Panasonic DMR-HWT130EB Smart 500GB Recorder – ease of use

Should have got this the first time. Excellent product, software and easy to install. Works as it should and most importantly it has been recognised as an hdmi unit from the tv port. Really very impressed with it so far. If you have a bravia i would recommend this unit without a doubt.

A generation newer than other pvrs that i’ve used, the software is robust, the tuner works with weak signals although i am struggling to get good hd reception due mainly to my poor signal. Although only fitted with a 500gb hdd, the video compression is such that i get well over 100 hours of recording time. It will record two programmes whilst you can watch a third. It also plays youtube and iplayer when wired to a router. (this model doesn’t have wifi). The hdmi output is good, but there is no alternative, if you need say scart or rca video. Over a few weeks of use the softwarenot so good. Although this will play videos from an external drive, it wont play any of the file formats that i have tried so far. Recordings onto an external drive will only play back on the registered pvr, ie this one. I’ve failed to get this to work with my dlna server so far, but that might be more due to my lack of knowledge than anything.

Throw away the useless instruction manual, forget any reservations you may have had and buy this smart recorder without hesitation. It may not perform as quickly as some others but it gets there and it is superb. I wish panasonic would contact me to write their instruction manuals as we’ve had the same problem with their latest microwave.

Does what you’d expect and what it says. Average rating as quite cumbersome: menu navigation and interaction is inconsistent and slow but usable once you know how and accept it as just the way it is. Had been spoiled with a better experience and faster navigation on humax products though i bought this to replace a humax box when its hard drive failed (and kept failing) recently after 5 years. Had to buy this product elsewhere once amazon’s courier hermes failed to fulfil it and has ‘lost’ the delivery somewhere.

Second panasonic hard drive i’ve purchased(this ones for the wifes tv) simple to install and auto setup with only a few security inputs to do. Easy to use even for my non technical wife.

The twin tuners are very useful, but i’ve found that it is very easy to inadvertently set it up to attempt to record three programmes at once. You are not warned clearly enough that you have maybe forgotten that you set up to record a series of programmes and are trying to record two more that clash with it. The programme guide indicates with a small red clock face symbol on all three that it’s set up to record, but in fact one of them will not. I’ve lost one or two programmes before i sussed out what was happening. But another plus point is that subtitles are automatically recorded, and can be accessed or switched off as you wish imply by pressing the ‘sttl’ button on the remote. A boon to london viewers with less than perfect hearing who enjoy watching films set in glasgow, belfast or newcastle.

Have had this model previously so when it finally gave up i was pleased i was able to find the same model.

I was very happy with the speedy service and the product itself which is brilliant in that it receives the high definition channels plus in my case quite a few more additional channels and it provides clearer pictures for them too. I’m a bit of a technological doughnut but even i was able to get it working quite quickly. The recording through the channel guide is very easy and it produces a quality picture in play back.

I’ve had this for a month now and find it reasonably good. It was originally purchased for my mother – a technophobe – and she found it too much hassle to switch from an aging topfield pvr (it needs re-tuning several times a week and it hums like an angry bumblebee )one problem noted when connecting to her tv (a not very old jvc lcd), the panasonic would not work @ 1080p. I eventually changed the setup to force 720p which fixed the problem. The control delay which a number of reviewers have mentioned i believe only happens when *returning* to play mode, ie if it’s in paused or ffand then press play, there is a 1second or so delay. The rest of the time, it’s reasonably prompt at responding to the r/c. My main gripe with this unit is: there is technically no reason why you cannot record multiple tv channels on a single tuner. Tv channels are multiplexed into a stream and sent on a single frequency so a tuner can access all those tv channels which are on that frequency. Also the choice and resulting content of the ‘important buttons’ is bizzare eg ‘direct navigator’ & ‘function menu’ make no sense to memy other pvr is a pc running digitv (probably 10 yrs old now but is only sd) and it shows how it can and *should* be done. The menu display interface is heaps better, has no limit on recordings plus you can change setup, add timers at any time even when playing back a program. Update july 2017my mum decided she preferred the toppy – too different to toppy, so i inheritedok, so the player is still fine, but not so the remote control several buttons on the remote have simply stopped working, the i (status), the x (exit) and ff.

I was rather sceptical of making this purchase, however, i found the set up instructions extremely easy to follow and within half an hour of receiving delivery i had connected everything up to my tv set and found my way around the programming editing etc. , unlike some other products which come with an instruction dvd panasonic provide a ‘proper’ booklet as they obviously realise that not everyone has access to a computer and that more senior citizens do like to have instructions at hand to refer to. The recorder is so quiet too and does not have to be left on at all times, it will record quietly in the background and automatically switch itself back off when completed. I now wish i had paid a little extra for the 1tb though.

Bought to replace sony tuner which went wrong and is no longer available. So very pleased we went for panasonic. Arrived very promptly and was very quick and easy to set up. Navigation round system is very easy and so easy to use. Formatted remote so that we can control our sony screen from same remote as tuner – again so easy to do. Very impressed that message came up on screen letting us know that it had found new channels and with one click it updated in a couple of minutes – when we updated on our old sony we lost all timer settings but we were really surprised and happy that the panasonic kept all our timer settings when we updated. Also the price is so reasonable – it was cheaper than having our old sony one repaired. Overall we are very impressed with our new panasonic freeview tuner and would certainly recommend it.

Good quality recorder as usual from panasonic, although it had a tendency to seize up occasionally, requiring a switch off / switch on sequence to clear it. Oddly, seems to have stopped doing this recently. Only disappointment really is the lack of any socket to connect dvd recorder, so i can’t transfer recordings from the hdd to dvd.

This is a superb product and one i am absolutely delighted with. The sound is improved greatly by watching tv through it. I can record two programmes at the same time whilst watching a third. You can also, if you are watching a current tv programme through it, rewind the programme if you miss a piece of dialogue (increasingly so these days). If you select a programme to record that is also in hd it gives you the option o which one to choose. I would thoroughly recommend this product. Here are the specifications for the Panasonic DMR-HWT130EB Smart 500GB Recorder:

  • Make sure this fits
    by entering your model number.
  • 6 Feet HDMI A Male to A Male Cable: Supports Ethernet, 3D, 4K video and Audio Return Channel (ARC)
  • Long Time Recording (129hrs in HD) using 500GB HDD
  • Viera Connect with Catch up TV, VOD and Skype
  • Twin Freeview + HD Tuners

Takes a little while to get used to its limitations compared to expensive monthly packages and is a little slow to respond to commands but works very well otherwise and large memory for all the recordings you want.

Does exactly what it says on the box, very easy to set up and use.

An excellent freeview recorder – works with ease once you get the hang of it. 100% reliability thus far (contrary to some other makes). Probably more useful if epg scrolling was in shorter increments than just 24hrs at a time as it’s quite slow to move through the list of programmes to get to others. Otherwise, a very good piece of kit.

I am still finding my way around all the new facilities after upgrading from a 10 year old humax. I like the way i can control my panasonic tv as well from the remote control, although it sometimes leaves the tv on external source and needs resetting next morning.

We were frustrated with virgin & the entrapment into monthy payments for free view services that are provided for free . It takes some intitial getting used to, being slightly different to way in which sky/virgin boxes work, but overall, it does the same job & seems to do it well. You can just 1 click record programmes & series links, same memory space as sky/virgin boxes & plays well in hd. Just wish it had some audio output plus on back for sound, & play / pause feature can be a little frustrating until you get used to it. (you have to physically exit this feature everytome after entering pause mode. Very happy & a good answer to sky/virgin boxes that charge £30 / £40 month for basically freeview tv .

At the moment it is not working, it packed up over a week ago. Waiting for the man to hopefully fix it. Only had it since november but when it was working i liked it. Nice to be able to record 2 programmes at the same time.

Reviews from purchasers :

  • Looking for an Answer to your SKY / Virgin box ?
  • less than favourable reviews of this machine but I like it. Yes there are a lot of buttons
  • Mmm

Having suffered with no name recorder, which was very hit or miss as too whether playback would jump like a jangaroo or be perfect, i decided enough was enough. Now i wish i had took the plunge and bought a panasonic recorder earlier. Best feature is the ability to skip adverts at the single press of a button, chapters are placed at the correct spot and ads are now a thing of the past for me. The main functional buttons are no longer colour coded, and a bit spreadout on the remote. Internet sites : you tube painfully slow, bbc iplayer bob on, suspect the speed of connection is down to the provider and hopefully will improve with time.

The panasonic freeview recorder is for use by my wife on her tv in the bed room. It is very to set up and a great picture on a 24′ samsung tv. It is goods to have the capability of recording two channels at the same time. The remote control is very easy to use and very well made. Very pleased with this recorder would recommend.

Good product very easy to set up and use with panasonic tv.

Great product i love this one. Good quality picture easy to set up. Would recommend this to everyone.

There have been some less than favourable reviews of this machine but i like it. Yes there are a lot of buttons on the remote but all you need to do is ‘read the instructions’ and all is fine. It can be a little slow to react, but this is a low/mid price box, i think some people expect too much. Picture is sharp and it has adjustable digital delay for sound sync. It will handle dolby sound (up to a 6. 1 rig) and i have not noticed any overheating as some reviews allude to. The only thing to beware of is dont use it until you have entered a pin number, otherwise it will default to the ‘family’ setting and you will find all your after 9pm material will record, but not play. If you do this, all is not lost, but you’ll need to ring panasonic for a ‘get out of jail free’ set of instructions. Great piece of equipment, unbelievably low price for what it offers.

I recently ditched virgin as the price had increased to a level i couldn’t afford and was un willing to pay anyway, this panasonic box is great and does virtually the same job.

I cannot rate this highly enough. It is very easy to use and the recording quality, particularly in hd, is excellent. I am a big fan of panasonic equipment and i was not at all disappointed with this recorder. I bought it to replace an older panasonic recorder which had given me very good service also. It’s a shame that it doesn’t record to dvd but that appears to be the norm these days.

This recorder is the usual excellent quality from panasonic. The hd picture quality is very good and the epg is very clear and easy to operate. I have a humax recorder for my freesat service it is good but the panasonic recorder is easier to use and more responsive when using the remote.

Bought to replace another failing unit from a different manufacturer. It was easy to set up and seems to be working as expected. The only criticism is that, on fast forward or reverse of saved items, there is no timer to use to locate a specific time point into the programme, as my old unit had. This is a minor issue, however.

This is a brilliant recorder for all those who want to catch up on programmes which is perfect you can set timer and they will record while you are asleep or at work so you can guarantee not to miss a thing it also live tv pausing which is great if you need to go out for a while has a huge storage limit as well 500gb just remember to delete programmes you don’t want to keep once you have watched them as it could soon fill up, it lets you know if a progamme is clashing as well so you have a choice to record it later or another it will record two at once i find it so much better it is a neat machine definitely worth the price.

I set this up for my mum, relatively easy but she looked at the booklet and asked me to do it. When i was ordering i thought this said it had wireless connection but it does not without an adaptor which you have to buy separately. However think this may have been my fault for misunderstanding the details provided.

Ever been in love with an electronic product?. We are sold on it, this is worth so much more its simply brilliant, we had to add a tv amplifier but thats because we are in a poor freeview signal area full of trees but once sorted this is simply the best value ever. Sharp picture, easy to use, simply great.

Already thoroughly converted to the facilities included. Quantum leap from dvd ram recording, where i continually failed to keep the information up to date. This does it for you and makes finding and playing recorded material a doddle. The ability to record 2 different channels at the same time is frequently helpful.

Arrived earlier than expected,thanks to all concerned. Installation was simple, and the recorder was operational in a few minutes. Very impressed with the picture resolution. Must point out this kit is working with my panasonic tv which has 3d, and internet connection. Recording of programmes is easy and the ability to record two programmes is useful.

Ordered on 19 december and i picked it up from locker on 21st. Bought this to replace a lg rht399 which was getting very temperamental. Very easy to set up and operate. Impressed us with series record prompt which comes up when you choose program and was clever enough to follow labyrinth changes in times on xmas schedules. It even waited if a program start was delayed which lg never did. Records 2 hd programs at same time but have to go to antennae to watch a 3rd ( however you can watch a previous recording at same time). Have had it for a month now and cannot fault it. Have not tried to save to sd card or portable hdd yet so cannot comment.

Worked beautifully straight out of the box. Good picture and sound quality. The epg is easy to navigate. Pluses: when requesting to a record it highlights if there is a hd version and asks if you would prefer to record that instead. A few quibbles: on turning on it often thinks it’s found more channels and asks you if you want to spend 3 minutes waiting for it to download these – almost certainly not. The epg is not easy to scroll down or up whole pages – you can but using the channel down/up button and you cannot nagivate to a certain channel by typing in the numbers. Does exactly what we wanted exactly as it should.

Excellent hd quality indistinguishable on playback or direct, and perfectly quiet in operation as no internal fan noise. . Only slight reservation i have is that recorded programes can’t be dubbed off to play elsewhere. Backup is possible to ext hard drive , but files are only recoverable back to this machine. Beyond that, can’t fault it.

Hd is perfect (looks better than sky). Anything that allows me to cancel sky is good by me. The only thing that really lets it down (and why it loses a star) is because netflix is pretty much unusable due to how slow it takes to do anything. Up to 5 minutes to load is not great.

You can always rely on panasonic for a quality product at a reasonable price. It is a discrete small black box, easy to connect and set up. The hand contoller is well laid out and the menu comprehensive and as clear as i think it feasible to navigate. Picture and sound quality is first rate highly recommended.

It does record two programs and you can still watch one that you are recording. We start recording a program on the commercial channels and then start watching it 20 mins later and skip through adverts. The only thing it does do is to turn the tv off about 15 mins before it starts to record. No idea why and it means that you have to have the remote handy to turn it on again. Our other panasonic recorder did this as well. It records sub titles as well. The storage of the recordings is good and it does split them up into groups, if you record a series it puts them all together in one file – much easier to keep track of.

Moved to an area that wasn’t cabled and decided to use freeview. Perfect reception on all channels plus hd. Better still i’m not paying a monthly fee. Getting broadband soon so will try the internet connection. The optical outlet allowed me to link to my home theatre system.

Its taking me a bit longer to understand everything it can do. I just want to record from freeview and watch in bed. I wanted it in my bedroom as another recorder. The one thing i do like is that it is small and neat. No doubt i will discover more things as i go along.

1:- hdmi cable with different size ends which didn’t suit my tv. 3:- volume button don’t work. 4:- remote controi l found clumsy to use. 6:- unable to delete unwanted channels.

Because my much-loved toshiba hdr ‘died’ after just 3 years, i purchased this panasonic product. So far it seems just perfect. The only confusing thing is that remaining time is based on expected hd recording, and if, like me, you usually record most of the programmes in sd you have to double the figure shown. I only found this out by reading the ‘specifications’ section at the back of the manual. Otherwise no problems so far – i have only had it 2 days though.

Had a humax for many years and then ordered the latest model humax1010, absolute rubbish just refused to get further than the welcome page, returned for refund and amazon are excellent for quickly returning your money. Ordered the panasonic and it was just a matter of plug it in and follow the instructions, up and running in less than 5 minutes. No problems so far, much better than even our old humax which often failed to respond to the remote control and had to be frequently reset,.

Bought this for an additional tv to replicate the one we already have (and love). Tried to use the panasonic dongle from our existing box (for wifi functions) to find that it won’t work with this new box. Turns out we haven’t updated the software on our old box (where the dongle does work) which is why it works on that one. . But this new box, has a newer version of software (1. 39) which is no longer compatable with a wifi lan. If you use a dongle (wireless lan) and have an older version of this box, do not update the software or you will find you cant use it with the internet.

Downloads the guide without any hassle – no chunks of data missing like our humax did all the time. Hd quality great and the ease of use is good too. Just one thing: no search facility on the guide.Can make for a long and frustrating 10mins or more looming to see if programmes are available or not. Please you guys at panasonic, write some extra coding for a software update and give us the search facility, make it the perfect hdd.

Ideal for a bedroom where you only have freeview and want to record your favourite programs. We had the older model for years & have now just replaced. It has got user interface but we don’t use it. We always buy panasonic as always reliable.

Panasonic quality and fairly straight forward operation. The unit appears to have more steps to allow you to view items you have already recorded but once you get used to it it is okay. Quality of recordings seems good, easy to delete and set programmes to record.

Fantastic product just a shame it dosnt have a rf loop that just means changing the tv input when both tuners are recording. Bought this at a fantastic price in a amazon warehouse deal can’t see any cosmetic marks all accessories are with it. Just a very small dent in the panasonic cardboard box. Its new can’t tell its a warehouse deal. Wonderful picture the guide tells you if your recording is available in hd.

I get all the free view channels and radio etc. Can record 2 programs at once, as long as you are watching 1. My only downside is i cannot get itv hub to watch catch up. I do get bbc player, netflix etc, so don’t know why not itv. Don’t know if anyone else has this problem, or knows how to get it. Otherwise a good machine, for me and family, without any monthly subscriptions.

Performs well and has to date shows no sign of any compatibility problems.

I bought this second hand and saved a small fortune. The savings don’t stop there because having this bad boy meant i could get rid of sky +. You can record 2 programs at once do series links, pause and rewind live tv. Its basically the free alternative to sky. I bought this in january and i now have 98 films recorded from itv2, film4, channel 4 etc etc – who needs sky movies.

I really like this piece of kit. Very easy to use and great picture quality on both live tv and recording playback. To be honest, though, the recorder it replaced was virtually prehistoric, so anything is going to seem like a light-year leap in performance.