When Panasonic announced last month it would be bringing Blu-ray recorders with built-in freesat to the UK, we were over the moon -- finally, we could cram all our set-top box needs into one handly little device. But it's not all good news -- as we said at the time, these recorders are far from a bargain, starting at a breathtaking £900.
However you feel about the features and cost, we're happy to announce they're finally starting to arrive -- and we've got a look at the DMR-BS750, which features a 250GB hard drive, twin freesat tuners and a bunch of other awesome stuff. Its brother the BS850 bumps the memory up to 500GB, but is otherwise identical.
Although this isn't the first time we've seen the machine, it's the first time we've been able to get our grubby paws over it. We have to say, for a machine that does so much, it has an impressively small footprint. If we didn't know it was a Blu-ray freesat recorder -- and if it wasn't festooned with stickers proclaiming its abilities -- we might just assume it was a normal Blu-ray player.
The DMR-BS750 costs around £900, but despite the high price tag we're very excited about testing this funky little machine -- expect a full review of its skills soon. In the meantime, have a look at it in detail with our technoporn hands-on photo gallery.
SD cards offer a good way of getting video in and out of the DMR-BS750. You can use the built-in card reader to look at photos or listen to music. You can also copy video to cards from the hard disk, as long as they don't have any copy protection (HD is always protected).
Twin tuners mean you'll need twin LNBs free on your satellite dish. If you have Sky+ already and you're switching to freesat, you'll be fine, as will people paying £80 for a freesat install. If you've only got one LNB input, which is common with communal satellite dishes, you'll be stuck watching and recording one thing at a time. Still, you can always enjoy one of those recordings you've made -- or a Blu-ray movie.