This loyal servant to my home entertainment needs is finally about to be replaced by a new Blu Ray surround sound system! I bought this about 7 years ago and it's still a fins piece of equipment to this day. I recently bought a new HD TV so I am looking to upgrade purely because of this.
Firstly, the appearance is a bit of a mixture. The actual DVD player looks fantastic. The front is essentially a mirror and the buttons are shiny and metallic and the unit is nice and compact. This is all fine and well but the DVD player is often hidden away in furniture or on a shelf that no one looks at. If the DVD player is in site then once turned on the power light is a very bright blue and this can be annoying if it is in your sight when watching the film. The sub-woofer is a bit of a beast in it's size and the speakers are a just grey, 3-d rectangles. They are simple but not very attractive.
In terms of set-up, the system was very easy to install. It was basically just plug and play although there are plenty of things to mess around with to tweak the sound once the speakers are in place. I seem to remember that the rear speakers were very quiet to begin with but this was easily rectified.
There are no HDMI connections due to the age of the product and so connection is usually with a SCART lead which is now a little dated, especially on the bigger HD TVs.
The one issue I do have with the unit is that it's a bit fiddly in terms of configuration and menus. I.e., if you're watching a DVD with subtitles on then it can take a while to figure out how to move the screen about or change screen dimensions. This is because the menus are done by scrolling through a number of sub-menus which are not too clear. I have a foreign flat mate and the number of times we've had to restart a film after 10 minutes trying to get the subtitles in the right place is crazy!
The picture and sound are both very good and I've never had an issue with either. Had I not bought a new TV I would have kept the system for ever more. Listening to CDs is a good experience and the 5 speakers can bring out sounds that you can't hear on a regular stereo.
All in all, it's a very good system with a couple of minor faults but for the price I paid at the time it's been an excellent purchase.
***DETAILS*** How is the Sound Quality? - Excellent Ease of Use - Very Easy How is the Look & Design? - Average Remote Control - Satisfactory Instructions - Helpful / Easy to Follow Range of Features - Above Average Durability - Good Value for Money - Good New neighbours just moved in to our Apartments. The Johnson Family ( as they are ) moved in with a beautiful daughter, whom I yet have to date , a stupid son who prevents me from even looking at her ( forget the rest ) , a lazy dog that begs for food at every doorstep & it weighs over 56 pounds though being a poodle & not the least a Brand new Panasonic SCMT1 Home Theatre System which I managed to audition at the expense of treating that stupid son to a Box of Swiss Rum Chocolates. The Panasonic SCMT1 Home Theatre System, coming back to the point is not clumsy at all. Compact with pleasant metallic finish & of course loads of entertainment. Read on to get THE PANASONIC EXPERIENCE. ______________________________ ***SOUND QUALITY. [5/5]*** ______________________________ I put in my Test CD and turned on the volume to about 30% & was nearly knocked out cold ( Brrr ) by the Robust Sound that literally pounded my heart. Did you ever fall flat on water? The hangover from the initial audio outburst was similar in intensity. Though the speakers are quite small, the sound delivered by the four bookshelf-sized satellite speakers (front and rear left and right) powered by 30 watts each, a 110-watt centre-channel speaker (critical for handling most of a movie's dialogue and sound effects), and a powerful, 140-watt subwoofer is tremendous when it comes to Sheer Display of Power. All speakers are magnetically shielded to protect your TV from distortion induced by the speakers' magnetic fields. A digital-synthesized FM/AM tuner lets you listen to your favourite radio stations. Coming back, the Bass w
as extremely robust & well garnished with moisture & the speed was extremely stunning especially while playing Trance with not a bit of disturbance & with extreme depth & you can actually feel the Vehicle or Planes rushing towards you. Though sometimes I felt that the bass was too much pushing down the other frequencies. But I must admit the bass delivered by the Panasonic SCMT1 is much better than conventional Home Theatre equipment by Sony, Aiwa or Kenwood. Mids though are not as enormous as that in a Sony but has much higher transparency levels & clarity. Its so good that you can hear footsteps right in front of you & that?s very good quality Mid-Frequency Audio response. The mids hit right on dot in the precise centre of the Audio Image & the Soundstage is quite enormous though it mainly depends on the Audio Ergonomics of the room. Female voices sound extremely sweet & male voices are reproduced with masculine authority. The Highs are extremely crisp & transparent and are showered like raindrops from the higher altitude section of the soundstage. With all the Spine Chilling Icy Treble your eyes close off due to stimuli ( Biological Response to a sudden change in exterior environment ). Mind you the treble is not the kind that you get in your PC Speakers, this is as thin as the edge of a scalpel & twice as sharp when it comes to chilling you. The speakers don?t jarr until you increase the volume to 70%, this is a good sign considering the fact that many give up & 50% of the volume. Overall the sound quality is stunning & you will best enjoy it if the placements of the speakers are technically in the correct places & it also depends on the room dimensions & amount of sound absorbents in the room. Place the satellites at Face Level or higher depending on the size of Soundstage required & the Centre-Channel Driver can be placed right in between the front satellites or Overhead to get a Dropping-Sound effect during certain Scenes, but for this purpose I would advice
an additional Centre-Channel Speaker instead of using the one provided. And the Subwoofer must be placed Behind ( for the Panasonic SCMT1 ) the audience for best Sub-Bass Performance. I had met these requirements when I auditioned this system but you will get the best sound only when you meet these basic rules & adjust them yourself for your needs while comparing the changes in the Customised arrangement with the basic one. The Dolby Surround modes function fantastically offering a perfect surround experience ? like for example, A fighter plane in the movie I was watching exploded right in front of my face and then the sound wave seemed to dash the walls in the room just like an expanding shock wave. Now this is enough reason for a justified 5/5 rating. _____________________________ ***VIDEO QUALITY. [4/5]*** _____________________________ Stunning Picture reproduction & extreme object detail is the highlight of the Panasonic SCMT1 when it comes to watching movies, only that your Video Device must reciprocate the high quality Video signal transmitted by the Panasonic SCMT1 or the case will be like coupling a Chinese amplifier to Bose speakers ( I hope you understand what I mean ). Well as far as the picture was concerned, the Johnson family had a Grundig 52? Plasma television that was outstanding; I felt that it was much better than any other Japanese or European model. The Picture quality was absolutely stunning with a kind of 3D depth & equally stunning object detail. Red textures were kind of sensually soft & had extreme precision on any other subject on a red background & Black was exquisitely perfect ? When I meant Black I mean the Black subjects were Jet-Black. The only hitch was with High-Frequency Colours like violet. When it came to subjects in violet, somehow I wasn?t satisfied with the colour reproduction & mind you the problem is neither with the Television nor the Test DVD but with the Panasonic SCMT1. But as far as Ci
ndy Crawford isn?t in violet I care a Damn. White was very pleasant to the eye as usually white being a bright colour tends to strain the eye but the Panasonic SCMT1 was brilliant in displaying white subjects without compromising on the Brightness or Contrast nor Sharpness. DVD movies look and sound great through the system's 54 MHz/10-bit video decoder, video depth enhancer, progressive-scan video output (for use with high-definition and HD-ready televisions), and Dolby Digital and DTS discrete 5.1-channel surround decoding and rendering. Progressive scanning, referred to as 480p for the number of horizontal lines that compose the video image, creates a picture using twice the scan lines of a conventional DVD picture, giving you higher resolution and sharper images while eliminating nearly all motion artefacts. This feature can only be appreciated on high-definition and HD-ready TVs like the Grundig I mentioned before. Its versatility with media playback--from DVD-Video and DVD-Audio to MP3/WMA CDs and JPEG image CDs--means you're never far from your favourite movies, music, or digital photos. So I have awarded a 4/5. If only it were not for that violet hitch. ________________________________ ***AESTHETIC APPEAL. [3/5]*** ________________________________ A dull metallic finish & New Age design lend the Panasonic SCMT1 much credit for being an aesthetic confusion. The Main Attractions are the speakers & the subwoofer since the Main system is usually kept out of sight. These may not seem to be very attractive to some, but everyone has a different opinion. The speakers especially tend to stand out in a darker décor. Though the Panasonic SCMT1 might not suit wood decors there are some out there interested in fusion techniques. The Subwoofer adds a Masculine touch to the entire set. But one problem may rise due to the kind of finish ? During a movie while maintaining darkness in the room, the Panasonic SCMT1 may hit
out at the eye sometimes shaking off your concentration on the movie. But overall the Looks of the entire equipment resemble that of Boxes in different sizes ( Ha ha ). Can?t give more than a 3/5 for nearly bland looks. __________________________ ***EASE OF USE. [5/5]*** __________________________ How easy is it to breathe?, the Panasonic SCMT1 is just the same. With ergonomically placed keys & a very comfortable Remote Control that is quite a breeze to use with your eyes closed. And the instruction manual is very clear when it comes to Directions & Function detail. The onboard control too are very comfortable to use as they are very well designed & placements well planned. The best way to test the ?Ease of Use? factor of electronic goods is by checking how you can use them with your eyes closed & from a very bad sitting position so that even at the harshest of situations you are able to have a complete control over the machine. A full 5/5 to Panasonic SCMT1 for being to easy to take care of. _____________________________ ***BUILD QUALITY. [4/5]*** _____________________________ A Rocking ? ROCK ? is what the Panasonic SCMT1 exactly is except for the Remote Control, which seems quite delicate though by the term ?ROCK? I don?t mean to express that the Panasonic SCMT1 is kind of Bulletproof or something like that. But when compared to Goods available in the market the Panasonic SCMT1 is quite Robust & Sturdy such that its own powerful sound will not inflict any damage at all even at the molecular level. Well!! I have seen some Systems that seem to collapse any moment when they vibrate violently to their own sound, Sounds cruelly funny eh! . The polymer used is of an inert chemical composition so that it does not react with any chemicals that the Panasonic SCMT1 in a typical home & what else, it is also quite a Thermal conductor in order to dissipate heat quickly. Now this is surely a treat isn
?t it guys ( gals too ). Hence a justified 4/5 is what the Panasonic SCMT1 honestly deserves. _____________________________________ ***INFO ON HOME THEATRES*** _____________________________________ In real life, our ears and brain interpret sounds from every direction, in a 360-degree circle, including even the dimension of height. Like a super computer running in high gear, our sophisticated hearing system decodes spatial and directional information in real time, telling us instantly the tonality, frequency content, and loudness of sounds from all directions. Simple stereo, on the other hand, uses just two speakers at the front left and right, to try and simulate the complex directional and spatial information that we hear in real life. It does a decent job of reproducing a musical event, even fairly impressive at times. But it is limited to those two boxes up front, and two directions, give or take a bit. Even as early as the 1930s, Bell Telephone scientists concluded that a minimum of three channels were necessary to convey a reasonable simulation of an orchestral performance--two channels at the left and right, and one in the middle. In the late 1950s and '60s, Hollywood sound engineers realized that more channels of sound were better, and added magnetic stripes to the edge of epic 70mm wide screen movies, which delivered up to six separate "tracks" or sound channels. Audiences loved the effect: Multiple channels more closely approximated the multidirectional sounds our ears pick up in everyday life. There was a centre channel behind the screen for the actor's dialogue; left and right front speakers for the music, and eventually, left and right surround speakers on each side of the movie theatre for ambient sounds-the wind in the trees, crickets in summer, and the howling of wolves. Yikes! But back then, home audio technology wasn't up to the task of duplicating these events in our livin
g room. Now it is, and it's called "Home Theatre"! First came Dolby Surround, with four channels, in the 1980s, and now we have Dolby Digital 5.1-channel sound on virtually every movie issued on DVD. That's six separate or "discrete" channels of sound: left and right front main channels (like stereo), a dedicated centre channel speaker for dialogue to anchor the actor's voices at the TV screen no matter where you're sitting, two left and right surround speakers at the sides of your listening area for all those ambient environment sounds, and a sixth deep bass subwoofer channel-it's the ".1" in 5.1--which contributes the shakes and shudders of thunder, explosions, and powerful musical bass effects. If you've kept count, that's a total of five "satellite" speakers--plus one subwoofer for ultra-low bass. Now you see why we need six speakers. And the day is not far off when entire walls will produce sound with over a million channels to give the listener a real life experience. __________________________________________ ***FULL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS*** __________________________________________ ● Disc capacity: 1 ● Progressive scan: Yes (part of Panasonic's Cinema Mode) ● Playback formats: DVD-Video (NTSC), DVD-Audio, DVD-RAM/DVD-R, red book CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 CD, WMA CD, JPEG CD ● Integrated receiver: Yes ● Parental controls: Yes ● Dialogue enhancer: Yes ● Slow motion: Yes ● Headphone jack: Yes ● Virtual surround sound: Yes ● AM-FM tuner: Yes (digital-synthesized tuning) ● Dolby Digital decoder: Yes ● DTS decoder: Yes ● Dolby Pro Logic decoder: Yes ● DSP sound fields: Super Surround Sound simulated surround 5.1 channel input: Yes ● Audio tone controls: Double Re-Master Processing ● Front surround powe
r per channel: 30 watts (left/right), 110 watts (centre channel), from 120 to 20,000 Hz ● Rear surround power per channel: 30 watts (left/right), 110 watts (centre channel), from 120 to 20,000 Hz ● Subwoofer power (RMS): 140 watts (from 45 to 120 Hz) ● Subwoofer level control: 4-step subwoofer level control (1/2/3/4) accessible via subwoofer Level key on remote ● Video DAC: 54 MHz/10-bit ● Audio digital-to-analog converter: 192 kHz, 24-bit ● MP3 decoding: Yes ● Onscreen display: Yes ● Remote control: Yes ● Front-panel AV inputs: Yes ● Audio inputs: At least 1 set of stereo analog (left/right) RCA ● Stereo wattage per channel: 30 ● Total harmonic distortion: 1 percent (at rated output) ● Frequency response (+/-3 dB): Speakers: 45 to 20,000 Hz (total system) ● Nominal speaker impedance: Satellites and centre channel: 6 ohms; subwoofer: 4 ohms ● Video shielded: Yes ● Power input: AC 120V, 60 Hz ● Item width: Receiver: 11 inches; satellites: 4.35 inches (each); centre-channel: 9.8 inches; subwoofer: 6.16 inches ● Item height: Receiver: 3 inches; satellites: 8.9 inches (each); centre-channel: 5.5 inches; subwoofer: 17.7 inches ● Item depth: Receiver: 12.5 inches; satellites: 5.25 inches (each); centre-channel: 5.7 inches; subwoofer: 16.65 inches ● Item weight: Receiver: 5.3 pounds; satellites: 2.1 pounds (each); centre-channel: 3.5 pounds; subwoofer: 26.5 pounds ● Warranty: 1 year parts and labour. ● In the box: DVD player/integrated surround amplifier, 4 satellite speakers, 1 centre-channel speaker, a powered subwoofer, a remote control, remote batteries, a user's manual, all requisite cabling. _____________________ ***MY OPINION*** _____________________
For a price of about £250 the Panasonic SCMT1 is worth a buy for those who can?t afford to spend around £1000 ? 80,000 & higher for Premium Professional Grade Equipment. And the Panasonic SCMT1 is surely worth its price & can be considered a steal to those looking for a less expensive Home Entertainment Solution. But if you are willing to spend more than £500 then you have better deals around. So you need to make the wise decision yourself. Happy Brain Rattling ☺ Jedi_kickass ( ? _ ? ) PS: Please do not forget to rate this review. Thank You for taking time to read this review. Jedi_kickass ( ? _ ? )