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Performance and Verdict

By Danny Phillips



Our Score:


The DMR-BWT700's Blu-ray playback is just as masterful as Panasonic’s standalone players when it comes to producing hi-def pictures. Dazzling detail clarity and effulgent colours are the order of the day, resulting in a picture that smacks you round the chops with its sheer sharpness, depth and solidity.

Panasonic DMR-BWT700

The same can be said for 3D pictures, with Panasonic’s proprietary picture tech preserving the subtle detail on the disc and reproducing the layering and picture depth without any major artefacts or glitches. If the image doesn’t suit, simply fiddle with the depth and screen type settings, but leave the screen frame feature well alone.

There are absolutely no complaints with the BWT700’s recording quality. DR recordings unsurprisingly look exactly the same as the live broadcasts, while compressed recordings in HG down to HM maintain a distinct hi-def look despite the lower bitrates used. We captured and compressed tennis from Wimbledon (BBC One HD) and it replayed the action smoothly without much shimmery noise, and kept track of the ball with pin-sharp precision. We didn’t think much of the 2D programmes converted to 3D, but with 3D Freeview channels not coming for a while (if at all) you might be tempted to give it a go.

Sonically, the DMR-BWT700 is never going to satisfy audiophile tastes with so much crammed into this busy unit, but CD playback is pleasant enough even without the enjoyable Digital Tube Sound modes found on the DMR-BWT800.


With a more miserly hard-disk capacity, optional Wi-Fi and a single HDMI output, the DMR-BWT700 doesn’t have quite the same formidable feature set its bigger brother, but at around half the price it’s not an unreasonable trade-off. It’s not the most user-friendly Panasonic product we’ve encountered though – disjointed menus and a terrible EPG are the main culprits – and we’d like to have seen Viera Connect instead of Cast. But there are still loads of features on board, the highlights being DLNA, 3D and Skype, and when combined with comprehensive recording and editing functionality and superb Blu-ray playback it’s still a mightily impressive product.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9
  • Value 8


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.


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.


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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