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Panasonic DMR-BWT800 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £687
inc VAT

Packed with features, but we weren't keen on the user interface and it's expensive


Standard definition television broadcasts were reasonably clear, but some of the lower quality channels suffered from noise artefacts. Thankfully, high definition content was almost completely free of noise, both on free-to-air television and Blu-ray. 3D playback was just as smooth as regular Blu-ray content, although the quality of the effect will depend on the 3DTV you connect the player to.

Panasonic DMR-BWT800 remote

In spite of all these excellent features, we weren’t impressed with the on-screen interface. It isn’t the most attractive interface to begin with, despite being less cluttered than those of other set-top boxes we’ve seen, but the confusing remote control and context-sensitive buttons made it difficult to use some of the more advanced features without reaching for the instruction manual. Things improve with time, but it’s still initially frustrating. The TV guide, in particular, fills the entire screen but has no on-screen preview and cuts all sound, so you can’t choose another program without missing out on what you were watching originally. Picture quality options were quite sparse, leaving most of the image processing to your TV, but you are able to control noise reduction and enable or disable upscaling of standard-definition content through the player itself.

We were quite impressed with the BWT800; it has every feature we would hope to see in a Blu-ray player, plus PVR functions and internet TV. Although recording 3D content isn’t quite as important as Panasonic would have you believe, the ability to record to Blu-ray is great for anyone that likes to archive their TV programs but it certainly adds to the BWT800’s steep price. User interface aside it’s an impressive all-in-one system, but bear in mind that there are better separates available for less.

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Price £687
Rating ***

Buying Information

Price £687
Warranty two-year RTB

Features and Connections

Blu-ray profile 5.0
HDMI outputs 2
HDMI Version 1.4
Component outputs 0
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 1
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 1
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless standard 802.11b/g/n
USB ports 2
Mass storage support yes
Supported memory cards SD, SDHC, SDXC

Video, Audio and Photo

Video playback formats AVCHD, DivX HD, MKV, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, WMV 9, XVID
Image viewing formats JPEG
Audio playback formats MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC
YouTube streaming yes


Dynamic Range Control yes
Dolby TrueHD support yes
DTS-HD MA support yes


Power consumption standby 8W
Power consumption on 26W
Size 430x286x59mmmm

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