Panasonic DMR-XW380 review

With twin Freeview HD tuners, a 250GB hard drive and DVD recording, this is a flexible device Tested at £550.00

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Our Verdict

We've no major issues about performance, but without extras such as Blu-ray playback, the price holds it back

For

  • Functionality
  • easy to use
  • 250GB HDD tuners
  • solid, all-round performance

Against

  • Too pricey in our book

Although the roll out of Freeview HD isn't complete, Panasonic has wasted no time implementing compatible tuners into its products – and we're not just talking TVs.

Take the 'XW380 PVR. A DVD player and recorder, twin Freeview HD tuners and a 250GB hard disc drive have all been shoehorned into it. (A Blu-ray version is in the pipeline, but will cost extra.)

Freeview HD recordings
The Freeview HD element means you can watch and record channels like ITV1 HD and C4HD without any need for an external dish (if your region has gone live with the service, that is: see freeview.co.uk).

Picture quality is very good across the board. Standard-definition broadcasts exhibit good detail and colours appear rich and vibrant.

Switch to HD and the image is cleaner, producing an insightful and realistic picture with only a trace of noise.

Decent picture quality
When you're recording, the PVR stores the direct stream on to the hard drive. Once stored, you can then edit the content or use one of a handful of ‘DR File Conversion' modes to compress the content into more manageable chunks for your hard drive or a DVD. Picture quality is decent through most compression rates.

There's very little to criticise about DVD performance, too. Black levels are impressive and there's good detail on the walls of the mine shaft during the start of There Will Be Blood.

Our only real reservation about the 'XW380 relates to its price. We can't help but feel that a product like this needs to be around £400 to really tempt.

Yes, it might be discounted in the future, but we have to make judgements on the present. So, four stars it is.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Brand NamePanasonic
Product TypeHD DVD Player/Recorder
ManufacturerPanasonic
Manufacturer Part NumberDMRXW380EBK
Product NamePanasonic DMR-XW380
Product ModelDMR-XW380

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • DMR-XW380 HD DVD Player/Recorder
  • Remote Control
DLNA CertifiedYes

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
Digital Audio Optical OutYes
DVIYes
USBYes

Audio

Audio FormatsCD-DA, MP3, AAC
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS

Network and Communication

EthernetYes

Physical Characteristics

Width43 cm
Depth23.8 cm
Weight Approximate3.40 kg
Height5.9 cm
ColourBlack
Dimensions5.9 cm (H): 43 cm (W): 23.8 cm (D)

Technical Information

Number of Discs1
Media FormatsDVD-RW, DVD+RW, CD-RW, DVD-RAM
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes

Video

Video FormatsDVD Video, Video CD, AVCHD, WMV, DivX, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG

Storage

Hard Drive Capacity250 GB

Memory

Memory Card SupportedSD, SDXC, SDHC

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year