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Home Entertainment

Panasonic brings HbbTV to Blu-ray and DVD recorders

While there were questions around device compatibility when FreeviewPlus launched in Australia, Panasonic has pushed out compatibility for the HbbTV 1.5 standard to more products in its range.

FreeviewPlus

After jumping on the HbbTV bandwagon early in Australia with a range of compatible TVs, Panasonic has now expanded its offering, confirming HbbTV compatibility for its entire DVD and Blu-ray recorder line-up.

Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV has been live in Australia since September, supported by a major marketing campaign from the joint coalition of free-to-air broadcasters known as Freeview. However, despite claims that FreeviewPlus (as Australia's HbbTV technology is being branded) "will revolutionise the way Australians watch TV", takeup has been hampered by issues of device compatibility.

Unlike the original digital rollout, which Freeview said would either require a digital TV or digital set-top box to access, HbbTV compatibility has been less clear with the rollout of FreeviewPlus. In the lead up to launch there was also confusion as to whether older devices could be compatible with the HbbTV 1.5 standard, with Freeview saying there was no guarantee of performance without certification, and brands such as Sony saying there was no native support for HbbTV in its pre-2014 model TVs.

However, Panasonic has pushed out an OTA update for its current range of Blu-ray and DVD recorders, with devices connected to the internet automatically receiving the update for HbbTV compatibility on November 10, 2014.

Panasonic confirmed compatibility for the below devices:

  • DMR-BWT945 3D Blu-ray Disc Recorder with 2TB HDD
  • DMR-BWT740 3D Blu-ray Disc Recorder with 500GB HDD
  • DMR-PWT540 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with 500GB HDD
  • DMR-XW440 DVD Recorder with Twin HD Tuner

The recorders join a full list of HbbTV compatible TVs including 15 Panasonic models, as well as TVs from Sony, LG and TCL.