Type
1 way, 1 speaker system (Bass reflex)
Speaker unit(s) Impedance 3 Ohms
Full range 6.5 cm (21/2") Cone type
Input power (IEC) 125 W (Max)
Output sound pressure 80 dB/W (1.0 m)
Frequency range 95 Hz–25 kHz (-16 dB)
120 Hz–22 kHz (-10 dB)
Dimensions (WxHxD): 3 5/8" x 5 19/32" x 3 3/4"
(92 mm x 142 mm x 95 mm)
Mass 1.3lbs (0.6 kg)

[Center\speaker\SB-HC750]
Type
1 way, 2 speaker system (Bass reflex)
Speaker unit(s) Impedance 6 Ohms
1. Full range 6.5 cm (2 1/2") Cone type
2. Full range 6.5 cm (2 1/2") Cone type
Input power (IEC) 250 W (Max)
Output sound pressure 82 dB/W (1.0 m)
Frequency range 80 Hz–25 kHz (-16 dB)
96 Hz–22 kHz (-10 dB)
Dimensions (WxHxD): 10 5/8" x 3 11/16" x 3 3/4"
(270 mm x 94 mm x 95 mm)
Mass 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs)

[Subwoofer\SB-HW750]
Type
1 way, 1 speaker system (Bass reflex)
Speaker unit(s) Impedance 6 Ohms
Woofer 16 cm (6 1/2") Cone type
Input power (IEC) 250 W (Max)
Output sound pressure 82 dB/W (1.0 m)
Frequency range 29 Hz–220 Hz (-16 dB)
36 Hz–180 Hz (-10 dB)
Dimensions (WxHxD): 7" x 16 23/32" x 10 1/8"
(178 mm x 425 mm x 257 mm)
Weight: 8.8 lbs (4 kg)

Power supply AC 120 V, 60 Hz
Power consumption Main unit 135 W
Dimensions (WxHxD): 16 15/16" x 2 15/16" x 16 11/16"
(430 mm x 70 mm x 424 mm)
Weight Main unit 11Ibs (5 kg)



Executive Overview

Panasonic has released a series of home theater systems that are featured at the typical big box store. The SC-PT650 is at the entry level of the PT series and features a low cost of entry for those seeking an economical surround sound solution. As is typical for HTiB (Home Theater-in-a-Box) systems, this package has 5 small speakers, a woofer module, Receiver/DVD changer, remote control, iPod dock, and the necessary basic connection cables.

I have personally been witness to the popularity of these home theater systems as I worked for Best Buy in a former life, and the SC-PT650 is no exception. Panasonic has done a good job of producing a clean sound at moderate volume levels and adding some features that make this system fairly attractive.  The speakers have that boom & sizzle sound you come to expect from truly entry-level products, but while the sound isn't necessarily accurate, it's still pleasing - particularly for home theater use. The 6.5-inch woofer will produce a respectable amount of mid-bass to help the small speakers along.  Placing the small sub directly below or behind your center channel will certainly help the front speakers sound more coherent.  The 5-disc changer is nice for when you want to keep the tunes going and the unit includes an HDMI port for upscaling the video to your HDTV. Of course, since this is a lower cost unit, we'd recommend pairing it with a proportionally priced display. The included iPod dock is handy, and you can add an XM antenna if the built in AM/FM tuner isn't enough.

One popular feature of the PT series is the ability to add an optional wireless rear speaker kit. Your mileage may vary while using this kit as other wireless consumer electronic devices could interfere with its operation. The included speaker wire that comes with this easy-to-set-up system will do the trick for any user provided you're not attempting to run it across the street.

BTW, I should mention that "popular" speakers don't necessarily mean you will get great sound.  But in the case of the SC-PT650, you will get some nice features and adequate sound quality for the price.  Oh, and did you see that this thing is 1000 watts!  Well, that particular rating doesn't really mean "quality" either.  Thankfully, Panasonic included the FTC power rating of 428 watts, but not everyone does.  In any case, if this is your upper limit for price, then be sure to give it a listen next time you are in your local big box store. Upgrading the system is easily done, so spending a little now and saving up for your next upgrade isn't such a bad way to go.

For more information please visit www.panasonic.com.

About the author:

Jim Robbins is, by profession, a computer programmer. His technology interests started back in 1989, when he became SysOp of his High School's BBS (anyone remember those?). Of course, as most intelligent and geeky high school students, he also loved video games. Those video games were a force driving him into self discovery as an audioholic!

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Recent Forum Posts:

Phil Taylor posts on December 31, 2007 18:51
Yep - that's cheap alright but I believe I'll wait for the Samsung 1st look before I decide. I don't want my son to grow up and think Dad stuck him with a really el-cheapo system – that is IF it lasts that long – he'll probably break whatever I get him as he's pretty rough on stuff – his Grandpa calls him Hammer-head - and says he could break a crowbar in a sandbox… It may be more economical in the long-run to get him a few of those Insignias on sale
Jim Robbins posts on December 31, 2007 17:35
Btw, I noticed that the cheapo Insignia system is on sale for $80 this week at Best Buy.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8254337&type=product&id=1169512522336&ref=10&loc=01&AID=10474050&PID=404255&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Folspage.jsp%3FskuId%3D8254337%26type%3Dproduct%26id%3D1169512522336%26ref%3D10%26loc%3D01

So, if ultra cheap is good enough, then you might want to go for it. Otherwise, I think I personally prefer the sound of the Samsung HTiB systems. So, if you just need something cheap, now is the time. But, if you still want it low cost and reasonably decent, then I think the entry level Samsung HT-X50 might be a better sounding choice. A first-look on that one is pending, btw…

Anyway, I hope that helps. Later!
Phil Taylor posts on December 25, 2007 23:21
Nope – it wasn't a Christmas present - just a “sometime in the near future” deal. I'll be looking forward to and appreciate any suggestions/recommendations.
Jim Robbins posts on December 25, 2007 20:05
There are a few more First Look articles on HTIBs coming in the next week or so. Sorry I didn't see this post until tonight. If you were getting it for Christmas, I guess my input isn't valid now. But, if it's an anytime kind of purchase, then I'll have some more options for you to see. A couple of them are between those two in price, as well. Later!
Phil Taylor posts on December 20, 2007 21:33
I've been looking for a relatively inexpensive system for my 5 year old son's bedroom to go with his 32" SD TV he uses for watching DVDs. Do you think this unit would be that much better (dollar wise vs. performance) than the Insignia you reviewed yesterday for him? I'm kinda leaning toward the Insignia just for the price difference and the fact you wrote that the Insignia had nominal bass response (I'd rather not hear the thumping of Spiderman 3 coming from his room) .

Also - How do the two unit's remotes compare regarding ease of use for a 5 year old?
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