Panasonic releases Freeview+ HD Blu-ray recorders in the UK

Panasonic UK has released further details of its two Freeview+ HD Blu-ray recorders.

The £950 DMR-BW880EBK and £750 DMR-BW780EBK have twin high-definition Freeview tuners and 500GB and 250GB hard drives respectively. We've just tested the DMR-BW880 in the July issue of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, on sale now.

Both devices can also record on to dual-layer Blu-ray discs and come with an SD memory card slot for transferring camcorder footage and photographs to Blu-ray.

There's Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding onboard, plus video upscaling of standard-definition sources to 1080p.

DLNA compatibility means recorded programmes, AVCHD and JPEG files archived on the recorder's hard drive can be viewed on a Windows 7 PC or other DLNA devices (such as Panasonic DMP-BD85) within a local area network (LAN).

Panasonic's VieraCast web portal is built into both machines to enable viewing of YouTube videos, photos stored on Picasa and additional services such as weather forecasts and financial news.

To save space on the hard disk or recordable Blu-ray discs there's a choice of five compression settings at lower bitrates: HG, HX, HE, HL or HM. During TV viewing, users can also pause and rewind live TV.

In addition to the two Blu-ray recorders, Panasonic has also just released the £550 DMR-XW380 Freeview+ DVD recorder with 250GB hard drive, which we've just tested. Full review here.

In a separate development, Panasonic has announced it is setting up a 3D Innovation Centre in Osaka, Japan to "accelerate the development of its 3D business". It will open on July 12th.

See our special blog for fulll details of Panasonic's 2010 range

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