Panasonic has finally announced the release date and the prices of its range of Blu-ray, Freesat+ recorders for potential UK consumers.
The top of the range DMR-BS850, which comes with a 500GB hard disk drive will cost you a staggering, credit-crunch busting £999 while the BS75 model which comes with 250GB hard drive can be had for £100 less.
The XS350 model which shuns the Blu-ray reader for a DVD writer and packs a 250GB hard disk drive is available for a still rather steep £699.
All models come with two Freesat tuners which allow you to watch one channel and record on the other one - recording on both doesn't seem to be possible for now.
There's no denying though that these Panasonic devices will feature very highly in group tests and reviews but they are ridiculously expensive. Expect them to be available as from the 20th of June 2009.
Should you choose the highest quality DR recording mode, you will be able to cram 77 hours of HD content on a 500GB hard drive and around 7.5 hours on a standard 50GB Blu-ray disk. Going for the lowest recording option - H264 encoding - will provide you with up to 240 hours of programme on the 500GB hard disk drive.
Furthermore, you should be able to connect your camcorder (or even your SDHC card) straight into your Panasonic recorder and store camcorder footage directly on the Blu-ray disk without going through a PC.
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£1000 for a consumer electronics device is expensive. The Humax Fosat HDR Freesat Satellite PVR costs under £274 and although it comes without a Blu-ray burner, has a 320GB hard disk drive. Furthermore, 50GB Blu-ray disks are not only very, very rare, they are also extremely expensive. Even a single blank Blu-ray disk can cost as much as 50 blank DVD.
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