Question about Panasonic Home Theater System System

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Intermittent sound with Panasonic SC-HT900 home theater system

Can you possibly help me?
I have a SC-HT900 system that cuts out frequently with no sound. I turn it off and on and sometimes that brings the sound back, but other times it doesn't and I just turn it off.
Sometimes it works and sometimes not. While watching Cable TV it oftens cuts out and makes popping noises.
I took the DVD/receiver unit in for repair, they told me the problem was with the sub-woofer. I spent $115 and the problem was not solved, and I didn't feel like driving an hour back there, and have no TV or DVD sound.
Do you have any idea what the problem muight be? Could I just replce the sub-woofer? Could I use one from a different Panasonic model?
Thanks for any help you can give me.

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  • 3 more comments 
  • sszydeco Jun 20, 2008

    Thank you very much for your feedback.
    Yes, it does have the amplifier in the subwoofer, and all the speakers run to the subwoofer. I have just lived with the annoyance, until I finally just shut it off and used the speakers in my big screen HDTV.
    I had the repair done more than a few years ago, and don't have the receipt anyway, so I would have to pay for the repair again.
    If I could find a subwoofer/amplifier from any model that would work, that might be a cheaper solution.
    My other thought is just to replace the whole system with a better, newer Panasonic HT system, like the SC-PT950 or SC-PT1050, which are wireless (sorta) to the back speakers. The SC-PT1050 also has a wireless subwoofer, which appeals to me. I could get a refurbished one on Ebay for $300-$350.
    Do you have an opinion on those 2 models, or replacing the subwoofer on my SC-HT900?

  • sszydeco Jun 20, 2008

    PS- that is, I THINK it has the amplifier in the sub woofer. I guess you will tell me for sure...thanks again.

  • sszydeco Jun 20, 2008

    Dave- I found this review on the following page, reporting the same problem.

    The good news: attractive product, reasonably good sound and features.
    Please see many of the other reviews for more detail.The
    bad: I had owned the system for several months when I started
    experiencing 'popping' sound through the speakers. And when I say
    'popping', I mean truly heart-attack causing, like a lightning
    strike-very disconcerting.
    Being a good techie, I immediately assumed I was experiencing power surges...although my surge protector wasn't tripping.
    Step Two: Check all connection. Still have the problem.
    Three: Waste an entire Saturday completely disassembling my AV setup
    (dvd, tv, VCR, Satalite, XBox), check every wire and connection,
    completely and carefully reassemble. Same problem.
    Step Four: Search internet to see if anyone else has problem.
    Bingo! (Note to self: Next time search internet at Step Three, instead of wasting Saturday...)
    Known problem of overheating of circuit board in subwoofer. Game over.
    system, but appears I now have to replace the system; from what I have
    read, fixing is not going to be cost effective, and no guarantees that
    the problem goes away.
    Buyer beware; there are a lot of people who
    are happy with this system, but a substantial number of us have had the
    same issue, and I wouldn't be surprised if more folks see this
    happening over time.

  • sszydeco Jun 20, 2008

    Thanks Dave, I really appreciate your advice.
    After Googling "Reviews" for my system, it became apparent that many people had the same problem, and they all said "don't buy Panasonic." So I started looking at Onkyo systems (w/o a DVD player), because I thought they were good.
    But you don't mention Onkyo. What do you think of Onkyo systems?

  • sszydeco Jun 20, 2008

    Thanks. Your help and advice has been HUGE!



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I will get back with you on this tommorow with more information when I can get the technical data I need from where I work.
These units are know for the problem you are describing.

If you have to connect all of your speakers to the subwoofer, then yes, you can replace the subwoofer and it will fix your problem. I just don't remember right now if this unit is the one with the amplifier built into the sub woofer, but I think it is.

Since you paid another repair center you really should take it back to them to fix it right. They probably did not test it long enough to verify if they fixed your problem.

I know it is a real pain to have to take it back, more so if it is far away, but the problem you are having is nothing you will be able to fix yourself unless you have some decent electronic troubleshooting and soldering skills.

Get back with you soon,

Posted on Jun 19, 2008

  • 2 more comments 
  • Dave DeGain
    Dave DeGain Jun 20, 2008

    If this is a sub woofer with the amp built into it, you can only use the sub woofer from a couple of models, not just any model.

  • Dave DeGain
    Dave DeGain Jun 20, 2008

    If I were you, I would stay away from Panasonic home stereo equipment. They make great car stereos, in fact they may have the best quality even over Alpine, but the home stereo stuff I have found just seems to be junk.

    Consider this:

    If you buy an entertainment unit that has the DVD built right into the stereo system, you will loose both pieces if one part goes bad. That is why I kinda like seperate pices, plus the individual units just seem to be a little better made.

    Even more so with the stereo stuff. i have to tell you, every single home theater system I have repaired that has the DVD built into it has a much cheaper amplifier cicuit and they are always more prone to the type of problems you have.

    Some brands to look at: Pioneer, Yamaha, Kenwood, Denon, Marantz,

    Some brands to stay away from for stereo equip: Panasonic, JVC, RCA, Magnavox, Coby, Jwin, Koss, and anything that seems like a super great deal, really cheap. You get what you pay for and sometimes you don't even get that much!!

    I purchased a home theater reciever made by Kenwood off the internet a couple of years back for about $250. It was refurbished and it came with all 5 surround speakers and a sub woofer.

    I then went out and bought a Sony DVD player for about $80 brand new and I have never had a problem with any of it, and I use it all the time. It has been about 4 years now.

  • Dave DeGain
    Dave DeGain Jun 20, 2008

    Onkyo is a very well designed and engineered product. One of the very best in that price range.

    One way for a technician to know that is first, you don't get lot's of them in for repair. Second, the one's you do get don't seem to have common problems, the same problem over and over again.

    In over 17 years of repairing them, I can say with confidence that they are a good product.

    The Integra models are the higher end one's. You can't go wrong with an Onkyo.

    does it mean you will never have any problems? No.

    There is no electronic equipment that is failure-proof, but when you get the better quality stuff you minimize your chance of needing repair in the first few years. I have found that it actually can save you money in the long run to spend a little more up front.

    Plus you get bragging rights over most other people (my stuffs better than your stuff... LOL)

  • Dave DeGain
    Dave DeGain Jun 20, 2008

    Glad I could be of some help to you.

    Have a great day and good luck finding something decent.

    I am here if you need me.



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Product Features and Technical Details
  • Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS-decoding home theater receiver with 5 speakers and a powered subwoofer
  • 35 watts per channel x 4 "tallboy" speakers, 140 watts for the center channel, and 150 watts for the subwoofer
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