A new HDD recorder
The guys at Panasonic are foraying into new territory with the DMR-HW100, the company’s first Freeview HDD recorder. The popular brand added to this device some features which aren’t standard to Freeview recorders. And by that we refer to Internet functionality and networking. But compared to other products, the DMR-HW100 doesn’t offer the traditional Blu-ray option. Did we catch your interest? Then be sure to find out more about the device from our following review.
SD card slot & USB port included
The Panasonic DMR-HW100’s hard-disk comes in a black casing which is attractive and almost the same as the one found on the company’s Blu-ray players and recorders. We noticed that even the flap covering the front panel is identical to the one on the devices we mentioned earlier. An SD card slot, a USB port and buttons to change channels sit behind the front panel; where the CAM slot and disc tray should have been added are blocked-off areas.
When looking through the front flap we came across a big screen; when we put it the device in standby during one of our tests, the display showed the time or the channel number. Next to that are some LEDs which show which tuners are recording what.
Moving on with the description of the Panasonic DMR-HW100, the rear sports 1 Ethernet port, 1 HDMI port, another USB port, optical digital audio and analogue stereo outputs and RF in/out. The second USB port proved to be helpful when we wanted to connect a wireless LAN adapter, for instance; or a communication cam for the integrated Skype functionality, for that matter. Recorders in general have a Scart output, which offers the possibility of making copies on external recorders; the Panasonic DMR-HW100 is the exception, unfortunately.
320GB hard drive capacity
The hard-disk is packed with a small 320GB, offering 154 hours of SD or 79 hours of HD recording time. Some of you will find these enough, although the majority we are sure won’t. But look on the bright side: this HDD recorder sported 2 DVB-T2 tuners which enabled us to watch one channel while recording another or record 2different channels at the same time. And even more than that, the device will be able to record 3D channels when they’ll arrive to Freeview. In the meantime, the product reviewed here turned 2D programs into 3D with superb ease.
Another strong point of the Panasonic DMR-HW100 is its DLNA certification; this allows the user to access recordings, stored on the product’s hard-disk or stream media content from Windows 7 PCs on your network, as well as other such devices.
To provide entertainment, the DMR-HW100 is equipped with Viera Cast; this option includes Twitter, YouTube, Dailymotion and other such famous sites. Playing WMAs or MP3s with the optional DY-WL10 wireless LAN adapter worked great, but streaming and playing DivX and AVCHD brought some problems along the way. The recorder also made it possible to play MPO 3D images and AVCHD videos filmed on a 3D camcorder via the device’s SD card slot.
Editing features are numerous and they offer different possibilities of dealing with what you recorded or prepare to record. Everything was very easy to do, thanks to the nice and comprehensive user interface.
Performance was outstanding, with pictures looking superb and abounding in clarity, details and beautiful colors. Web videos looked fairly well, but bad on a 40″ screen.
The Panasonic DMR-HW100 is quite the recording tool when it comes to 2D-to-3D conversion, image quality, ports and other features tested for this review. We definitely recommend it.
|MPEG2 / AVCHD||yes|
|Rear||For Wi-Fi adaptor and Skype camera|
|USB Standard||USB2.0 High Speed|
|Full HD Up Sampling (New P4HD)||yes|
|Digital Noise Reduction||yes|
|HIGH QUALITY SOUND|
|96kHz Surround Re-Master||–|
|Pure Audio on HDMI||yes|
|Audio D/A Converter||192kHz/24bit|
|Dolby Digital/ Dolby Digital Plus||Decode (5.1 ch) and Bitstream Output|
|DTS-HD Master Audio Essential/ DTS-HD High Resolution Audio||–|
|SD MEMORY CARD|
|Compatible Media||SD/ SDHC/ SDXC|
|Video System||PAL / NTSC|
|Video Recording System||MPEG-2/ MPEG-4AVC/ H.264|
|Audio Recording System||Dolby Digital (DR mode : MAX 5.1 ch) / Dolby Digital Plus (DR mode: Max 5.1ch) / MPEG (DR mode : 2ch) / HE-AAC (DR mode : 2ch [DVB-T/T2] )|
|Power Supply||AC 220-240V, 50Hz|
|Tuner System||DVB-T, DVB-T2|
|External dimensions (W x H x D ) (mm)||430 x 59 x 238mm|