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Panasonic DMR-PWT530 review



Our Score


User Score


  • Superb Blu-ray and Freeview HD picture quality
  • Good range of network features
  • Solid build quality


  • No built-in Wi-FI
  • Viera Connect need more catch-up TV
  • Can't record two channels and watch a third
  • Won't play DivX, WMA, AAC or FLAC from USB

Review Price £350.99

Key Features: 3D Blu-ray player; 500GB hard-disk drive; Viera Connect; Dual Freeview HD tuners; Remote Recording and multiroom TV streaming

Manufacturer: Panasonic

What is the Panasonic DMR-PWT530?

It’s a combined 3D Blu-ray player and hard-disk PVR, equipped with a 500GB hard-disk drive and twin Freeview HD tuners. With two boxes merged into one, it’s a great solution if you want to keep clutter to a minimum under your TV, and with smart content, DLNA and USB playback, it’s a versatile media hub to boot. But considering it doesn't include built-in Wi-Fi, can it possibly justify its hefty price tag?

Panasonic DMR-PWT530

Panasonic DMR-PWT530 – Design

On appearances alone, probably not. The Panasonic DMR-PWT530 is a tasteful but unremarkable black box, with a silver strip on the fascia lending a touch of glamour. Importantly, build quality is excellent thanks to the robust aluminium casing, which is firmly bolted to the chassis.

The fascia is a flap that covers up all the front-panel clutter, fashioned from tinted plastic that allows the LED display and status lights to shine through (it shows the current channel name by default).

Drop the flap down and you’ll reveal the Blu-ray disc tray, an SD card slot and USB port (both for playing photos, music and videos) and a couple of buttons. There’s a plasticky feel about the front panel materials, and the blank panel where we’d expect the CI slot to be isn’t particularly classy.

Panasonic DMR-PWT530

Panasonic DMR-PWT530 – Connections

The rear panel's plethora of connections hints at treasure's inside, however, as the Panasonic DMR-PW8530 has all the sockets you could possibly need. There’s a 3D-capable HDMI v1.4 output, two audio outputs – one analogue and one optical digital – plus Ethernet, a second USB port and RF input/loopthrough sockets.

The inclusion of a second USB port is significant here as the lack of built-in Wi-Fi means you’ll need to plug in Panasonic’s optional dongle (DY-WL5, about £50) to get a wireless web connection. Given the price, the lack of Wi-Fi is a tad disappointing. While many people keep their routers by the TV and a LAN connection is a more reliable connection, this won't suit everyone.

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Matthew Weston

June 12, 2013, 11:13 am

I've got a Samsung blu ray, Freeview hd plus box. which is similar to this. since i've had it, my TV has only been used as a display. I am about to kit out another room with a similar system. so is it possible to buy a really thin TV that doesnt have any tuners or smart functions, as it seems daft to pay for clever processing and smart functions, when I am only ever going to be using it to display images over hdmi?


June 12, 2013, 9:30 pm

For years I've simply wanted a large-screen monitor as I don't even use the built-in speakers as well as the tuners, smart features or even remote. But because the market is so small for this it would probably mean they wouldn't recoup the R&D and manufacturing costs, so they don't get made. You can get big plasma and LCD monitors for business use, but they're expensive and not optimised for Blu-ray viewing, gaming etc.

Projector mounted on the ceiling?

Matthew Weston

June 13, 2013, 2:58 pm

Thanks Jordan

That is what i figured. it is crazy though that every flat tv has a huge bulge sticking out the back containing electronics that a great many people will never use. really cant see the wife going for projector in a living space. we tried one once and watching eastenders on a 9 ft screen is actually quiet unpleasant.


June 13, 2013, 3:17 pm

I can imagine - watching it on a 14" screen at my Gran's back in the day was unpleasant enough! :)

Yeah it's only really suitable for movies I guess, at least until all TV channels are available in HD.


June 15, 2013, 9:55 am

Although you can buy the Samsung BD-F8500 for the same price as this Panasonic, you have to suffer a frustrating user experience. The biggest bug bear is that even the most basic operations require multiple key presses to achive your goal. You also can't set a program to record while away from home as you can with the Panasonic. For me I will take the loss of built in Wi-Fi over the remote recording facility and the slicker user experience over the extra online content, which is generally available on your TV anyway. Even the point about being able to record two programs and watch a third is a rather antiquated notion, as most buying this product will have a Freeview HD TV anyway. If you look at the real world owners experience of the Samsung recorders, it is clear there are many frustrated users. In contrast the Panasonic users are a much happier bunch!


September 11, 2013, 5:02 am

I have just checked the local dealer (in Australia) they advise that the unit does include built in wifi, and also it is possible to both stream and record at the same time but only with one of the tuners.


September 27, 2013, 4:19 pm

I projector would be cool


November 15, 2013, 4:36 pm

I have just purchased a Panasonic DMR-PWT 530EB TELEVISION RECORDER. And am delighted with it, except that I have the following problem. When I attempt to record a single program the confirmation clock symbol does not appear unless I OK both normal and HD mode. This results in the same program being recorded twice. Surely, this double function should not be necessary. Please can you help


November 20, 2013, 6:51 am

I have just bought a Panasonic DMR-PWT530 and have loaded most used t.v. channels onto favourites for easier recording without having to scroll through the multitude of channels on the guide.
But I can't figure out how record from favourites using the guide.
By the way I think it's a first rate piece of gear.

Pete Richo

December 1, 2013, 5:49 am

Ok here's a question. I've registered a device (external HDD) copied a file to the external drive. The HDDR deleted it once copied. Now i want to move this digital copy to a DVD. Apparently the external HD is ONLY recognised when plugged into the Panasonc HDDR. is there ANY way of have my windows machine recognising the external HD to grab these files off it?


February 16, 2014, 11:04 am

I have just bought this machine, and started reading the instructions it says it doesn't work without HDMI being connected , I think. Does anyone know if that's correct. All our equipment is in a cupboard under the stairs and we have flat screens fixed on the walls so there is nowhere for the free box except in the cupboard but we didn't wire for HDMI as the install is 6 years old. so the same question again, does anyone know if it works without HDMI...


April 27, 2014, 10:39 am

can you record from the sky hd box as i am useing this for my bt sport now , after leaving sky


May 5, 2014, 7:22 pm

I hate this box as it does not let you watch a third channel when recording. You can be happily watching a show then both recorders kick in because you have set them to record a series, and the show you are watching suddenly flicks over to one of the shows you are recording. To go back to your show you have to go through a difficult process of cancelling one of the shows you are recording, by witch poiint you are frustrated at a) having missed part of the show you are watching, and b) no longer being ablee to record the show you were wanting to record. This is a serious design fault as I know other recorders can show a third show wheile recording two. I don't know why manufacturers don't simply install a third receiver which would solve most issues.

Geoffrey Brown

July 27, 2014, 5:08 am

Only comment I would have is that when going into the Internet side of things if I go into YouTube andselect a video from the history it tries to come up on the display and the unit locks up. About 3 minutes later the unit restarts so there is obviously some major problem with this software when using this part of it. Also when pressing the Internet button everything is very slow.

When using he DLNA from a Windows 8.1 laptop to display video on the TV via the Panasonic DMR-PWT530 from say youtube.com in internet explorer this comes up with a message about not being able to cope with the video format. Trying to display home AVCHD videos works fine but both these video types display fine on the Sony TV I have. There is obviously a subset of the video formats supported by this unit via DLNA but the Sony TV I have that works fine is around 2 years old.

I guess as far as freeview, DVD and Blu-ray goes all pretty good but the internet/DLNA features are not really working properly for me. Using DLNA with the unit connected up via WiFi never even showed any signs of working. Only when using an Ethernet cable to the unit did some DLNA content start working.



September 22, 2014, 10:27 am

I have 2 of these units in my place. the first one is just on 3 years old now and the sound is dying. while watching anything through the unit the sound becomes broken, you loose some of the sound. turning the unit on and off seems to fix the problem for a little while, but it soon comes back.
It does not matter what media you are watching. BluRay, DVD or TV. the only thing that has not been an issue to date is recorded programs on the unit itself. these seem to play consistently at the moment.
I feel the sound processor is dying, however contacting Panasonic's technical help has resulted in immediate questioning of connections, other devices and the like.
If you have one of these units PWT530 just keep an ear out for sound quality and make sure you have exteneded warranty.


October 17, 2014, 10:25 pm

Lose, not loose. Loose means not tight.


November 16, 2014, 11:31 pm

I brought one of these the other day Main reason was having sky
disconnected and I wanted the ability to have instant rewind which was
advertised on the unit. However it is not quite the same as the unit
will go into auto standby after a set amount of time which cant be
turned off with instant rewind enabled. It also does not play .mkv files
from the network drive but that is no major. would love to learn how to
write new operating system firmware / software to enable other features
like all zone BD playback etc and auto standby etc etc.

Geert de Vries

October 13, 2015, 9:17 pm

and then you nee an other one because you record 3 programs and your program is interrupted

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