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Freeview ousts Freesat from Panasonic HD recorder line-up

Panasonic DMP-BDT320Panasonic has dropped Freesat HD recorders from its product line-up as it concentrates on better-selling Freeview HD boxes.

It’s not a complete farewell to Freesat, as there are still plasma and LED TVs with satellite tuners – and these can now record as well.

Leading the Freeview HD recorder range is the DMR-BWT720EB, which is available with a 1TB or 500GB hard disc as well as recordable Blu-ray, and has two Freeview HD tuners.

For those who don’t want to record to Blu-ray, there’s also the DMR-PWT520EB with a 1TB hard disc and the DMR-PWT420EB with a 500GB hard disc.

All four models enable you to archive your recordings to a USB-connected hard disc, and support DLNA so you can watch recordings or stream live TV to other devices on your home network.

The 1TB models both have built-in WiFi, while the 500GB models can be upgraded with a WiFi dongle bought from the Viera Connect store.

In addition to Panasonic’s Viera Remote 2.0 app, which turns phones and tablets into a remote control, touch-pad and keyboard, the Freeview HD recorders can also stream recorded and live TV to an Android tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch on your home network.

They all feature the Viera Connect smart TV service and web browser, with DLNA for sharing and accessing shared media files on your home network.

As well as supporting 3D Blu-ray, they can also convert any DVD, Blu-ray or TV from 2D to 3D with a user-adjustable depth effect to make viewing more comfortable.

Panasonic’s departure from Freesat recorders is believed to be due to poor sales and the long delay in launching Freesat’s second-generation hardware specification.

Freesat tuners are available with Panasonic’s high-end DT and WT LED TVs, and the GT and VT plasmas.