45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well with Panasonic Viera plasma.
I'm satisfied that this unit delivers what it promised - improved sound on a Viera link equipped television. Unlike the previous reviewer, my Direct TV remote controls both the tv and the home theater system and both turn on together. I don't need the tiny home theater remote. The sound is a noticeable improvement over the built-in speakers, which frankly, are poor on my...
Published 17 months ago by Gary Moss
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It worked great - but for ONLY 58 DAYS!!! Panasonic Product Support gets a failing grade.
Setup was relatively simple and once I completed all the appropriate settings on my Panasonic HDTV and Blu-ray player, operation and integration through Viera link was great. This system can't compete with the THX 7.1 surround of my main home theater, but it was a good addition for the family room TV.
As I stated, it worked great for 58 days. On day 59, my...
Published 9 months ago by Dan Thompson
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well with Panasonic Viera plasma.,
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB20 Energy Star 2.1-Channel 240-Watt Multi-Positional Full HD 3D Audio System (2012 Model) (Electronics)I'm satisfied that this unit delivers what it promised - improved sound on a Viera link equipped television. Unlike the previous reviewer, my Direct TV remote controls both the tv and the home theater system and both turn on together. I don't need the tiny home theater remote. The sound is a noticeable improvement over the built-in speakers, which frankly, are poor on my 65" Panasonic TC-P65ST30 plasma. Even my wife immediately noticed the difference, saying it sounds like a movie theater. I wouldn't go that far, but it is much better and for the price, a good deal. Won't blow you away, but makes watching tv or a DVD more enjoyable. btw, I thought I needed an optical audio cable, so I also ordered one from Amazon, but it wasn't necessary. Cheap HDMI cable worked just fine. Would recommend at least a 6' foot HDMI so you can place the subwoofer at either side of your tv, not just the side that is closest to the HDMI output.
The only reason I didn't give it five stars is I wish there had been an on-screen display of the bass and treble settings. You have to decipher the flashing light code on the subwoofer to get a rough approximation of the settings, but I guess it does force you to pay more attention with your ears than your eyes.
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Solution for Panasonic TV Owners,
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB20 Energy Star 2.1-Channel 240-Watt Multi-Positional Full HD 3D Audio System (2012 Model) (Electronics)I just want to say right off the bat that I have not had a tremendous amount of time to review this product thoroughly, I am just giving my initial impressions.
Things I like-
-The unit is Viera Link compatible, my volume adjusts with the panasonic and fios remote, and is labeled 'home theater volume' with the volume bar shown on the screen
-The compact size of the sound system
-Assembly is straightforward, and the manual is detailed
-The voice booster, it helps with the dialogue audio during TV Shows and Movies
-The sub sounds crisp and deep, especially for a one floor apartment setup
-The unit powers off when you turn off your TV (I am using a Panasonic 2012 42' LED model)
-The audio level is adjustable with any remote that is compatible with the TV after the system linked via viera
-The power light LED on the subwoofer is nice and small, and although noticeable it is not an eyesore.
Things I Don't Like-
-When I power on my TV, the receiver does not automatically turn on (Perhaps I need to configure viera link differently), but I always have to hit the power button on the remote or the subwoofer, and then my tv will let me adjust the audio level with any remote. Note that I am using the most recent Verizon FIOS cable box and utilizing an HDMI cable for the audio. Perhaps using the conventional wires solves this. *Update- The menu settings have been updated to resolve this issue*
-No Audio Streaming because there is no bluetooth on this model (I knew that going into it, and wish they would have added this feature, which would have not added much cost to the unit, but you could look into purchasing a bluetooth adapter either on here or the manufacturer's site)
-The remote is really small and probably could break over time with constant usage or kids stepping on it
-I wish the remote or the TV interface would allow me to adjust the treble, but I guess that the voice boost essentially does that, so this is not much of a con per say.
-When you adjust the treble/voice enhancement or the bass flashing LED lights on the subwoofer are the only way to know that your command has been accepted from the remote. I would like to see these displayed on the screen to know what level they are at.
All in all I enjoy the unit, once it is powered on it significantly improved over the standard Panasonic TV speaker sound experience. The setup is nice and compact, and sounds great. The sub sounds really good for its size. If you live in a small apartment like me, you will find a setup like this to be practical. Don't compare this 2.1 setup to a 5.1 or 7.1, it is perfect for enchancing stereo sound, it is not designed for true surround sound. I recommend the Pansonic home theatre offerings for anyone who owns the newer model tv's for the simple fact that these are designed to link up to them.
Thanks to another reviewer that had some time to tweak his Viera Link settings to resolve the FIOS box issue of the audio system not turning on when the TV is powered on. I forgot his suggestions, but was able to find the settings. Hit Menu > Setup > Viera Link Settings > Make sure 'Power On Link' is set to 'yes' and that default speakers are set to 'Theatre'. Now when I power the TV on everything is synced up perfectly. It was nice to see Panasonic issue software menu updates so make sure that you have your TV plugged into the Ethernet or using the optional wireless adapter to have the new interface!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, easy setup and yet, be careful before you buy it,
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB20 Energy Star 2.1-Channel 240-Watt Multi-Positional Full HD 3D Audio System (2012 Model) (Electronics)I wanted a simple sound bar that had Audio Return Channel (ARC) and Viera Link for my 2012 Panasonic TV. The HTB20 met all my needs. It is a excellent value for the price. With Viera Link, I only need one remote, the TV speakers automatically mute, the home theater volume displays on-screen and units turn on and off together, so easy!
I do have one problem with the HTB20 and one piece of advice. The advice is that on 2012 Panasonic TVs, not all HDMI inputs are created equally. Only one HDMI input is marked HDMI (ARC). So just ensure the HDMI from the sub-woofer is plugged into the right input on the TV, otherwise you may think the system isn't working correctly.
The problem with the HTB20 is the speaker wire from the soundbar plugs into the subwoofer with flat plugs, which might be proprietary to Panasonic. If you need longer wires, you cannot run down to Radio Shack. I looked at the plugs and they do not unscrew apart, so you can't McGyver the plugs onto longer wires. I called Panasonic and they only sell replacement wires, not longer wires. The price? Hold your breath, it's $27.20 for thin generic speaker wire and some really expensive plugs. After connecting the wires to the speaker bar, you will have 9'4" of wire left to run to the subwoofer. It should be enough for most users, but I had to route the wires in back of a wall unit and then out to the subwoofer. Because of the wire length, I couldn't place the sub-woofer exactly where I wanted it.
I've attached a photo of the plugs to the Amazon product page. Perhaps someone will recognize them and can suggest where to buy them. Two Radio Shacks and a Frye's electronic supply store had never seen them before.
Except for the speaker wire plugs, I like this soundbar very much.
Update Feb 10, 2013. The price for the HTB20 fluctuates wildly depending on whether Amazon has it in stock or not. If sold by a third party vendor, it can be almost 40% more at $220+ with shipping. At that price, it's no longer a bargain and I'd pay a bit more for a system with a wireless sub-woofer, like the Panasonic HTB550
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Versatile but has some problems,
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good upgrade, but it can't replace good speakers,
The product installed quickly and easily. I have a Panasonic Viera TV, so connecting an HDMI cable among the ARC-enabled HDMI ports was easy. Integrating this soundbar with my TV is transparent because the speakers and sub are controlled from the existing TV remote. The sound can get very loud and hearing all the low-frequency content is a revelation. Despite note watching many action movies, the soundbar raises the quality and crispness of speech to make a huge difference.
I then played high quality MP3s through the audio system and was let down. The HB20's quality is far from a budget-class audiophile system. But let me qualify that - if you picked up a pair of stand-alone $150/pair speakers from any retailer, the musical fidelity would be better than the HTB-20; iPod headphones are better. The mid range, somewhere in the 200-800 Hz area is not warm nor full. This should have been obvious, but I bought the HTB20 ears-unheard and didn't listen to any other competing products. You probably need to spend upwards of $500 for a soundbar to reproduce music faithfully.
When shopping, I considered a 2.1 satellite system (these are really rare for non-computer applications). In the end, I settled on the Panasonic for its ease of integration with my TV. It's also really small and unobtrusive, which is key for the room where it's installed. Had I read my review before I purchased, I would still have pulled the trigger, but with a more realistic expectation about the musical sound quality.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect addition to a Panasonic system...maybe not for you if you have another brand?,
I have had both the TV and Blu-Ray player for almost a year and discovered the benefits associated with Panasonic's Viera Link. Each one of these devices comes with it's own remote which can be a hassle to keep up with. With Viera Link, as long as you have the devices hooked up correctly via HDMI, you can control all of the devices with one remote (either the TV or Blu-Ray). This is incredibly useful and a welcome change to having multiple remotes necessary to watch movies.
I love my current setup and I find that the SC-HTB20 Home Theater system is the perfect compliment to my TV as it provides the additional depth to the sound that I was looking for in a convenient package. I also appreciate the "Multi-Positional" aspect of being able to join the speaker together to create a sound bar or you can separate them into separate towers (which is the route I went with). There is plenty of speaker wire so that you can find a suitable spot for the sub-woofer. With the Viera Link capabilities, I can turn on the Blu-Ray player which will automatically switch the input over, I can navigate the movie menus, and I can increase/decrease the volume, all with a single remote.
The only con that I can think of is that the sub-woofer lacks a traditional display to show you the current levels of volume, treble (referred to as "Dialog" on the included remote), and bass (referred to as "Subwoofer"). There are a series of lights on the top-front corner that flash in certain sequences to guide you. For instance, if you press the"+ Dialog" button, the lights respond by flashing in sequence from left to right from 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest) indicating which level you are on. The bass works in the exact same way and increasing or decreasing the volume sets the lights into motion (letting you know that the signal has been received) but there is no indication of how much higher or lower you can go. Fortunately, the remote is very simple and the instructions do a good job of explaining all of this.
Once you take some time to learn the sequences, you realize that it is really simple but I can definitely see those of you who don't consider yourselves "technologically inclined" (like my parents) being very confused at first. Again, if you have a Panasonic TV, the volume button on the TV or Blu-Ray remote will control the volume and the only thing you will have to use the Home Theater remote for is adjusting the treble and bass levels.
So, in conclusion, if you have a Panasonic TV with Viera Link I believe that you will be as exceptionally happy as I am. I know that this is not a high-end, audiophile grade system but like many of you, I was just looking for that extra bit of oomph when watching movies. Even my wife (who will admit that her eyes begin to gloss over when I start in on the advantages of this technology vs. that) mentioned that the addition of the HTB20 made the viewing experience more realistic. I believe that even if you do not have a Panasonic TV, that you can be happy with this system as long as you are aware of the issues up front.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic SC-HTB20 Soundbar on a non Panasonic TV,
I can use my TiVo remote to turn on the TV; the soundbar automatically comes on and the volume is controlled by my TiVo remote. Cool! I paid a little more for this unit so I could use this feature and am delighted. Most users will
need two HDMI cables and one Optical Digital/TosLink cable. I do not need to use the soundbar remote at all except when using my DVD player.
Running the DVD player sound through the sound bar was a little tricky on my TV; too long to post on this review but I will answer questions in replies/comments to this post.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound Bar and Sub,
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great with Panasonic Viera TV's!,
Viera link (Panasonic term), allows you to control this home theater system with a compatible Viera Panasonic TV remote. This includes automatic on/off and volume adjustments. This all happens via the HDMI cable. No additional wiring needed. Only setup required was on the TV menu to enable Viera link.
-Improved sound over flat TV panel speakers
-Viera Link support!
-Panasonic TV screen volume label changed from TV Volume to Home Theater Volume (cool!)
-Excellent IR sensitivity. The IR is on the subwoofer which can make it difficult to pick up remote key presses. Well, I can point the remote straight up from about 20 feet away and can control the volume without any issues. Line of site not required!
-Not 5.1 surround. If you're looking to be blown away by sound, look elsewhere. This won't cut it. I have this setup in a large bedroom which is fine. My living room on the other hand has full surround and the difference is night and day. That's not to say it'll improve it over your typical TV speakers. I would quantify the improvement as follows:
--HTB20 70% improvement over TV speakers
--5.1+ surround = 300% improvement over TV speakers
-System has 1 HDMI input and 2 optical inputs. Since I have 2 HDMI sources (Uverse + Apple TV), I purchased a 3-1 HDMI splitter for additional ports.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Improves the sound,
The sound improvement is incredible for what this product is. I have it in our 15 x 15 bedroom, and it is plenty powerful enough to feel the vibration from the base. Is it a high end 5.1 system? No, but I don't care. Movies also sound very, very good.
Music from our computer also sounds very good. Not audiophile level, but again for $200 you can't go wrong with this setup. I am very happy with the quality of sound of my music played through these speakers.
I would absolutley recommend this to anyone looking for a major improvement over the tv speakers.
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Panasonic SC-HTB20 Energy Star 2.1-Channel 240-Watt Multi-Positional Full HD 3D Audio System (2012 Model) by Panasonic