About to hit stores is the second generation of Panasonic Blu-ray Disc recorders for the Australian market. These new recorders represent Panasonic’s ongoing commitment to Blu-ray technology – incorporating advanced capabilities and leading-edge features plus Panasonic’s exciting new VIERA CAST function for access to online YouTube videos and Google’s Picasa Web Albums.

Full High Definition

The DMR-BW850 and DMR-BW750 Blu-ray Disc recorders offer the highest recording quality available with Full High Definition 1080p recording onto the built-in Hard Disk Drive (HDD). These second generation Blu-ray Disc recorders offer an even longer recording capacity. The DMR-BW850 can record up to an incredible 240 hours of High Definition content (72 hours in Full HD) onto its 500GB HDD – more than three times the capacity of its predecessor, thanks to the advanced H.264 Encoder. With a 250GB HDD, the DMR-BW750 offers 120 hours of High Definition recording (36 hours in Full HD) to the HDD.

Another advancement offered by the new Blu-ray Recorders is DivX playback, allowing users to play their downloaded movie and TV content on the Recorders via USB or DVD disc.

Twin tuners

So you never miss your favourite programs, the Blu-ray recorders each offer a twin DVB-T High Definition (HD) tuner so you can record two different programs simultaneously, even while watching a Blu-ray movie. The recorders can record 5.1-channel Dolby Digital surround sound broadcastsiv without deterioration in sound quality or surround effects.

Connectivity

The Blu-ray recorders are the complete, easy-to-use living room solution, offering advanced networking to other Panasonic Home Entertainment devices via VIERA Link and SD Card Link connectivity. The recorders’ SD/SDHC card slot is a major advantage for users of SD card devices, such as a Panasonic HDC-SD20 camcorder. Simply insert the SD card to playback your AVCHD home movies and then record your memories to Blu-ray Disc, HDD or DVDv to archive or share with family and friends – all without a PC. The SD card slot can also play still JPEG images as a slide show on your TV.

Taking convenience and ease of use a step further, Panasonic’s intelligent VIERA Link offers single-remote control of Panasonic AV devices via HDMI and streamlines operation with features such as Pause Live TV, Direct TV Recordvi, and Auto Preset Download.

Online interactivity – BD Live

The Blu-ray Recorders feature BD-Live compatibility, allowing users to connect to the internet to download images, subtitles and other data and take part in interactive activities and multi-player games linked to bonus cinema content found on Blu-ray discs. Bonus View offers a whole new world of bonus movie content including ‘Picture in Picture’ and ‘Audio Mixing’.

True home cinema quality

For the true cinematic experience, Full High Definition Blu-ray movies are played the way the director intended in studio-mastered quality at 24 frames per second. The Blu-ray recorders deliver high quality picture and sound for outstanding home cinema, with technology advancements including HDMI V.1.3, Deep Colour, DVB-T adaptive noise reduction, 1080p Up-Conversion with HDMI and silence technology. Users can immerse themselves in the dynamic 7.1-channel surround sound of BD movies, supporting Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio formats.

Price and availability

Model number: DMR-BW850
Hard drive: 500GB HDD
Price: $2,199 RRP
Available: end May 2009

Model number: DMR-BW750
Hard drive: 250GB
Price: $1,979 RRP
Available: end May 2009

Review

Read the full GadgetGuy review of the Panasonic DMR-BW850 Blu-ray recorder.