Panasonic DMR-BWT800 and DMR-BWT700 turn 2D into 3D gold

Panasonic's latest Freeview+HD Blu-ray recorders transform the boring two-dimensional world of meetings and losing any unsaved work into a dazzling high-definition, 3D extravaganza.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Life getting you down? Is the only exciting thing that ever happens to you an unexpected item in the bagging area? Don't be downhearted: the Panasonic DMR-BWT800 and DMR-BWT700 Freeview+HD Blu-ray disc recorders can metaphorically transform our boring two-dimensional world of meetings and losing any unsaved work into a dazzling high-definition, three-dimensional extravaganza, by literally turning 2D into 3D.

Both decks boast twin HD terrestrial tuners, so you can record two digital broadcasts at the same time. They offer 5.1-channel surround sound so you can enjoy your recorded programmes and your Blu-ray platters in glorious high definition for the ears as well as for the eyes.

If glorious high definition isn't glorious enough for you, the players transform 2D pig-iron into 3D gold, converting regular fillums and telly stories into 3D. You can upscale rubbish old DVDs to hi-def quality, or go the whole three-dimensional hog and transform DVDs, Blu-rays or recorded telly into 3D. You can even turn your 2D photos into 3D snaps. Cor.

Whether it'll look as good as stuff that was filmed in 3D is unlikely, but it's a neat trick. A 3D Effect Controller adjusts the depth of the 3D, so you can crank the effect up for maximum depth-o-vision or dial it down if it's doing your swede in. Obviously you'll need a 3D-capable TV to display it.

Aside from 3D flim-flammery, the players give you assorted Blu-ray playback and recording options. You can access BD-Live extras on Blu-ray movies, or record telly to dual-layer Blu-ray discs, SD memory cards or a hard drive.

The BWT800 packs a 500GB hard drive and extra sound features, including a quiet mode that shhhs the fan inside the player. The BWT700 packs a 320GB hard drive.

An HD archiving function copies your photos and video from the SD memory card out of your camera on to the hard drive and a Blu-ray disc. That's handy for safely storing video you've recorded on your camera or camcorder, so you can get your muckers round and watch your meisterwerk on the big screen. You can also stream to other TVs, computers or even phones via DLNA.

The Wi-Fi-connected recorders access Panasonic's Internet TV portal Viera Cast, and apps including Skype, YouTube and AceTrax video on demand.

The icing on the cake is Panasonic's remote control app, which lets you control the recorders using your iPhone or iPad. The recorders are available now. The BWT800 costs £800 and the BWT700 costs £500.