The DMR-HW100 boasts a convenient range of editing features. Hit the Option key when browsing your recordings in the Direct Navigator and you’ll see an ‘Edit’ option. The subsequent submenu lets you delete part of the recording, divide it up or change the thumbnail or name.
Not all PVRs offer this level of editing functionality, and it could come in handy if you’re violently allergic to adverts or simply want to tidily chop off the ‘padding’ before and after a programme. It’s extremely easy to do, thanks to a friendly interface that plays the recording in a small screen and allows you to set start and end points with minimal fuss, plus the resulting edits are accurate.
Freeview recording functionality is as comprehensive as it gets. Series recording, Guide Link, split programme recording, on-screen alerts, rewind/pause live TV – you name it, this deck does it. And while watching a programme you can hit the i button and a handy on-screen banner shows you the key details. You can also check what’s on any channel, but it’s limited to ‘now and next’ information.
In terms of operation the DMR-HW100 is extremely easy to use. On-screen presentation is friendly, clean and uncomplicated, particularly the pivotal Direct Navigator and Functions menus. It helps that the architecture is identical to Panasonic’s Blu-ray decks. To-the-point dialogue boxes guide you when programmes clash for example, plus DLNA menus are straightforward and every screen makes good use of the coloured buttons on the remote. Showing two confirmation screens when setting a programme to record is a little excessive though.
The only thing that lets the side down is the EPG, which needs a revamp sharpish. It’s too cluttered to navigate comfortably, no thanks to the unnecessary grey box that’s supposed to display adverts but simply shows the ‘DIGA’ logo. As a result the programme grid is squeezed up too much, allowing only the first few letters of each programme to be seen. The colour-coded legend at the bottom is helpful but overall it’s a poor design and makes you wonder how Samsung crammed in the same info and a live TV screen without making it feel half as cluttered.
Still, at least Panasonic’s remote is still up to scratch. It a colourful, chunky-buttoned affair with loud labels and the sort of layout that lets you navigate without having to gawp at the keys every two seconds.