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Panasonic DMR-BWT700 review

Sparkling HD pictures make this this Freeview HD, 3D-compatible Blu-ray playing Skype box a treat

Our Verdict

Hugely impressive in some ways, the basics of the Panasonic DMR-BWT700 – speed and simplicity – have been slightly overlooked in favour of geek features

For

  • Sparkling images from all sources
  • All-in-one appeal
  • Extensive archiving options

Against

  • Freeview HD EPG
  • 320GB HDD too small
  • Fragmented user interface
  • No iPhone app

Panasonic dmr-bwt700

Panasonic decks almost always excel with picture quality, and the DMR-BWT700 is no different.

Freeview HD, in this case during a live broadcast from the Spanish Grand Prix on BBC HD, is crisp enough and remarkably clean. Even the SD version over on former favourite BBC1 is clean enough and not the turn-off it might be. Recordings, as single programmes or series links, are all made in the lossless DR (Direct Recording) mode, and are identical to the original broadcast.

However, there's a noticeable improvement in colour when viewing our 2D Blu-ray test disc Inception, which also features smooth transitions, edges and pin-sharp close-ups.

It bears all the hallmarks of Panasonic's familiar PHL Chroma Processor Plus (P4HD), which earns its salt by increasing the res of a DVD to a state where jagged edges are barely noticeable.

Avatar on 3D Blu-ray also impresses, with 3D glasses acting as a further filter to refine the contrast – the result being luscious blues for the skin of Na'vi and a more convincing depth to the moon's forests. There was no need to tweak any of the 3D depth settings.

However, 2D to 3D conversion left us unimpressed. It can work on scenes that deserve it – usually close-ups with backgrounds just behind – but it's hit-and-miss. It's pretty obvious, but if something hasn't been designed as a 3D movie, it's unlikely to work consistently well when converted.

Tech Specs

Product TypeBlu-ray Disc Player/Recorder
Scan Format1080p
EthernetYes
Digital TunerDVB-T2, DVB-T (MPEG2)
USBYes
HDMIYes
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Media FormatsBD-RE, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, CD-RW
Digital Audio Optical OutYes
Sound SystemDTS HD, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital
Number of Discs1
Brand NamePanasonic
Audio FormatsCD-DA, MP3
Video FormatsBD Video, DVD Video, AVCHD, DivX, DivX HD, MKV, MPEG-2, H.264
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Operating Power Consumption34 W
Standby Power Consumption6 W
Maximum HDD Recording Time3 Week
Maximum DVD Recording Time16 Hour
Digital to Analog Audio Converter24-bit - 192 kHz
Digital Audio Coaxial OutYes
Maximum BD Recording Time4 Day
Video Signal FormatPAL, NTSC
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)
Height59 mm
Width430 mm
Depth238 mm
ColourBlack
Picture ControlColour
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO
FeaturesBD Live, 2D-3D Conversion
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMR-BWT700
Product NameDMR-BWT700 3D Blu-ray Disc Player/Recorder
Input Voltage220 V AC
Manufacturer Part NumberDMRBWT700EB
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

Advanced 2D image technology accumulated over the years at the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) has also been applied to 3D image playback, allowing high quality images to approach original film quality. Lifelike 3D images with dramatic leaping effects and enhanced depth, lustre and texture are beautifully reproduced. Adaptive Chroma Processing is a high quality image-processing technology developed to precisely process each pixel of the Blu-ray Disc video signal in vertical and horizontal directions. Compared with 2010 models, vertical color data processing has been increased by 1.5 times. This allows Adaptive Chroma Processing to faithfully reproduce color data.

Package Contents
  • DMR-BWT700 3D Blu-ray Disc Player/Recorder
  • Remote Control
Remote ControlYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)3.10 kg