We all know Panasonic likes to mix it up by giving us a dash of something fresh
with a pinch of something retro
-- at least that's definitely happening in its new convergence recording devices. The two newest productions in the DMR lineup have everybody from HD junkies to their mother's grandma covered, as they give three alternatives on which to record your standard and Hi-Vision
(1080i in Japan) television broadcasts. Of course, the obligatory hard drive is here, but you also get a DVD burner and VHS deck, you know, so you have choices when recording two anime episodes simultaneously via the dual ISDB-T digital tuners. While both units make use of the included SD reader by playing back previously stored video files on your TV, the high-end model (DMR-XW40V) rocks a 400GB hard drive and includes an "SD Music" function that makes ripping CDs, acquiring ID3 tags, and transferring them to SD a painless procedure; the
DMR-XP20V sports a 250GB HDD and forgoes the extra functionality on its SD slot. While we aren't sure what these new DVRs will run you when they drop in October, it's always nice to see a blast from the past
, and hey, the death of VHS gets put on hold just a bit longer if nothing else, eh?