Panasonic has announced that its first surround bar home theater speaker systems, models SC-HTB10 and SC-HTB500 will reach store shelves this summer. Both models fit in front of the TV and offer an alternative to a home theater sound system. They are equipped with a single HDMI 1.4 input, which will pass through 3D video from a connected Blu-ray 3D player and a single HDMI 1.4 output with audio return channel. The SC-HTB10 features an integrated subwoofer and is ideal for televisions up to 42-inches, while the SC-HTB500 is designed for larger screen TV displays and comes with a separate wireless subwoofer.
Both surround bar systems employ a bamboo cone speaker design and Clear-Mode Dialogue to improve dialogue reproduction. The SC-HTB10 measures 31.5 inches wide, and the SC-HTB500 has a width of 41.5 inches. Both models feature 2.1-channel audio. The SC-HTB10 features an integrated subwoofer with both forward and rear firing woofers. The SC-HTB500 uses a wireless powered Kelton Subwoofer.
The systems offer compatibility with ARC (Audio Return Channel), which allows receiving audio signals from the TV. After placing it in front of the television or wall mount for a custom installation (via supplied wall mounts), it can be connected with one HDMI cable.
Available this month, the SC-HTB10 carries a suggested retail price of $199.95. The SC-HTB500 will be available in August 2010, with a suggested retail price of $349.95.