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Panasonic preps Freeview HD Blu-ray DVRs

Out in time for the World Cup?

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Panasonic is bringing Freeview HD boxes to Britain later this year: two Blu-ray Disc recorders that can also tune into the expanding terrestrial TV service.

The Japanese giant showed off the boxes at an event held in Munich this week. The two models are the DMR-BW880 and the DMR-BW870, which incorporate 500GB and 250GB of hard drive storage, respectively.

Freeview HD content can be kept on the hard drive (HDD) or burned to single- or dual-layer Blu-ray Disc recordable (BD-R) and rewritable (BD-RE) optical media. Both models have two tuners for full DVR functionality.

The players also feature SD card slots to allow them to play - and copy to the HDD or BDs - camcorder-sourced content in AVCHD format.

The players are DLNA clients, an interoperability standard that enables them to pull material off networked computers and storage and present on the small screen. If there's an internet connection on the network, they'll provide access to YouTube, Picasa and suchlike through Panasonic's VieraCast UI.

The units are BD Live-capable, which means that additional material and interactivity for BD Live enabled films and games is accessible through the interenet.

Panasonic didn't say when the DMR-BW870 and DMR-BW880 will cost, but they're due to go on sale in "the summer" - in time for the World Cup, we suspect. ®

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