Feeds
65%
Panasonic DMR-BS850

Panasonic DMR-BS850

Freesat+ Blu-ray recorder with nearly all the trimmings

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

There’s also an extensive menu of options for the audio playback on Blu-rays, allowing you to request that some of the newer formats be downmixed automatically, which could be handy if you have an older surround processor. We’d quite like to have seen a built in decoder too, with multi-channel analogue audio outputs, but that would perhaps have cluttered the back panel.

Panasonic DMR-BS850

You can re-encode HD material to fit more on a disc, but you can’t save it to DVD

The DMR-S850 does not support DVD-Audio and SACD formats either. SuperVideoCD and the like, is also incompatible. To be fair, not many BD players do support legacy formats, but when you’re paying this much, we think you’re probably entitled to expect that it will play back all the media you’ve bought over the years.

Recording from Freesat is a doddle, and the automatic programme tracking ensured that when the athletics over-ran, we still got the whole of our scheduled recordings from BBC HD. To all intents and purposes, the user interface is the same as the DVD recording DMR-XS350 too, complete with the somewhat pregnant pauses when you switch between tasks, and the wait of several seconds to go into live pause.

Where things differ, of course, is in the support for Blu-ray discs. In fact, we suspect that a lot of the code is the same between both machines. Certainly, when copying recordings to DVD on the DMR-XS350, lots of high definition options appear, but they’re not selectable, but they are accessible on the DMR-BS850.

You can copy a recording from an HD channel as a bitstream, so it’s not re-encoded, and the copy will complete faster than real time. It takes about 39 minutes to copy 1hr 40mins of HD programming, or 40 per cent of running time. Re-encoding, but still in HD, is a real-time process.

Panasonic DMR-BS850

Freesat HD programming is copy protected, so you can only make a single HD disc

However, this is one area where users are likely to run into some annoyances. The cost of Blu-ray media is still pretty high and the cheapest we’ve found is a little under £4 for a 25GB disc. Panasonic’s own web shop will set you back twice that, and more for re-writable ones.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.