Customer Review

133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly versatile HDD/DVD Recorder with Outstanding Performance, 17 July 2013
By 
This review is from: Panasonic DMR-BWT735EB Smart Blu-ray Disc Recorder with 1TB HDD and Twin Freeview+ HD Tuners (Electronics)
This top-of-the-range machine is festooned with capabilities which some may find a bit daunting.

Nevertheless, I can wholeheartedly recommend this unit because it's basic performance is exceptionally good, never mind the party tricks. It has twin tuners which allow simultaneous recording from one channel while watching another. I have a weak aerial signal but the quality of signal on this machine is higher than I was originally getting with the aerial plugged directly into the TV (also a Panasonic) so image quality is very good. The recorded image is just as good as the original.

The Electronic Programme Guide is intuitive and is easy to use. This model and the previous DMR 720 generation have a smallish font with coloured graphics which require quite good eye-sight to programme from a distance on my system, compared with earlier Panasonics where the EPG was more easy to read, but not as pretty. In fact the DMR 735 is very much an evolution of the DMR 720, which I also use. In addition to a huge 1TB of storage on the hard drive the DMR 735 is about the only machine currently on the market that allows for archiving from the hard drive to DVD, something that was commonplace over 5 year ago but not any more. So as I like to keep copies of some material I've recorded off the TV this recorder rather selects itself.

On the party tricks:

1. Remote recording of programmes using an Android (or IOS) App allows programmes to be recorded when away from home. The App itself is a bit flakey and tends to crash.
2. Viewing of TV or recorded material on a compatible tablet device wirelessly - handy if you want to watch TV in the garden or bathroom.
3. DLNA services allows playing of compatible recordings from network attached media serving devices, including NAS servers and more interestingly other Panasonic Smart DVD devices such as the DMR 720 (it may work with non-panasonic devices but I have not tried this). So on my system the DMR 735 can display and play the contents of the DMR 720 hard drive, and vice-versa. This is handy if I have recorded a programme in one room that I want to watch in another. The unit can read MP4 and MkV formats but cannot recognise a DVD that has been dubbed directly to the NAS - it can play a single .VOB file but does not know to link them together to complete the DVD. Still, the DMR 720 did not understand a file directory system so at least this model can navigate through my directories to find what I am looking for.
4. Network services allow access to things like BBC iPlayer, Youtube etc. Other Apps can be used to expand this.

I would summarise by saying Panasonic stand alone in this market with this highly versatile model. I have looked at Samsung, Sony, Humax and the like but taking price into account, I consider the DMR 735 is the very best that is currently available.
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 59 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Sep 2013 14:45:13 BDT
Thanks TF for a very interesting review. I have one question that you might have answered in your review. I need to make recordings of video data files from my home computer network onto Blu Ray disks. Does the recorder allow this?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2013 17:15:03 BDT
TF says:
Hello GAE, thanks for the positive comment.

Are you asking if it is possible to directly copy a file from a network device to the built-in Blu Ray player of the Panasonic? If so, I think it is highly unlikely to work. The Panasonic does not show up on the network map (other than as a media streaming device which cannot be accessed) of any of my devices running OSX or Windows 7 Premium. However, under Windows 8 Pro the Panasonic DMR-BWT735EB and DMR-BWT720 both are revealed under the "my computer" section of Windows Explorer, but not "network places" (I use the Classic Shell add-on from sourceforge which may be necessary for this to work). I can copy files from the Panasonic hard drives but do not dare to copy to them because I cannot predict the consequences. The Blu Ray drives are not visible on my network.

It may be possible to copy your files to a USB stick and plug this into the Panasonic and copy to DVD from there but it would probably need to be a supported file type. I'm not clear what you mean by "video data files".

The user manual is available from the Panasonic Website and you could try contacting them through the Website to see if they can cast any light on the subject.

Regards, TF

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2013 20:55:13 BDT
Thanks TF,

That's very helpful. I have a need to save my HD video recordings off the computer so I am thinking of buying a blu-ray drive. It certainly seems as if I should get a drive suitable for computer use rather than try to make use of the Panasonic. I'll also buy the Panasonic as well for TV use:)

Posted on 1 Oct 2013 11:33:09 BDT
Redhunter says:
I am looking to purchase a Blu-ray 3D payer recorder, having trawled through many reviews I have come to the conclusion it has to be one by Panasonic, so which one? It has come down to either DMR-BWT735 or DMR-BWT720, so what is the difference? this seemed very difficult to establish, until I found your reviews, which are excellent, thank you.
The only question that remains is it worth paying £100+ more for the 735 as opposed to the 720? from your reviews I don't think so.
Thank you again.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Oct 2013 10:29:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Oct 2013 10:31:19 BDT
TF says:
Hello DWL

I only just noticed your comments so apologies for the delay. There are differences between the two units which have been mentioned in other reviews.

The 720 has been discontinued and replaced by the 735. The price of the 735 fluctuates widely so purchase timing can make a big difference, but it should cost under £399 - it's list price is actually £499 which is cheaper than the 720 at £549. The differences that affect me are: chassis colour which is silver for 735 and black for 720, no scart output to TV which was available on the 720, ability to navigate network directories to find media (the 720 cannot do this and just displays all the network files it locates in one long list, which is pretty useless), remote programme recording by Panasonic App available on 735. Hope this helps.

Posted on 4 Nov 2013 23:45:52 GMT
Brian Lee says:
Hi TF -

You mention in your (very useful) review that the 735 "allows for archiving from the hard drive to DVD".

This is true of course, but you didn't mention that the machine also allows archiving of HD material to Blu-Ray disc in perfect quality (i.e. exactly the same as the broadcast quality, which as you say is exceptionally good). And it allows over 6 hours worth of HD on one 25GB Blu-Ray disc - enough for four average films per disc. And it does the 6 hours copy in about 20 minutes! And it can also copy SD programmes to Blu-Ray disc - and can hold over 20 hours of SD on one disc. That really puts the icing on the cake for me and many others.

Just thought that this was worth pointing out.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2013 19:19:19 GMT
TF says:
Hello Brian

Fair comment - I didn't attempt to go into anything like the detail of your reviews as I wanted to make it clear that this machine was an excellent performer at the basic level to encourage less technically minded would-be purchasers to give it serious consideration. It does have a tremendous features list and as a brand I have found Panasonic to be generally reliable, so like you I am a big fan.

Posted on 19 Nov 2013 12:48:20 GMT
ccman says:
Great review, but does it PLAY at 1.3 times normal speed (on ALL media), pls?
I have this feature on my exisitng Panny DVD recorders (when using RAM disks - pointless using any others) and it is a great time saver ("live" TV now seems way too slow...)
Your response would be much appreciated, as retailers have no clue - and it's not mentioned on any of the websites (Pan's or review sites) that I have seen. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2013 21:12:04 GMT
TF says:
Hi ccman - thanks for the comment.

I really can't answer your question. There is a search function on the remote which allows four different search speeds, the least fast having sound the others mute. I do not know if the lowest setting (the one with sound) is 1.3x but I suspect it is faster. You could try e-mailing Panasonic Support via their website as I have found them helpful in the past.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2013 08:11:55 GMT
ccman says:
Hi TF - and many thanks for replying.
I think that perhaps I did not explain the 1.3 function very well... It has nothing to do with searching, it concerns Playback. By pressing the Play button twice (holding it briefly, the 2nd time) the PLAY speed increases by 30% - but without sounding like the chipmunks!
It is an an incredibly useful (timesaving) feature but, sadly, one of which most people (even those in the business) don't seem to know about.
We have used it for several years with DVD RAM disks - and a shop assistant showed it working on a pre-recorded BluRay disk - but was unable to demo it on something he had actually recorded on a BD or the HDD, as it had no aerial connection...
Panasonic has stated that "most of our HDD recorders have this feature", but I'm unable to confirm if this is so for all/any of the units which I am looking at.
(Even their Features & Specs lists don't seem to mention it.)
You may like to check your own unit, to see if the 1.3 feature works on the HDD and/or BD?
(The play button is usually marked "Play/1.3".)
Assuming that it does work, I think you will be impressed - and maybe even hooked?! Let me know!
Thanks again.
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