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Panasonic DMR-BWT700 review

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Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700
  • TY-CC10
  • Panasonic DMR-BWT700

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Lots of features
  • Superb picture quality from all sources
  • Extensive recording and editing functionality

Cons

  • Cluttered EPG
  • Disjointed menus
  • Viera Cast content

Key Features

  • 320GB hard-disk
  • Twin Freeview HD tuners
  • 3D Blu-ray playback with 2D conversion
  • Viera Cast and Skype video calling
  • DLNA media streaming
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £389.99

Panasonic is still the only AV manufacturer to launch Blu-ray recorders in the UK, making it the go-to brand for people who want to record hi-def Freeview programmes and back them up on high-capacity Blu-ray platters. We’ve already checked out this year’s flagship model, the DMR-BWT800, which boasts a 500GB hard disk, and were hugely impressed by its range of features and overall performance. The DMR-BWT700 is also 3D-capable and sports twin Freeview HD tuners, but comes with a smaller HDD (320GB) and a few other differences. Let’s find out if it can still emulate the success of its sibling.

Panasonic DMR-BWT700

On the outside the DMR-BWT700 is a great-looking machine. It’s built into a satisfyingly sturdy case, while the flap covering the entire front panel makes it sleek and uncluttered, and it’s glammed up further by a graduated silver strip at the bottom. Under the flap you’ll find a USB port, SD/SDXC/SDHC card slot and play/stop buttons. The display panel is easy to read and there are lights that indicate which tuners are being recorded.

Panasonic DMR-BWT700

The rear panel is adorned with a useful array of sockets, but it lacks the second HDMI output found on the BWT800. That’s potentially bad news for owners of AV receivers that can’t handle 3D signals via HDMI, as you can’t pipe 3D pictures and HD audio separately – you’ll have to settle for regular Dolby Digital or DTS from the coaxial digital audio output. Joining the single HDMI are an Ethernet port, RF in/out, composite, optical digital audio and analogue stereo outputs, plus two Scarts for recording from external devices – essential when backing up VHS tapes on disc.

Panasonic DMR-BWT700

gdawg304

July 4, 2011, 5:53 pm

When are Panasonic going to stop using that Guideplus EPG with adverts taking up 30% of the screen? They could replace the adverts with a TV preview window so it's possible to keep watching whilst browsing the programme guide (I'm looking at buying a GT30 or VT30 TV and it's about the only feature that puts me off!). It looks so outdated for such premium kit.

Orinj

July 5, 2011, 5:24 pm

@gdawg304 I have to agree with you. I had one of Panasonic's DVD/HDD recorders three year's ago and the same DIGA grey box was in the EPG of that unit, wasting space and doing nothing. It's hideous and really spoils the use of the machine. I've stopped buying Panasonic recorders because of it.

philllucky

September 28, 2011, 5:42 pm

I spoke to Panasonic about this unit. This unit provides absolutely no mechanism to transfer files from the internal HDD to either USB storage, SD card or through the network. When they say its supports archiving they mean the device is the archive. Which means if the small internal drive dies so does your archive. Whats the point of having AV inputs and all this functionality if the only way off the device is burning to disk only. Too bad as otherwise it looked like a good device.

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