An absolutely fantastic recording device, I've had this baby since it was released and still to this day it has performed brilliantly especially with my TH-P50V10A Neo plasma panel using Viera-link;)
Non that I can think of only that you cannot record directly to a bd-re/bd-r or dvd-r/+r,+rw,-rw recordings must must happen primarily on the HDD but it does'nt matter the quality is outstanding also you cannot record a High Definition signal from an External source so HD recordings can only be made from HD broadcasts and it cost me $1699 from JB Hifi But it is worth every penny:)
I was realy weiry on the subject of the newest recording media but loved the idea of having a bluray player / recorder/ PVR w/500Gb HDD an almost tivo with twin HD tuner all in one unit,
Overall an outstanding recorder there is no losslessness in picture quality even recording from inputs such as a vcr also a recording made by another disc recorder I recommend that everyone should go out and buy one of these units ASAP
This machine let's you record subtitles (closed captions) on hard drive as well as Blu-ray discs! It is a second generation recorder, so no need to fear teething problems.
Closed captions can only be recorded on hard drive and Blu-ray, not on DVD. Programming direct to BD or DVD is not possible!
This is really partly a reply to the review on the DMR-BW500. It's also meant to help people who wan to buy a Panasonic blu-ray recorder.
Please see my first review from April 17, 2010 on the DMR-BW750. It is now almost 15 months later and the recorder work's like a charm still. In fact I loved it so much that I have bought myself a second Panasonic blu-ray recorder recently, the follow up model Panasonic DMR-BW780.
It is almost as good as the DMR-BW750, for the strange thing is, that this third generation model, has exactly the same restriction as described in the review about the first generation DMR-BW500. You can NOT program it to record directly to a blu-ray or dvd disc, whereas with the DMR-BW750 you can!
While you'd expect that follow up models improve, this one, and probably also the the DMR-BW880, don't. It is beyond me why Panasonic removed this function, as you can still see the same set up on screen as in my DMR-BW750 where you opt for either HDD or BD. Using the arrow it just skips the shaded area HDD, and goes directly to recording mode, whereas you were able to change the setting HDD to BD.....
In the meantime there are some new Panasonic blu-ray recorders again. If you want the option to program to directly record onto BD, check out the manual before you buy. There should be a chapter called "program to a disc".
If these fourth generation (!) recorders can't do it, and you would really want this feature, it seems your only option is to look for a DMR-BW750 or the 500GB equivalent DMR-BW850. They are still for sale, a.o. on eBay and even at reduced prices!
In the meantime I'm happy to still have this option, so I can still record on a disc on the DMR-BW750 , and play it , if necessary on the DMR-BW780.
Still to mention maybe, is that I paid $ 980 for the DMR-BW750 (March 2010), which was a spectacular price, while the DMR-BW780 set me back only 690 dollars! Some 750 models, so programmable for disc recording, are selling even cheaper when available now.