Secaucus, N.J. - Panasonic unveiled Thursday its first 2.1-channel Blu-ray Disc home-theater system with virtual surround sound.
The SC-BTX70, which ships this month at a $1,000 suggested retail, features an upright silhouette design that is said make a good cosmetic match for today's flat-panel TVs.
In addition to playing Blu-ray Discs in FullHD, the system offers a wide variety of other digital media options.
The 2.1-channel system's surround technology is designed to deliver "realistic virtual 7.1-channel sound dispersed through a wide listening area," according to Panasonic.
The integrated Blu-ray player supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD with virtual 7.1-channel surround, and the system's two front speakers feature a new top-mounted speaker design that is said to expand the listening area.
The speakers are made with rigid, low-density bamboo cones that Panasonic said delivers "pure sound and crisp dialogue."
Also added is a Kelton-type subwoofer.
A 96-kHz Surround Re-master function enhances the sound quality of CDs and other sources and is said to raise the quality of the multichannel audio data on Blu-ray discs and DVDs for "highly realistic sounds."
The system includes a power sliding door that conceals the Blu-ray Disc player, a universal dock for an iPod, an SD memory card slot, and a USB terminal for viewing photos and videos taken with a digital still or video camera.
All system operations can be controlled with a single Viera-Link (HDMI-CEC) remote from a Viera flat-panel TV.
For video processing and scaling, the system includes an image-enhancing PHL Chroma Processor Plus and high-precision 4:4:4 technology.
Built-in networking features enable a connection to the Internet to access the Viera Cast system with online videos from YouTube, Amazon Video On Demand and Web-based photos on Picasa.
The player also supports BD-Live Profile 2.0 extras from Blu-ray discs.
The system conforms to Energy Star standards and uses UniPhier LSI, which integrates all video signal-processing circuits onto a single chip to lower power consumption.