At last week's Panasonic launch event, one item that jumped out at me that was otherwise completely undiscussed was the new PTX5 2.1 channel home stereo. It's small, it's pretty, and it has serious audio chops while also playing the role of DVD player so it'll do the 'complete' solution in a very small space. Warning: it isn't cheap.
Panasonic doing stereos? Here's the scoop: Matsushita (the company behind the Panasonic brand) also owns a little number called Technics. Oh yes, THAT Technics! The engine behind the PTX5 is all Technics, baby, and it all starts to make sense when we cranked this little number and it filled what was a space larger than most living rooms I'm ever likely to spend time in. They've made a nice choice to keep the two channel speakers relatively small while giving the sub a bit more substance to give that bottom end some serious grunt.The PTX5 does all the things you'd expect for a DVD player system too. WMA, MP3, MPEG-4... DivX is the only omission that some may care about. It includes an iPod dock too. 1080p upscaling is on board, though no idea what engine it is using to do that.
RRP $1,099. Like I said, it isn't cheap, but this is one of the best compact stereo systems I have ever heard that doesn't run up toward five figures.