June 10, 2008 The Olympic games have historically been a big mover of home entertainment products, giving consumers that excuse to splash out on that new big screen TV, home theater or recorder to really soak up the two weeks of sporting highlights. Recognizing this Panasonic has announced that the DMR-BW500, the first stand alone Blu-Ray Disc Recorder to be launched outside Japan will be available just in time for the Games. The DMR-BW500i can record up to 72 hours of Full High Definition 1080p recording onto the built in 500GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or 6 hours 40 min on a 50GB double layer Blu-ray Disc. In addition to video, it can record 5.1-channel Dolby Digital surround sound broadcasts and Blu-ray movies are played in studio-master quality at a frame rate of 24 frames per second.
The DMR-BW500 offers a twin DVB-T High Definition (HD) tuner with 1 second quick start for recording and support for 7-day Electronic Program Guide. Panasonic's intelligent VIERA Link offers single-remote control of Panasonic AV devices via HDMI and streamlining operation with features such as Pause Live TV, Direct TV Record and Auto Preset Download. The unit also features HDMI V.1.3, Deep Colour, DVB-T adaptive noise reduction, silence technology, 1080p Up-Conversion with HDMI and 7.1-channel surround sound of BD movies. It also supports the 'Bonus View' (formerly Final Standard Profile) Blu-ray standard and bitstream output of Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, DTS-HD Master Audio and on-board decoding of Dolby Digital and DTS.
The Blu-ray Recorder's SD Card slot lets users with a Full High Definition SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card camcorder simply insert the SD card to play AVCHD home movies and then record to Blu-ray Disc, HDD or DVD without a PC. The SD Card slot can also play still JPEG images as a slide show on a TV while the USB terminal allows playback or archiving of JPEG and MP3 files directly from a USB storage device. Fast dubbing allows the unit to transfer a one-hour recording from the HDD to a Blu-ray Disc in as little as 15 minutes and backwards compatibility with DVDs and CDs as well as supporting recording and playback of BD-R/-R DL, BD-RE/-RE DL, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, +R, +R DL and -RW discs means just about all bases are covered in the compatibility stakes.
For those without the desire, or bank balance, to upgrade to Blu-ray, Panasonic is also releasing a new line-up of DVD Recorders (for Australia) including the DMR-XW300 DVD Recorder, which can simultaneously record two HD channels with Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound onto the 250GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD). The new range also features three more DVD Recorders with SD Digital Tuners - the DMR-EX88 with 400GB HDD, the DMR-EX78 with 250GB HDD and the DMR-EZ48V, a combination DVD and VHS Recorder.
Panasonic hasn’t forgotten about Home Theatre Systems either with the announcement of its first Blu-ray Disc Home Theatre System. The SC-BT105 combines Full High Definition 1080p Blu-ray specifications with Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD Master Audio compatibility. The new 1250W (RMS) system boasts a powerful Kelton subwoofer, bamboo diaphragm centre speaker, HDMI and an integrated iPod dock. The flip-out integrated dock not only recharges an iPod but plays music or video through the Home Theatre System with audio tracks and menus displayed on the TV.
The new line of DVD and Blu-ray recorders and players are currently only available only in Japan but will be available in other markets in August. Via Panasonic.