It's fair to say the Panasonic SC-BT200 Blu-ray system isn't much of a looker. You won't find any curvaceous speakers or fancy touch-sensitive buttons here – just an unassuming, box-like main unit and some run-of-the-mill satellite speakers.
It fares a bit better on the features front, though. An iPod dock lurks behind the front panel, as do USB and SD card inputs.
On the rear of the Blu-ray receiver is an HDMI output and twin optical inputs for accommodating external kit. Not that we're greedy, but a couple of HDMI inputs wouldn't have gone amiss here.
Web access via VieraCast
Panasonic's VieraCast has permeated many of its products in 2009 – this package included. Using an Ethernet connection you can use it to access online content from the likes of YouTube.
The SC-BT200 also has the benefit of auto setup, using the supplied micro-phone when you first switch it on.
We've been heaping praise on Panasonic's standalone Blu-ray players recently, and this one is no slouch, either. On-screen noise is virtually non-existent, and pictures look remarkably clear and three-dimensional. The depth of image is stunning, while colours appear natural and blacks are solid.
Taut and precise sound
Panasonic systems have often fallen down on speaker quality, but the 'BT200's sound is very good. Instead of unattractive, boomy bass, it's taut and precise.
Dialogue has body, and refrains from sounding boxy or closed-in. Slot an iPod into the integrated dock, and you're greeted by well-balanced tunes.
The only potential stumbling block is the price. But this all-in-one package is so good, we say it's worth every penny.