We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Digital Home Reviews
15,489 Reviews

Panasonic DMR-BW880 review

£879 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Panasonic

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Panasonic DMR-BW880 is a Blu-ray Disc player with a 500GB hard drive and DLNA server capability.

The Panasonic DMR-BW880 is a Blu-ray Disc player with a 500GB hard drive and DLNA server capability.

The Panasonic DMR-BW880 is a Blu-ray disc recorder with a 500GB internal hard drive and twin high-definition digital television tuners. It builds upon the older Panasonic DMR-BW850, adding DLNA media sharing over a home network, but we would have liked to see more extensive internet features. It is cheaper than the older model as well, which makes it a better proposition for buyers searching for an all-in-one media player.

The Panasonic DMR-BW880 looks similar to the DMR-BW850, with a few styling tweaks to bring it into line with the company’s 2010 televisions. It is simple to set up — most users will opt for the single HDMI port, although analogue component, S-Video and composite connections are available as well. To use all the DMR-BW880’s features you’ll also need to connect the antenna connection for the twin internal HD tuners and a cable to the Ethernet port for internet and home network access.

The Panasonic DMR-BW880's 500GB can store a huge amount of recorded video — 885 hours at maximum compression settings, or a more reasonable 240 hours in the high-definition HL mode. You can also transfer recordings off the Panasonic DMR-BW880 through the player’s Blu-ray disc drive, which supports recording to 25GB and 50GB Blu-ray discs (you can also burn DVDs).

Using the Panasonic DMR-BW880 is easy. It may take a while to start up and to access certain menu functions, but generally the user interface is intuitive and settings are easy to change. You shouldn’t need to delve into the user manual too frequently.

The biggest difference between the Panasonic DMR-BW880 and the older DMR-BW850 is the inclusion of DLNA network sharing. If you've got your home networked, you can watch recorded television or media files that are stored on the DMR-BW880 on any DLNA-compliant media device on the network — including media streamers, desktop PCs and laptops. This is a very useful feature for tech-savvy households, as it allows content stored on the DMR-BW880 to be distributed to multiple devices simultaneously. You use the SD and USB ports of the Panasonic DMR-BW880 to access home movies and pictures on your digital camera or camcorder, making becomes a useful entertainment hub.

The Panasonic DMR-BW880 has the same Viera Cast Internet features as its predecessor, with YouTube, Picasa, stocks and weather services. We were impressed by the wider range of Viera Cast features on the Panasonic VIERA TH-P50VT20A 3D plasma television, so to not find similar Facebook, Twitter and Skype functionality on the DMR-BW880 was disappointing. It's possible extra features will be added by firmware updates, which should be easy given the Panasonic DMR-BW880's constant internet connection.

Overall, the Panasonic DMR-BW880 is a well-rounded and competent product. It doesn't offer a lot more than the DMR-BW850 it supersedes, but it is cheaper — and that’s never a bad thing.

According to Panasonic's environment policy its products are produced worldwide by factories certified to meet ISO 14001 environmental management standards. The company's Green Plan 2010 can be read on its website.

See also: Group test: what's the best Blu-ray Disc drive?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Panasonic DMR-BW880 Expert Verdict »
Panasonic DMR-BW880 Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 4 reviews
500GB HDD
UniPhier Processor
Freeview+ HD twin Tuners
Viera Cast
Viera Link
DLNA Server for movie & photo contents
New function menu and direct navigator
High speed archive in HD/SD to Blu-ray, SD to DVD
BD Live
Diga Blu-ray
DIVX HD
SD XC
AVCHD, AVCHD Lite
USB Connectivity
Blu-ray, DVD, SD and CD playback
Super high grade dub mode
Jukebox with Gracenote
DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby digital, Dolby TrueHD, Lossless 7.1
Super Eco
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Panasonic DMR-BW880 has almost every feature you could hope for in a media player. The 500GB hard drive can store plenty of compressed video recordings (which can also be copied to Blu-ray), its network support allows internet features and media sharing, and, best of all, it's cheaper than the model it replaces.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Panasonic DMP-B15 review

    Panasonic DMP-B15

    The Panasonic DMP-B15 is the world's first portable Blu-ray player.

  • Panasonic DMR-EX79 review

    Panasonic DMR-EX79

    The Panasonic DMR-EX79 DVD recorder has a 250GB hard drive and an HDMI 1.3 port for upscaling DVDs to 1080p.

  • Panasonic DMP-BD30 review

    Panasonic DMP-BD30

    Panasonic's DMP-BD30 was one of the first Blu-ray Disc players to support BonusView, the Blu-ray specification for watching picture-in-picture content.

  • Pioneer BDP430 review

    Pioneer BDP430

    The Pioneer BDP430 is a Blu-ray disc player that can play 3D movies as well as normal 2D content with aplomb, and YouTube access will be offered via a future firmware update.

  • Panasonic DMP-BDT300 review

    Panasonic DMP-BDT300

    The Panasonic DMP-BDT300 is a Blu-ray disc player that can read the new 3D Blu-ray disc format. It can also access internet content such as YouTube and Picasa. It's as full of features as any other Blu-ray disc player we've seen, but it does come with a hefty price tag.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy S6 release date and specs rumours: When will the Galaxy S6 come out?

IDG UK Sites

How to win iTunes Festival 2014 tickets: See Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Kylie & more live, for...

IDG UK Sites

Microsoft's all or nothing bet on Windows Phone is the best way forward

IDG UK Sites

Google adds better type rendering to its Chrome browser on Windows