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Panasonic SC-PT950

DVD home theater system with 1080p DVD upconversion and wireless kit for rear speakers

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  • Panasonic SC-PT950

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Item #: 133SCPT950
 

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Our take on the Panasonic SC-PT950

by Tara W.
Panasonic

Home theater systems: Transform your TV experience

Enjoy powerful sound that puts you right in the middle of your favorite movies, TV shows, and video games. These pre-matched systems come with speakers and a subwoofer plus the amplification to drive them. Some models feature low-profile consoles and ultra-compact speakers for minimal visual clutter. Others come with full-sized component receivers and larger speakers for better audio performance and hookup flexibility. Many pre-matched home theater systems come with a built-in DVD or Blu-ray player.

The SC-PT950 delivers a great-looking DVD picture and lets you enjoy all your movies and TV shows in enveloping surround sound. It comes with a 5-disc DVD changer/receiver, 5 surround speakers and a subwoofer. And the 'PT950's included iPod® dock lets you connect your iPod for access to your favorite digital tunes.

Connections for HDTV owners
The DVD changer delivers crisp, clear images on your HDTV. Use the changer's HDMI output, and it can upconvert the signal from standard discs so your favorite DVDs appear sharper on your set's display, with resolution as high as 1080p. If your TV doesn't have a digital input, you'll still get crisp video from this system's analog video outputs.

Read more

Simple and easy setup from convenient extras
Panasonic makes setup a breeze by including a microphone for auto calibration, front speaker stands and a separate rear speaker amplifier. It receives wireless signals from the main unit and powers your rear speakers, so you won't have to run wires across your room. Place the included mic in your favorite listening position and the receiver automatically adjusts the speaker distance and delay settings to fit your room.

Learn about the ins and outs of HDMI connections at CrutchfieldAdvisor.com.
Shop our selection of HDMI cables.

Highlights:

  • home theater system with 5-disc DVD changer/receiver, 5 surround speakers, and subwoofer
  • digital video upconversion for DVD playback
  • selectable 480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p output via HDMI digital interface (separate adapter available for TVs with DVI input)
  • built-in Dolby® Digital, DTS®, & Pro Logic® II processing for surround sound from DVD, VHS, and stereo sources
  • selectable progressive-scan playback for smoother video with HD-compatible TVs (via the component video output)
  • 6-channel amplifier (104 watts x 2 for the front speakers, 101 watts for the center channel, 34 watts x 2 for the surround speakers, and 95 watts for subwoofer)
  • XM Satellite Radio Ready (requires optional XM Mini-Tuner package and an XM subscription)
  • 1 stereo analog audio input
  • 1 front-panel minijack audio input for connecting an MP3 player
  • video output for TV, composite, component video, and HDMI (version 1.3a)
  • separate Panasonic iPod dock included
  • remote control
  • DVD changer/receiver: 16-15/16"W x 2-15/16"H x 16-11/16"D
  • 2 front speakers:
    • dual 2-1/2" drivers
    • 9-15/16"W x 44-1/8"H x 9-1/4"D (on included stands)
  • center channel speaker:
    • dual 2-1/2" drivers
    • 10-5/8"W x 3-11/16"H x 3-3/4"D
  • 2 rear speakers:
    • 2-1/2" driver
    • 3-5/8"W x 5-5/8"H x 3-3/4"D
  • subwoofer:
    • 6-3/4" woofer
    • 7-1/8"W x 17-9/16"H x 13"D
  • external rear amplifier: requires AC power, 2 channels (34 x 2), speaker cable connects amplifier to right and left surround channels
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • designed for use with "Region 1" coded DVDs

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • SA-PT950 DVD/Receiver
  • SB-HW950 Subwoofer with attached 13' length of speaker wire with bare-wire connection on other end
  • Two SB-HF950 Front speakers with attached 15' length of speaker wire with bare-wire connection on other end
  • Two SB-HS950 Surround speakers
  • SB-HC950 Center speaker
  • SE-FX65 Wireless System module
  • SH-FX65T Digital Transmitter
  • iPod Dock with attached 40" cable using a proprietary connector on other end
  • 3 iPod dock adapters
  • Wireless remote control (EUR7662YXO)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 2 Speaker stands
  • 2 Speaker bases
  • Auto calibration microphone with attached 9.5' cable using a minijack connector
  • Two 62" AC cord
  • FM wire antenna
  • AM loop antenna
  • 45" Video cable (has an RCA composite video connector on each end)
  • Three 13' lengths of speaker wire with bare-tinned wire on each end
  • 8 Machine screws
  • Sheets of speaker wire labels
  • Operating Instructions
  • Product Registration Card
  • Panasonic Customer Care Plan card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

General Features
DVD Features
Speakers

General Features

Overview: The Panasonic SC-PT950 Home Theater System features a 5-DVD Changer/Receiver, 2 tower speakers, wireless rear speaker module, high-quality picture & sound with 1080p up-conversion, EZ Sync HDAVI control, universal dock for iPod playback & recharging and is expandable to multi-room wireless audio with optional SH-FX85 wireless kit (sold separately).

SA-PT950 Main Unit: The SA-PT950 is the control center of the system and includes a 5-disc carousel-style DVD/CD changer with a built-in amplifier, Dolby Digital/DTS decoder with Pro Logic II, and digital AM/FM tuner.

Surround Modes: This receiver incorporates a variety of surround modes to bring you maximum enjoyment from your audio and video software. The surround modes include:

  • Dolby Digital
  • DTS
  • Dolby Pro Logic II: Movie, Music
  • Super Surround: a Pro Logic type surround effect for sources other than CD or DVD
  • Surround Music: sound fills the room and comes from all directions with equal intensity
  • Equalizer:
    • Flat: no effect added
    • Heavy: adds punch to rock music
    • Clear: clarifies high frequencies
    • Soft: for background music

Speaker Delay: You can set an audio time delay for your center and surround speaker in regards to how far they are positioned from your listening position. You can adjust the center speaker's time delay between 1.0 to 5.0 ms and the surround speakers' time delay between 5.0, 10.0, or 15.0 ms.

Center Focus: Using this feature, you can make the sound of the center channel seem like it's coming from the TV.

Speaker Level: You can adjust the level of each speaker in the system from -6 to +6 dB.

Subwoofer Level: You can increase or decrease the amount of bass by adjusting the subwoofer level control from 1 (weakest) to 4 (strongest).

Smart Theater: Smart Theater's auto speaker setup configures time-consuming speaker settings quickly and easily by simply connecting the supplied auto-calibration microphone to the front panel input of the unit and placing the microphone at your normal listening position. The Smart Theater feature detects distances and sets the most suitable output sound level for each speaker. The Panasonic home theater system takes care of all the initial setup while creating the optimal listening environment for your room.

Line Input: This unit features one pair of stereo RCA audio inputs on the rear panel for connecting an external audio source.

Music Port: You can easily connect a portable player (MP3, iPod, etc) into the 3.5mm (1/8") Music Port input on the front panel.

Headphone Jack: The main unit features a 3.5mm (1/8") mini-jack headphone output on the front panel for private listening. When headphones are used the speakers are muted automatically.

iPod Dock: The SC-PT950 comes supplied with an universal iPod dock that allows you to listen and charge your iPod through the unit while the iPod's controls remain functioning. The integrated DVD/Receiver does allow basic iPod play, stop, pause, skip and search functions from the unit or remote. The iPod dock comes with three iPod adapters that support iPod nano 2nd generation (2GB, 4GB 8GB), iPod video 5th generation (30GB, 60GB, 80GB). The iPod dock also supports the following iPods with optional adapters, sold separately - iPod nano 1st generation (1GB, 2GB, 4GB), iPod color display 4th generation (20GB, 30GB, 40GB, 60GB), iPod 4th generation (20GB, 40GB) and iPod mini (4GB, 6GB). The iPod dock plugs into the receiver's rear proprietary V.1 port.

XM Satellite Ready: You can listen to XM Satellite Radio by connecting an optional XM Connect & Play antenna or XM Mini-Tuner and Home dock (220CNP2000/220CNP2H, sold separately) to the receiver's proprietary XM port. 30 XM channels can be preset. XM Satellite Radio offers over 150 commercial-free channels of music, news, sports, comedy, talk, and entertainment to choose from--all in digital quality. During XM playback, you can display the channel number and name, category, artist name, and song title on the front panel.

Note: A subscription is required in order to receive XM Satellite Radio.

EZ Sync HDMI Control (HDAVI): EZ Sync is a convenient function that offers linked operations of the receiver and a compatible Panasonic TV through the HDMI connection. The HDAVI control allows for One Touch Playback where the Receiver and TV will turn on at the same time and automatically switch to the appropriate input for playback. When the TV is turned off, the receiver also automatically turns off.

Wireless Rear Module: The home theater system comes supplied with Panasonic's Wireless Rear Module used to create a wireless rear speaker system. The Wireless Rear Module features a integrated 34 watt x 2 channel amplifier for the rear speakers with a 2.4 GHz RF receiver to communicate to the main unit. A supplied digital transceiver card plugs into the back of the DVD player/receiver which turns off the rear amp and turns on the RF transmitter. The Wireless Rear Module connects to the rear surround's attached speaker wire and then plugs into an AC outlet, but no connection to the main unit across the room is needed. The Wireless Rear Module has a range up to 33 feet from the main unit.

Optional Wireless Multi-Room Kit: You can also expand your music listening from the integrated DVD/Receiver into three additional rooms of your home with the optional Panasonic SH-FX85 wireless multi-room speaker kit (sold separately).

Dimmer: The unit's display can be set to Bright, Dim or Auto. Auto allows the display to be dimmed, but brightens the display when you perform some operations.

Multi-brand Remote: The SA-PT950 comes with the EUR7662YXO wireless remote control, which is pre-programmed to operate this system and a number of functions on other brand TVs.

DVD Features

HDMI HD Enhancer: The HD Enhancer's 1080p up-conversion function converts standard definition (720 x 480 pixels) images from DVDs to high definition (1920 x 1080 pixels). This means you'll get the most out of your HDMI-compatible HDTV, with sharp and exceptionally detailed high-resolution images. And unlike ordinary video up-converters that produce images with thicker edges and decreased sharpness, the HD Enhancer keeps edges crisp and clear, for outstanding detail.

Progressive Scan Output: The integrated DVD player also features an component monitor output with progressive scan. Progressive-scan video has less flicker and fewer motion artifacts than the traditional interlaced-scanning method, resulting in a superior picture.

MP3/WMA Playback: This unit will play MP3 and WMA files recorded onto CD-R and CD-RW discs using the ISO 9660 level 1/level2 format. MP3 files can also be played from DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM discs. Compatible MP3 compression rates range from 32-320 kbps, WMA a compression rates from 48-320 kbps.

Note: This unit is not compatible with ID3 tags or multiple bit rate WMA.

JPEG Disc Playback: This unit will play JPEG files recorded onto CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM discs. All JPEG files on a disc can be played back in a slide show with an adjustable interval. Additionally you can rotate an image. This unit can recognize up to 4000 pictures in 400 groups. Compatible picture resolution varies from 160 x 120 to 6144 x 4096.

HighMAT Disc Playback: HighMAT stands for High Performance Media Access Technology. Co-developed by Panasonic and Microsoft, HighMAT was designed to significantly improve interoperability for digital media content between PCs and popular electronics devices such as CD players, car stereos, and DVD players. HighMAT is a digital-media standard that provides a dramatically improved method of storing, arranging and playing back personal digital photo, music, and video collections on recordable discs. HighMAT MP3, WMA, and JPEG discs are compatible with this unit.

Dialogue Enhancer: The Dialogue Enhancer increases the center channel volume (relative to other channels), making movie dialogue easier to hear and understand. Dialogue Enhancer is available when playing Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks recorded in 3 or more channels with the dialogue recorded in the center channel.

TV Aspect: The unit allows you to choose between the following aspect ratios to suit your television and preference - 4:3 Pan&Scan, 4:3 Letterbox, or 16:9 Widescreen.

TV Type: The unit even allows you to select what type of TV you are using - Standard (Direct View TV), Projection TV, CRT Projector, Plasma TV or LCD TV/Projector.

4:3 Aspect Adjust: This feature allows you to select how to show images made for 4:3 aspect screens on a 16:9 aspect television. You can choose from the following.

  • Normal: laterally stretches images
  • Auto: expands 4:3 letterbox image to fill more of the screen
  • Shrink: images appear in the center of the screen
  • Zoom: expands to 4:3 aspect ratio

Just Fit Zoom: Using this function, you can change the screen size ratio of the picture, so the picture fills the television screen. You can select between 4:3, 1.66:1, 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1 or 2.55:1. You may also select an automatic zoom which automatically zooms in until the screen is filled.

Picture Mode: You can choose one of the following picture mode settings:

  • Normal: normal picture
  • Cinema 1: mellows images and enhances detail in dark scenes
  • Cinema 2: sharpens images and enhances detail in dark scenes
  • Animation: suitable for animation
  • Dynamic: enhances contrast
  • User: allows you to adjust the following settings: contrast, brightness, sharpness, color, gamma, and depth enhancer

Black Level: You can change the black level of the picture if you have connected the TV through the component video outputs. You can select either Lighter or Darker.

Time Delay: If you notice audio is out of sync to your video display you can adjust the time delay between 0ms, 20ms, 40ms, 60ms, 80ms or 100ms.

Marker: Up to 5 points on a disc can be stored in memory and easily recalled. Markers are cleared when power is turned off or when the tray is opened.

Parental Lock: The integrated Receiver/DVD player features an 8 level parental lock system protected by a user-customized 4-digit password to prevent certain DVD-discs from being played on the unit.

Speakers

SB-HW950 Subwoofer: The Panasonic home theater system features a non-powered subwoofer, powered by an amp in the DVD/Receiver unit. The subwoofer uses a 6-ohm, 6.75" cone woofer in a bass-reflex enclosure. The woofer is side-firing for tight, accurate bass response. The subwoofer is not video shielded. The woofer's enclosure features four rubber feet to prevent vibration. There is a 13' length of speaker wire attached to the rear of the subwoofer's enclosure.

Front Tower Speakers: The SB-HF950 front speakers use dual video shielded, 6-ohm, 2.5" cone type full-range drivers in a bass-reflex enclosure. Each enclosure is covered by a non-removable black cloth grille. The speakers can be mounted on the included speaker stands or wall mounted using the two key-hole slots on the back; they cannot stand alone on a table or shelf. The front tower speakers come each with a 15' length of speaker wire.

Center Channel Speaker: The SB-HC950 Center Channel speaker has two video shielded, 6-ohm, 2.5" cone type full-range drivers in a bass-reflex enclosure. The enclosure is covered by a non-removable black cloth grille. There are two 5mm (M5) threaded inserts on the back of the speaker for use with optional wall brackets. Additionally there are 2 keyhole slots provided for horizontal wall mounting. There are three rubber feet on the bottom so it can sit securely on the TV or a shelf. The center speaker comes supplied with 13' length of speaker wire.

Surround Speakers: The SB-HS950 surround speakers feature a video shielded, 4-ohm, 2.5" cone type full-range driver in a bass-reflex enclosure. The drivers are covered by a non-removable black cloth grille. There is one 5mm (M5) threaded insert on the back of the speaker for use with optional wall brackets. Additionally there is 1 keyhole slot provided for vertical wall mounting. There are four rubber feet on the bottom so it can sit securely on a shelf or speaker stand. The surround speakers come with 13' length of speaker wire each.

 

 
 
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Panasonic SC-PT950 Reviews

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4 out of 5

Drew

Written By Drew, Blaine WA on Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I found the system easy to set up and use. Had a little trouble getting sound from the cable box. The back is a little different than I am use to. The sound is great for the money, very clear and crisp. I would reccomend this to anyone looking for an afforcable system. I also do not have trouble with the remote. I have not done everything the system can do, but for normal operations I think it is fine. I will get into more in depth useage later, but if you want to watch a movie it is simple. I also bought the scratch and dent, I found nothing wrong with it. To me it is well worth the savings.
13 out of 14 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Good Sound, Bad User Interface

Written By Matt, San Francisco, CA on Thursday, January 31, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Compared to: Sony DAV-HDX500/i, component systems....



Strengths: Good sound, clear highs and mids without being tinny. Bass through subwoofer is well matched, not too boomy. Can adjust both time delay and volume level of each speaker, or can use included microphone for auto-setup. Carousel changer allows switching of CDs/DVDs while one is still playing. Easy setup, only had to look at the manual once for wireless setup. Wireless sound quality for surround speakers is indistiguishable from wired speakers....
.


Weaknesses: Extremely poor user interface. In the attempt to make everything menu-driven, Panasonic has made things very complicated. Simple options like subtitle and audio/language that are single buttons on other systems (Sony) require 3-4 button pushes here. Quite a pain in the dark and you're fumbling with the remote. Remote itself is very complex and counterintuitive -- I needed to refer to the print manual frequently to find out what the buttons do. Finally, the iPod interface was obviously rushed to market. No capability for displaying iPod menus on the TV, and only play mode is linear in alphabetical order. Quite a pain when you have 500-100 songs on your ipod. I've also heard that the wireless can interfere with your Wi-Fi internet but personally did not have that problem with my network....
.


Did not evaluate: HD output. Only have a 480i TV....
.


Overall, the sound quality is quite good, but I ended up returning this system due to its frustratingly complex user interface and unusable iPod interface.
57 out of 65 people found this helpful
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