In Crave's ideal world, we'd be able to project TV out of our eyeballs whenever we wanted to watch it. We despise this hopelessly old-fashioned process of waiting for a programme to start and then sitting down and not being able to go for a wee until the first advert break.
Obviously, this model of convenience doesn't suit the television industry. Its revenue stream is mostly made up of money from companies that want you to buy their miracle cream for reducing fine lines or sell you a lifestyle that you can only get by joining a specific mobile phone network. Luckily, the Panasonic DMR-EX88 DVD recorder and Freeview PVR moves us closers to watching TV conveniently and uninterrupted.
It does this by allowing you to record television shows to its built-in 400GB hard drive. That's right -- 400GB. You can record quite a lot of TV on a drive that size. Panasonic reckons at low quality, you can store more than 700 hours of video. Best of all, when you fill the disc, you can simply write the shows you want to keep on to DVD via the built-in recorder.
Of course, every DVD player worth its salt has upscaling these days and the EX88 is no exception. It can output a 1080p signal to your HD television and while that doesn't mean Freeview will look high defintion, but it does mean you'll get the very best out of your DVD collection.
The EX88 has a total of four recording modes, so you can pick the picture quality that best suits you. It also has support for all the blank DVD standards, including DVD-RAM; this format is especially useful for recording TV because it allows flexible writing, deleting and can be re-written up to 100,000 times. Even dual layer discs are supported, allowing you to archive up to 8GB of video on one disc.
The EX88 is a great way of storing your shows until you're ready to watch them. Besides also offering some nice DVD playback options, it should do the job of annoying the nation's broadcasters, what with all the advert skipping that's going to occur.
The Panasonic DMR-EX88 is available now for around £350. -Ian Morris