Panasonic's better positioned than most, being an official Olympic sponsor and all. And yesterday they went a little bit nuts with new product announcements, most of which will hit shelves before the Games begin in August.
One of the biggest announcements yesterday was the introduction of their first Blu-ray recorder. It's remarkably thin, gorgeous to look at, and has a feature set to make you want to max out the credit card straight away:
So on top of being a BD-recorder, it's also a pretty well specced PVR. The most surprising thing - especially when you consider how chunky some of the earlier Blu-ray players were - is how thin and stylish this box is.
In fact, the only thing that holds this back from getting pantsed (so far - we're yet to have a proper play with it - is that it's still only BD Profile 1.1. According to Panasonic: "What's so appealing about BD Live anyway?"
The BW500 hits shelves in June for $2,199. Pretty pricey, sure, but when you consider the price of some BD players on the market, the price BD players launched at, plus the functionality included in this model, I actually don't think it's all that bad.
(BTW - All purchases of the DMR-BW500 (for a limited time, I'm sure) will receive a 3-pack of 25GB BD-RE discs to record on. It's worth $119 RRP, which isn't a bad little bonus...)