BBC iPlayer To Launch On TechniSat, Harvard (pt2)

BBC iPlayer on TechniSat, Harvard

Following on from the disappointing delay of BBC iPlayer onto TechniSat and Harvard receivers, it looks likely that the service will be added over the course of the next week or two.

TechniSat have confirmed a scheduled inclusion on the 25th March 2010 with Harvard Group (Grundig, Bush, Goodmans) and Sagem expected to follow on the 30th March 2010.

Panasonic receivers (DMR-BS850, BS750 and XS350) have an update happening tomorrow (24th March 2010) though we don’t know whether this includes iPlayer; unfortunately we have absolutely no news on Panasonic and LG televisions yet!

Note that iPlayer will only be available on Freesat HD and Freesat+ receivers/idtv’s.

Hopefully all will go according to plan this time 😉

Panasonic Launch New Freesat TV Range

Panasonic Freesat

Following what we thought was the expected launch of iPlayer on Panasonic televisions today, it would seem that the secrecy has been over the new range of televisions launching soon, rather than anything else! 🙁

This is still good news though, especially for those with access to both Freesat and Freeview reception, as the new range shown below now include both Freesat HD and Freeview HD receivers built-in; a first in this country.

The range are as follows and will begin roll-out in March this year:

Plasma Televisions

Panasonic TX-P42G20B
Panasonic TX-P42V20B
Panasonic TX-P46G20B
Panasonic TX-P50G20B
Panasonic TX-P50V20B
Panasonic TX-P50VT20B
Panasonic TX-P65VT20B

LCD Televisions

Panasonic TX-L32G20B
Panasonic TX-L32D28BP
Panasonic TX-L32D28BW
Panasonic TX-L32D28BS
Panasonic TX-L37G20B
Panasonic TX-L37V20B
Panasonic TX-L37D25B
Panasonic TX-L37D28BS
Panasonic TX-L37W20B
Panasonic TX-L42D25B
Panasonic TX-L42W20B

BBC iPlayer On Panasonic From Mid-February?

Panasonic Freesat

It has been brought to our attention by one of our readers (thanks Mike!) that according to DTG, Panasonic’s current software version is due to be updated on Monday 15th February 2010.

We know that Panasonic have been working with the BBC to introduce iPlayer across their range of televisions (following Sony a few weeks back) but is this the date when it launches? We hope so!

We have contacted Panasonic and they have stated that they cannot release information coincidently until that very same date;

our 2010 line-up is under embargo until 9.00 GMT 15th Feb

We know quite a few of you have Panasonic televisions with Freesat built-in and are eagerly awaiting the availability of BBC iPlayer, so lets hope this is it!

Panasonic DMR-BS850 Price Drop

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

Panasonic Freesat Technical Specifications

Panasonic Freesat Technical Specifications

Should you be interested, Panasonic have published the general and technical specifications for all three new Freesat+ receivers coming to the market in June. The DMR-BS850 and DMR-BS750 boast the UK’s first Blu-Ray recorders and 500GB/250GB hard drives respectively, whilst the DMR-XS350 offers a DVD recorder and 250 HDD.

Panasonic DMR-BS850 Product Page
Panasonic DMR-BS750 Product Page
Panasonic DMR-XS350 Product Page

At present there doesn’t seem to be any user manuals available, but sure they will be added soon…plus Panasonic need to change the DMR-XS350 page so it doesn’t state being compatible with “Freeview+”.

TrustedReviews Opinion On Panasonic Freesat/Blu-Ray


TrustedReviews have published an in-depth review and assessment of the soon to be released Panasonic Freesat Blu-Ray Recorders. The more we read about it, the more we look forward to its release, although there is no escaping that price tag, no matter how keen you are on your technology.

The review goes in to a good level of detail and includes a few pages of images. We won’t summaries it, just have a read/look yourself.

Check out the review from TrustedReviews here

Panasonic Blu-Ray HDD Recorder Update

Panasonic Freesat Blu-Ray PVR

Following on from the announcement we made back in February that Panasonic were to launch a range of Blu-Ray HDD PVR’s, we now have more news available following their demo at Panasonic UK in Bracknell on Tuesday.

The three models available will launch 20 June 2009 and include two Blu-Ray models (DMR-BS850 and DMR-BS750) and one DVD-R model (DMR-X350). The premium DMR-BS850 will include a 500GB HDD with an initial rrp of £999. The DMR-BS750 with the smaller 250GB HDD will come in at £899. The final base range model, the DMR-X350 is fitted with a DVD recorder instead of Blu-Ray, plus 250GB HDD for £699. These prices certainly suggest the products are being aimed at the enthusiast side of the market, although expect prices to drop after a couple of months.

All three units come with Freesat twin tuners allowing you with the aid of two cables from your satellite dish the ability to record two channels whilst playing back a previously recorded programme; or alternatively recording two channels whilst watching a Blu-Ray/DVD.

The Freesat EPG allows for single programme and series link recording, plus ‘split’ recording for those pesky occasions where films are broken into two parts usually by the news. As with the Humax FOXSAT-HDR, this software is also capable of giving you the option of SD or HD recording should that programme be available in both.

Each PVR comes compatible with Viera Cast, Panasonic’s proprietary internet portal that’s standard across its entire 2009 Blu-Ray range and many of its latest televisions.

The two Blu-Ray models have on-board decoders for Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD Master Audio, and the premium DMR-BS850 gets upgraded audio components such as a better quality DAC and gold-plated terminals.

Coming complete with an SD card slot and 2 x USB connections, the digital receivers will also allow Panasonic camcorder users the option of saving their AVCHD files to the hard drive. Similarly you’ll be able to store music (with Gracenote support) and images from your digital camera (JPEG format).

On the same subject, there is also a built-in music jukebox with 350,000 album and song titles pre-installed from the Gracenote database. This can be updated via the web using the recorder’s Ethernet connection. The Ethernet port will also be iPlayer compatible when it launched in the Autumn.

There will be five quality modes available when recording to the HDD or a Blu-Ray disc; these are DR (14mbps), HG (12mbps), HX (8mbps), HE (5mbps) and the lowest quality HL (4mbps). In the highest quality DR mode you can store 77 hours of high-definition content on the 500GB HDD, 37.5 hours on the 250GB HDD and 7.5 hours on a blank 50GB dual-sided Blu-ray disc. Switch to the lowest quality HL mode and you’ll get 240 hours on the 500GB HDD, 120 hours on the 250GB HDD and 24 hours on a 50GB Blu-ray disc.

Both Blu-Ray versions come complete with 6x BD-R capability, allowing fast copying to disc. The units will be 50GB compatible with 100GB Blu-Ray discs expected in 2010.

The one sticking point is the copy protection flags available for broadcasters, allowing them to select the type of recording available on their programmes; such as unlimited recording, once or never. Whilst you’ll of course be able to record to the HDD, transferring to Blu-Ray may not be possible; it would depend on the broadcaster.

More information on these new Freesat PVR’s can be found on Panasonic’s HD Everything page.

Confirmation of Panasonic television range

We’ve had a number of emails asking what the full range of new Panasonic televisions with Freesat built-in will be. We can confirm the complete list as follows with descriptions:

Z1 Series (plasma)
Freesat models: TX-P46Z1B (46″), TX-P54Z1B (54″)

46″ rrp £tbc; 54″ rrp £tbc (launch tbc)
The Z1 Series is the flagship model combining superb functionality with a slim, fully flat*5, one-inch design. Also featuring full-HD wireless transmission technology that makes flexible room layout possible, these models are perfect for users seeking the highest grade in both function and design. The Z1 Series deliver outstanding 1080 lines moving picture resolution and a dynamic contrast of over 2,000,000:1. The THX Certified Display they incorporate has passed stringent tests, ensuring that they are ideal for viewing films. Z models also feature home networking with DLNA, which allows playback of motion images with VIERA CAST, and the VIERA Image Viewer. They can play DivX format motion images as well.

V10 Series (plasma)
Freesat models: TX-P42V10B (42″), TX-P50V10B (50″)

42″ rrp £1499.00; 50″ rrp £1799.00 (launch tbc)
In picture quality, the V Series stands at the top of the VIERA 2009 product line. Images are simply electrifying thanks to 1080 lines moving picture resolution and dynamic contrast of over 2,000,000:1. Digital Cinema Colour adds rich, vivid colour reproduction that approaches the level of a cinema. And the THX Certified Display further enhances the quality of film images. The V Series is especially recommended for film buffs and viewers who insist on the best in picture quality. It comes with a host of networking functions, including VIERA CAST, VIERA Image Viewer, VIERA Link, and DLNA, and the V Series’ stunning “One Sheet of Glass” design places it alongside the Z Series as a high-end model.

G15 Series (plasma)
Freesat models: TX-P42G15B (42″), TX-P46G15B (46″)

42″ rrp £1299.00; 46″ rrp £1499.00 (launch tbc)
The G15 Series combines enhanced networking and image-quality functions with a narrow bezel and slim design. With VIERA CAST, users can easily view Internet content from sources such as Eurosport and YouTube. The VIERA Image Viewer makes it easy to play back still and motion images from a digital camera or camcorder, and DLNA makes it possible to play back still and motion images stored on devices connected over a network. This series is well suited to users who want both superb picture quality and a wide range of entertainment possibilities.

G10 Series (plasma)
Freesat models: TX-P42G10B (42″), TX-P46G10B (46″), TX-P50G10B (50″)

42″ rrp £1199.00; 46″ rrp £1399; 50″ rrp £1499.00 (launch March / April 2009)
Incorporating a host of high-picture-quality functions, the G10 Series includes core VIERA models that offer 1080 lines moving-picture resolution and contrast of over 2,000,000:1 (native 40,000:1). In terms of networking, G10 models offer VIERA Link and the VIERA Image Viewer, giving viewers easy new ways to enjoy beautiful pictures.

V10 Series (LCD)
Freesat models: TX-L32V10B (32″), TX-L37V10B (37″)

32″ rrp £1099.00; 37″ rrp £1299.00 (launch tbc)
In picture quality, the V10 Series stands at the top of the 2009 VIERA LCD product line with its great picture quality thanks to Panasonic’s 100Hz Intelligent Frame Creation technology. The V10 Series has a slim design and comes with a host of networking functions, including VIERA CAST, VIERA Image Viewer, VIERA Link, and DLNA.

G15 Series (LCD)
Freesat models: TX-L37G15B (37″)

37″ rrp £1149.00 (launch tbc)
The G15 Series combines enhanced networking and image-quality functions. With VIERA CAST, users can easily view Internet content from sources such as Eurosport and YouTube. The VIERA Image Viewer makes it easy to play back still and motion images from a digital camera or camcorder, and DLNA makes it possible to play back still and motion images stored on devices connected over a network. Thanks to the beautiful, high-contrast motion images achieved by the IPS Alpha panel, the G15 series is well suited to users who want both superb picture quality and a wide range of entertainment possibilities.

G10 Series (LCD)
Freesat models: TX-L32G10B (32″), TX-L37G10B (37″)

32″ rrp £899.99; 37″ rrp £1049.99 (launch April 2009)
With the advanced IPS Alpha panels, the G10 LCD series models deliver breathtaking images with 800 line resolution, 50,000:1 dynamic contrast and a wide colour viewing angle. In terms of networking, G10 models offer VIERA Link and the VIERA Image Viewer, giving viewers easy new ways to enjoy beautiful pictures.

Prices and availability will be added to this post as released, plus will also appear within our Freesat receiver product section.

Panasonic confirm Freesat HDD Blu-Ray Recorder

Finally, after much rumour and denial, Panasonic are to release a Freesat PVR HDD Blu-Ray recorder from May, model number DMR-BS850. The announcement was made at the company’s European press launch in Amsterdam this afternoon.

Panasonic DMR-BS850 Freesat Blu-ray (front)
(image courtesy of Trustedreviews)

Little information is known of the new Freesat+ digital box, but what we can confirm is that it will be a twin tuner, with storage capacity of 500GB, plus Blu-Ray recorder. The receiver will also have a SD card reader and USB port for viewing images and video etc, plus Ethernet connection for future Freesat services such as iPlayer, as well as Panasonic’s own Internet content delivery system, Viera Cast.

Panasonic DMR-BS850 Freesat Blu-ray (back)
(image courtesy of Pocket-Lint)

A smaller capacity 250GB HDD version will allow be launched, model number DMR-BS750. Prices of either are yet to be confirmed, but the 500GB model is expected to retail for around £1,000.

Strictly speaking the combination of Freesat HDD and Blu-Ray should allow the recording of HD content onto Blu-Ray disc, although Panasonic do not wish to comment for obvious copyright issues.

If you feel either of these receivers might be a little rich for you, then Panasonic are also launching a non-BluRay version with DVD recover instead, model DMR-XS350. This will feature a 250GB hard drive.

Additional connections (certainly of the DMR-BS850) include HDMI, USB, Ethernet, Component Video Out, S-Video Out, SCART (TV and Video), Coaxial Digital Audio Out and Optical Digital Audio Out.

Panasonic DMR-BS850 Freesat Blu-ray (connections)
(image courtesy of Pocket-Lint)

Once again, well done Panasonic for taking the initiative and producing some pretty special Freesat products for us to drool over.

More details to follow as we have them, the official launch material has not yet been made available…

Panasonic increase Freesat product range

Panasonic have announced the launch of more Plasma and LCD televisions incorporating Freesat. Based on the success of the initial TH-LZ and TH-PZ product line, Panasonic have increased their range to cover 14 models, of which will start to roll-out in March 2009.

Building on the success of its award winning series of freesat models, Panasonic has also increased its freesat offering within this line-up of Viera TVs, ranging 14 models in screen sizes from 32 right up to 54 inches.

Panasonic’s full HDTVs with freesat built-in are a convenient and high quality way to view over 140 digital TV and radio channels including brilliant HD programmes from the BBC and ITV, all for free.* Freesat offers subscription free HD services, gives you super fast digital text, as well as digital subtitles and audio description and as the freesat service is satellite based, further capacity for the expansion of HD services can be assured.

This is fantastic news for both Freesat and Panasonic, showing that integrated Freesat has been very popular in Panasonic televisions.

We believe these are the models to include Freesat, although we are waiting confirmation:

TX-L32G10 (lcd)
TX-L32V10 (lcd)
TX-L37G10 (lcd)
TX-L37G15 (lcd)
TX-L37V10 (lcd)
TX-P42G10 (plasma)
TX-P42G15 (plasma)
TX-P42V10 (plasma)
TX-P46G10 (plasma)
TX-P46G15 (plasma)
TX-P46Z1 (plasma)
TX-P50G10 (plasma)
TX-P50V10 (plasma)
TX-P54Z1 (plasma)