Panasonic DMR-PWT500 3D BD Freeview HD DVR
A bit of a show-off
Getting on-line is a snap. The DMR-PWT500 has integrated Wi-Fi, a boon if you don’t have wired access in your living room – or are simply running out of cabled connections from your hub. WPS Push is supported for those with compatible routers.
The music player tries out different formats for size
One interesting feature of the Panasonic DMR-PWT500 is its DLNA server functionality. This needs to be specifically activated in the menu, as it prevents the unit from going into Power Save during Standby. However, fire it up and your DVR suddenly becomes visible to other compliant media players on a network... with mixed results.
My Popcorn Hour streamer could see the Panasonic and its video library, but was unable to play any files. Conversely, both A.C. Ryan and Western Digital WD Live players were able to stream the DMR-PWT500’s standard def recordings. Unfortunately, neither could cope with its HD recordings, each throwing up incompatible file errors. So, if you want to use the DMR-PWT500 as a server, best keep your recordings to standard def then.
A very tidy all-in-one combo, but its networking needs refinement
Be aware that there are limitations to the deck’s general functionality. When the DMR-PWT500 is recording, you can’t mooch around the Viera Cast content portal or play media from USB or Nas. Finished DVR-ing the Alan Titchmarsh show? OK, now you can go on the interwebs…
Overall, the DMR-PWT500 is a clever, albeit rather expensive combi deck. Both disc and DVR performance are praise-worthy, but Panasonic needs to sort out the half-baked streaming and server functionality to really make this a one-size fits all solution. ®
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