Sometimes you might not be able to catch television when it is being broadcast due to the demands of busy life or those unexpected interruptions crop up which may cause you to miss a crucial plot twist. Of course, we had a solution for that in past decades in the form of timed recordings on the VCR but there are more modern and efficient solutions such as the DMR-PWT520 Blu-ray disc player and hard drive recorder.
It’s never been easier or more convenient to record your favourite content for later viewing – something called “time shifting”. If you’re new to the concept of time shifting and never fancied yourself as much of a VCR expert then you might want to check out what a hard drive recorder can do for you in terms of simplifying content consumption.
Firstly, the PWT520 packs in a sizeable 500GB hard drive which will be plenty of space particularly for those starting out with their first recorder. You’ve also got the option to archive shows out to an external USB hard drive if you do find yourself running out of space or you want to preserve space in the recorder. One approach you might employ is to use internal storage for content that you will watch once and delete while your classic movies and TV shows can be stored on an external drive. However, it’s worth noting in this model in that you can only view recorded content transferred to an external hard drive via the recorder itself and not on other devices such as computers. Also, If you’re after the ability to archive to DVD or Blu-ray discs then you might want to check out the BWT720 or BWT820 Blu-ray recorders.
Another major feature of the PWT520 for newcomers to the hard drive recorder scene is its twin television tuners capable of Full HD recording. If you’ve faced the conundrum of choosing between two or even three overlapping shows to watch then this will be the solution to your problem. Being able to record two channels simultaneously through the recorder while watching a third channel directly through the television should help you navigate smoothly through most clashes in television programming with a few button presses of the remote. The seven day electronic program guide (EPG) will also help you make decisions as to what to watch and record in advance – a convenient way to line up your favourite shows for recording.
One thing that I have come to love about the PWT520 is being able to improve the efficiency of content viewing. By watching content shortly after it has been recorded you can make very light work of not just the advertisements but a lot of the filler in some television shows that aren’t essential to your viewing experience. Essentially, you can cover more content in the same amount of time. You’ve also got the ability to pause and rewind live television as well when viewing via the PWT520 – ideal when you get those unexpected phone calls or visitors at the front door.
Of course, the PWT520 features a Blu-ray drive capable of playing CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs which is a plus if you’re looking to consolidating devices in your home theatre setup while teaming up nicely with a 3D capable television when playing 3D Blu-ray discs. The built in Wi-Fi means that you have access to online content such as Yahoo!7, ABC iView and YouTube just to name a few in addition to content that may exist on your home network. Most bases should be well covered as the BWT520 supports a bevy of media formats including AVCHD, MKV, MP4, MPEG-2 and DivX for videos stored on a USB hard drive with a subset available over network connections.
In terms of aesthetics, the BWT520 follows Panasonic’s current design styling for its audio visual products which should blend in easily with most home theatres. Despite being quite a solid unit this recorder is refined and understated in its appearance such that it doesn’t draw undue attention to itself.
So if you’re looking to jump into the world of hard disk recorders then the PWT520 should be well worth of your consideration given its vast content capabilities.
Words: Panasonic Insider, Boyd Chan.