This is Panasonic’s first standalone Freeview HD recorder, as others have included a Blu-ray drive. Essentials such as picture and sound quality are superb; HE-AAC 5.1 sound is converted into Dolby Digital, and it’s even 3D ready.
There’s exhaustive media file compatibility but only from directly connected USB storage. Similarly, it offers network streaming as a client or server but has various limitations. The hard disk is a relatively meagre 320GB and there’s no Scart for copying onto DVD recorders. At launch it also lacks iPlayer, but this is anticipated in a future upgrade. If and when this happens, it may be worth a slightly higher rating.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Panasonic
Sagemcom RT190-320 T2 HD
At the affordable end of the scale is this slimline no-frills recorder that at least covers all the main Freeview features effectively and delivers a decent AV performance throughout. The handset and user interface are functional rather than eye-catching and the front panel display borders on the garish.
There’s a USB port used merely for opening MP3s and JPEGs. Its Ethernet connection has so far remained inactive, though an announcement was imminent from Sagemcom as of October 2011. Following an earlier upgrade, HE-AAC audio is now transcoded into DTS 5.1; and if the 320GB disk seems paltry, a 500GB version is available.
Reg Rating 65%
More info Sagemcom