Panasonic DMR-XW380, MR-BW880EBK, BW780EBK: First Freeview HD on Blu-ray

Panasonic's new DMR-XW380, MR-BW880EBK and BW780EBK let you tape Freeview+HD to DVD or Blu-ray. Click here if that floats your teacup

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.
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Richard Trenholm
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Panasonic is adding three new Freeview HD recorders to its line-up, including the first to capture telly on to sparkling high-definition Blu-ray discs. The MR-BW880EBK and BW780EBK record to Blu-ray discs, while the DMR-XW380 records free hi-def telly to DVD.

The BW880 records to dual-layer Blu-ray discs or 500GB hard drive. The BW780 does the same, but with a smaller 250GB hard drive. Both pack twin HD terrestrial and freesat satellite tuners, which let you watch HD Come Weld With Me on one channel and at the same time record HD Strictly Come Morris Dancing on another. The Blu-ray drive also lets you rip CDs or record TV to DVD in standard definition.

The XW380, meanwhile, records Freeview HD to DVD or to a 250GB hard disc drive. It has twin hi-def terrestrial tuners.

The three new decks all include 5.1-channel Dolby surround sound, revised user interface and various sharing and connecting options. A USB slot plays back DivX HD, MP3 and JPEG from USB sticks, and an SD card slot allows you to play back video and pictures, and copy over AVCHD, MP3 and JPEGs from your camcorder or camera.

Video and telly can be streamed around the house via DLNA, and controlled by the same remote as your Viera television. Viera Cast, Panasonic's Internet TV service, lets you access selected Web services including YouTube.

An impressive array of features, to be sure, but these kind of extra-special extras don't come cheap. The DVD-recording XW380 starts at £550, while Blu-ray recording will cost you £750, or £950 for the 500GB BW880. They'll be in shops in a matter of days -- just in time for the World Cup -- but if you're after a cheaper option here's our round-up of Freeview HD receivers and TVs with the service built-in.