Panasonic’s new sound systems ditch surrounds for more flexible 3.1 arrangements

PansonicHTB770_K_front_length_1209-700Panasonic showed four new systems at CES 2013, but left consumers hanging in regard to availability and pricing. If you have been holding off on the purchase of the Panasonic TC-P65ST60 65″ 3D plasma (which looks like the best bang for the buck  in a 65″ HDTV right now) this might be a good time to pull the trigger and add on a 3.1 system while you’re at it.

What’s interesting about the new line-up is that Panasonic seems to be moving away from the 5.1 systems from its past and pushing higher quality 3.1 systems with more power – 300 watts per channel for the SC-HTB770 – and a greater number of HDMI inputs (3) for external sources intead.

The four new models are designed to work with HDTVs in the 42-inch to 65-inch ranges and are equipped with wireless or built-in subwoofers and Bluetooth capabilities. The SC-HTB70 and SC-HTB65 models offer a unique, sleek solid bar design for free and flexible layouts. The SC-HTB65 provides users with two-way placement- by rotating the bar 90 degrees, users can opt for a wall-mount setup or a TV-sized stand.

The SC-HTB70 allows for four-way, multi-angle positional placement enabling a user to set the speaker to the most suitable angle without giving up sound quality. A built-in sensor automatically detects the bar’s orientation and switches the directional characteristics of its sound output to match. With an Anti-Vibration Integrated Subwoofer inside the speaker unit, the SC-HTB70 claims to provide high-quality, clear sound playback in each of its four layouts.

Both the SC-HTB770 –  available in both black and silver – and SC-HTB370 models have a stainless steel mesh design for a modern, decor-friendly appeal. 

The 2013 Panasonic Home Theater Systems will be available in March 2013 with pricing as follows: SC-HTB770: $400, SC-HTB370: $300, SC-HTB70: $200, SC-HTB65: $180.

Product Review

Making a smart home can be a DIY job, but security should be left to the pros

Sure, you can DIY a smart home system, but when it comes to security, you should seriously consider professional monitoring and service. That’s where Vivint comes in. Is it worth the lofty price?
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Gaming

Having issues with your PS4? Check out our solutions to its most common problems

Just because the PlayStation 4 is a remarkable system doesn't mean that it's immune to the occasional hiccup. Thankfully, we've vetted some of the bigger PS4 problems and found solutions for whatever might ail you.
Product Review

Origin's Chronos PC is no looker, but it plays games with eye-popping detail

The Chronos is Origin’s smallest PC, but while it occupies less space than most A/V receivers, it delivers the power of a much larger desktop. Its dull exterior design does the system a disservice. Once you turn it on, you won’t be…
Home Theater

Spotify adds artist-blocking feature, despite its denials

Though it continues to claim you can't do it, there is plenty of evidence that Spotify added an artist-blocking feature to its platform, making it easy for users to never hear a specific musician or band.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in February 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for February 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming…
Features

Netflix’s rate hike is a good thing. Wait, wait, hear us out

Upset at Netflix for raising its rates? We don't blame you. Nobody likes to pay more for anything -- even if they love that thing. But you really should be thanking the streaming entertainment giant. The hike in prices is a necessary and…
Deals

Save up to $100 on the Sonos Beam, Sub, and Playbar before game day

With the big game less than two weeks off, now is the perfect time to upgrade your home theater. Whether you're hosting a party or kicking back by yourself, Sonos is offering nice deals right now on a few of its top-rated audio devices…
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Don't need sports or local channels? Philo can save you some dough

Philo is a super-affordable live TV streaming service, with an impressive channel list and feature set. With more hardware support and greatly improved TV Everywhere features, the service is now even easier to recommend.
Home Theater

How to wall mount a TV: Tips and tricks to cut down on frustration

This how-to guide includes a video on how to wall mount a TV, along with other tips and tricks about the process. Step by step, we'll take you through what you have to do to successfully get your TV on your wall.
Home Theater

Google’s Super Bowl surprise: YouTube TV is going nationwide

Just in time for the big game, Google has announced that it is expanding its YouTube TV live-streaming service from 100 of the biggest U.S. markets to cover 98 percent of American households.
Home Theater

Hulu drops price for entry-level users, hikes price of live TV tier

Hulu lowered prices on its most basic ad-based tier by $2 per month, but has simultaneously raised the cost for those who subscribe to its live TV streaming tier, matching moves by the other major streaming companies.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in February 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for February 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.