Panasonic DMR-HW100 Review

Sections

Pros

  • Lots of superb features
  • Flexible recording and editing functionality
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile multimedia capabilities
  • Smooth picture quality

Cons

  • No built-in Wi-Fi
  • Poor EPG
  • Viera Cast's comparatively limited content
  • No Scart output
  • Hesitant video streaming

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £299.00
  • 320GB hard-disk
  • Twin Freeview HD tuners
  • Viera Cast and Skype video calling
  • DLNA media streaming
  • 2D-to-3D conversion

We follow our review of Samsung’s debut Freeview HD PVR with Panasonic’s first stab at a standalone Freeview HDD recorder, the DMR-HW100. It’s actually a similar proposition to its Korean rival’s BD-DT7800, in that the usual range of Freeview recording features is backed up by fancy networking and internet functionality. Basically it does everything Panasonic’s Blu-ray/HDD recorders can do, without the Blu-ray bit. But if it’s hi-def disc playback you want, this model is launched alongside the DMR-PWT500, a Freeview HD PVR combined with a Blu-ray player.

Panasonic DMR-HW100
The DMR-HW100’s 320GB hard-disk is housed within a plain yet attractive black casing, which looks pretty much identical to Panasonic’s Blu-ray players and recorders – even down to the flap that covers the entire front panel. Behind it lurks a USB port, SD card slot and channel change buttons, with blocked-off areas where the disc tray and CAM slot would have been. There’s a large display panel shining through the front flap giving the channel number or the time when in standby, plus a couple of LEDs next to it indicate which tuners are currently recording.

Panasonic DMR-HW100

On the back you’ll find HDMI, optical digital audio and analogue stereo outputs, an Ethernet port, RF in/out and a second USB port that can be used to connect a wireless LAN adapter or a communication camera when using the built-in Skype functionality. Again it’s slightly disappointing to see that Scart output has been overlooked, as it means you can’t make copies on external recorders.

Panasonic DMR-HW100

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.