At first glance, Panasonic’s DMR-BS850 Freesat+ Blu-ray recorder is essentially identical in appearance to the DMR-XS350, it’s DVD version we reviewed recently. Actually, Panasonic offer two Blu-ray models with the £1000 DMR-BS850 featuring a 500GB hard drive, while the DMR-BS750 has 250GB drive and an £800 price tag. Shop …
I built a Blu-Ray/HD-DVD dual freeview HTPC for under half that - with a top of the range ATi GFX card it even manages as a high-end video games machine too (with better GFX than my 360).
Why pay so much when you can have PC that does everything and more for far less?
(i appreciate this is freesat not freeview but a card isn't the price difference)
Can't a PS3 do most of this?
Sounds like we are back to the early days of DVD recorders - each brand seemingly using a slightly different finalisations process so you end up with a lottery as to whether other machines will be able to read your finalised Disc.
Yet another reason not to bother with BluRay. At the moment you risk spending £150 (ish) on a player that will have to be replaced in a couple of years because it can't read the Discs your PC's built-in BluRay recorder is producing.
Need some anti piracy laws...
These manufacturers are a bit quick adding copy restrictions and other measures that the consumer doesn't want but has to pay for, meanwhile being the real pirates themselves. Possibly highway robbers would be more accurate than pirates. A two hundred quid price hike for putting in a 500G disk instead of a 250G one!!! A 50 quid premium should be more than enough to get a 1.5T jobbie fitted.
If I was in the market for something like this, I'd wait to see what the Koreans come up with, bound to be better value than products from the land of the setting sun.
Beware Panasonic products
Bought my parents a TU-CTH100 dual tuner freeview PVR. Nice package, handy features, all round a great product - or it would be if it hadn't come out with bug ridden software (frequent hard lockups requiring a power off reboot) and then been totally abandoned by Panasonic after just one update which didn't fix all the bugs.
Interesting that in this thread http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=477730, Panasonic promised a new software release which never appeared. Earlier threads on the product went to 50+ pages !
So if you enjoy paying good money for a dead end product then by all means buy Panasonic.
@Need some anti piracy laws...
Freesat mandate the copy protection restrictions be implemented in licensed devices. Manufacturers have no choice. I've been told that BBC and the other broadcasters have forced copy protection into the Freeview HD specification too.
I don't see why they bother when the broadcasts are unencrypted, the manufacturers must hate it, viewers hate it and it doesn't secure anything.
...may do this better - they did with the SD/DVD version.
The other side is - how's it going to link to a home server full of music?
...when will something worth recording in HD be produced (and transmitted) ?
Oh boy, Big Brother in HD, I can hardly wait...