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Jul 14 2009

For those of you considering the purchase of a Panasonic Blu-Ray Freesat+ Receiver but have been put off by the price, you might want to know that the price has now dropped further to £779.00 plus delivery from some retailers, just weeks after launch.

So what’s the reason for such a significant drop? Well putting aside the fact that electronic products do drop after launch, there isn’t one, the trade price has been able to cope with such retail prices since launch, but with Panasonic’s rrp so high, many retailers have used this opportunity to sell at massive profits. You only have to look at the major retailers to see how many are still selling the BS850 at £999.99; nearly £200 more than other reputable sellers.

Prices will no doubt continue to fall, but at this time the trade price is static so the retail price may stick around this margin for a while.

Cheapest prices at time of posting:

Panasonic DMR-BS850 – Satbuyer – £786.00 inc delivery

Panasonic DMR-BS750 – Satbuyer – £672.00 inc delivery

Panasonic DMR-XS350 – Satbuyer – £519.00 inc delivery

Alternatively, you might want to compare more prices on our Freesat digital box product pages

26 Responses to “Panasonic DMR-BS850 Price Drop”

  1. Derek Says:

    Wow! Dixons have just dropped from £999 to £817. GASP :-))

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  2. Tony Hales Says:

    Let me know when it drops to £399.

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  3. ChrisK Says:

    £570 for a Panasonic DMR-XS350 got to be the most expensive DVD/HDD recorder ever.

    They must be charging £400 for the HD receiver.

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  4. Lee B Says:

    Still too rich though, and I think the Blue Rays recorded on the Panasonic are having issues playing back on the PS3, I guess a firmware update might fix it.

    I’d prefer an update to the Humax to resolve a few outstanding issues and a 1 or 1.5 TB drive offering as standard now drive prices have dropped.

    Off topic but an increase in the bitrate of SD material would be nice, as many of the freeview channels seem to have a slightly higher bit rate, but I doubt this will ever happen, though I have seen talk of a new commercial encoder producing much better results with SD material at low bitrates.

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  5. Al Catraz Says:

    I agree with Tony (2) – under £400 and I may think about it.

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  6. darnall 42 Says:

    WOW -£799 They are good to us ;) put me down for under £400 too

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  7. Robert Langdon Says:

    Sorry Admin I can’t seem to find where you sign up for the ” It’s under £400 notice”

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  8. Derek Says:

    I can’t help feeling that Panasonic really have shot themselves in the foot with this launch. It is a prime example of how NOT to launch new kit.

    They have been market leaders in Freesat televisions, and produce equipment of excellent quality.

    As always they supplied “advance” machines to reviewers and received the obligatory rave reviews. Then they announced the price, and general comment on the blogs and newsgroups was that it was too high.

    Machines come to market, and immediately their dealers are offering £100 off if you surrender any old DVD player or VCR. For that kind of absurd offer to be made there is clearly substantial overpricing. Then the marketplace takes over, and already we are down £200. It’s obviously profiteering. If it looks like a duck and it quacks – it’s a duck.

    Perhaps they are trying to recover a proportion of their development costs, but their (no doubt highly paid) sales team seems to have overlooked that we are in a recession. Once they have exhausted the customers who will pay any amount of money to have the first machines, there will be a bulk of customers who were considering the machine, but who will now be seriously unimpressed by this activity. Panasonic have done their commercial reputation no good at all, and their Managing Director should be investigating how this happened.

    I don’t expect an admission of fault (companies don’t do that) but perhaps we could now have a sensible trade price and restore some customer confidence.

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  9. John Taylor Says:

    Think I’ll stick with my Foxsat-HDR for the time being !!

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  10. Stu_W Says:

    Yes. The prices were so steep I never looked at the range in any great detail. I did yesterday and even the DVD/HDR combo (Not BRay) is still £200 too expensive. And yes, agree that I’m not impressed by the pricing behaviour. Though it’s not likely to be noticed by the average buyer.

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  11. Ronnie Says:

    Still too much for me!!! LOL

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  12. Derek Says:

    Admin

    You might want to do another price check. When I last looked they were £790 (plus delivery) in the marketplace.

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  13. peterhb Says:

    Just shows how they can be mistaken about market potential – did they do a proper market survey?
    Also this machine will be out of date by the year end when Freeview HD launches. They need a machine capable of recording Freesat & Freeview HD – Then I might think about purchasing one ( another excuse to put the price back up again?)

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  14. CuriousDevil Says:

    As post # 13 has highlighted, is there currently a product which has a freeview tuner and a freesat tuner built into one box ? as there are a few channels which aren’t available on both

    Is a Freeview HD and Freesat HD recorder combo likely to come to market anytime soon though?

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  15. Derek Says:

    The point has been made before, but Freeview HD (i.e. TV from existing land based transmitter sites) cannot be rolled out in full until the analogue service closes down. There are insufficient channels (bandwidth) available to support both. Therefore it is going to come on stream slowly, and initially only in some parts of the country. Ofcom are making noises about 2012, but I cannot say if that is accurate.

    Existing Freeview TVs and set top boxes will NOT receive Freeview HD channels because the code is different. I don’t doubt that all manufacturers will have Freeview HD TV sets and supplementary set top boxes available when the time comes, but there is nothing on the market at the moment so far as I am aware.

    There are some Freeview engineering HD tests going on at low power (a channel appears in London from time to time) but you will get a blank screen on an existing set.

    The current advantage of Freesat is that it has a greater national coverage area and the HD is available nationally now. Getting channels on to the platform is, of course, another issue, but the BBC output is first class.

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  16. Tony Hales Says:

    It’s back up to £804 on marketplace. They must have sold one:-)

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  17. Derek Says:

    So I see. Satbuyer has reduced to a lower price, but they don’t appear to have any.

    I would have thought that it would make more sense to price them below £799 (the old commercial trick of making it sound less), but perhaps someone does not like the discounting.

    I particularly like the dealer on the marketplace who has them for £1047. I imagine the queue must be down the street. :-)

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  18. MikeB Says:

    @ Derek – Development costs must have been minimal, since they have been selling almost identical machines in Australia for some time now – the only significant difference being the Freesat tuner, as far as I can see. Note the price over there…
    http://panasonic.com.au/products/details.cfm?objectID=4337

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  19. Derek Says:

    They have now started to appear on eBay, where (on a quick scan) the lowest price appeared to be £829.

    However the marketplace is again down to £790 – the price appears to move above and below £800 to no obvious pattern.

    Sorry, can’t help the people who want it for £400……. :-)

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  20. Nigel Whitfield Says:

    I’d guess the Australian machine will have standard DVB-T tuners, which will be a little cheaper (though not too much now) than the newer DVB-S2 required for a Freesat HD unit. There will also be licensing costs for things like the MHEG software and whatever Freesat charges (if anything) for licensing their EPG.

    Of course, the Oz unit works out rather pricier, but that often seems to be the case with some of their kit. A lot of people in the UK do tend to want things incredibly cheap (but with excellent quality); we’ve been spoiled by equipment subsidies historically. Look at the price of a twin satellite PVR from European stores, for example, or the unsubsidised list price of a Sky+ HD. Not that cheap, in fact. The Humax iCord ranges between €380 and just over €500 with a 250Gb hard drive – that’s over £320 starting price, for a box that’s then customised specifically for a smaller market with dedicated software, and actually sold for a fair bit less in the UK.

    Of course I’d like things to be cheaper – but simply wishing that were so won’t make it the case. Some of these things do actually cost a fair bit to make, and surprisingly (as in the case of the iCord and some other kit) we actually already get them cheaper here than in many other countries. Freeview PVRs are cheap because they use an old technology (DVB-T, Mpeg2) that’s had over a decade to recover development costs, and lower licensing fees.

    I’m also curious why Derek things rave reviews are “obligatory”

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  21. Chris K Says:

    I find disk based recording to be expensive (not to say old fashion)with on going cost for Blue-Ray discs, even if they do come down to DVD equivalent prices there is still the cost of the Panasonic recorder with its £500 + more than a PVR HD recorder.

    With the advent of hard disc recorders with USB -PVR out connections I have found it much cheaper (and reliable) just to use 2.5 inch HDD on a plug and play basic.

    I have brought HDD of 160 GB for £39 that can be used over and over that can store up to 15 HD movies.

    The only advantage that disc based system has is its ability to take a copy of a movie/programme and give it to someone else for viewing which is technically illegal.

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  22. Stu_W Says:

    Well the price set by the supplier is the price. I have the choice to buy it or not. I choose not to buy it. It simply makes no sense based on buying seperates even though there is only one alternative for the HDR.

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  23. MikeB Says:

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  24. Al (Original) Says:

    When the top model hits £499 I might consider one as then its a reasonable premium for the Blu Ray convenience.

    At anything more, just not worth it for me to get a slight improvement on the SD picture quality. I’ll be sticking with the Humax HDR for the foreseeable future failing a further serious price drop.

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  25. Chris Guest Says:

    I was in my local Panasonic shop when a guy asked about buying their Freesat recorder. Their response was that they didn’t sell them in the shop, and that they were only available via the shop@Panasonic website.

    If you have to purchase via the Panasonic website, then surely it is more practical to shop elsewhere on the web and save a few hundred pounds on the official price.

    Besides, it doesn’t appear that Panasonic shops are that committed to selling Freesat recorders – or that there isn’t sufficient demand to warrant stocking them.

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  26. Muggins Says:

    Considering buying DMR-BS850 but have no dish installed… any suggestions plz

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