Panasonic’s set-top boxes are rarely renowned for their style, and the DMR-HW100 is no different. The angular black plastic fascia folds down to reveal the front-mounted USB port and SD card reader, as well as the single line LCD display. You can close the front flap when an SD card is plugged into the front, but you'll need to leave it open when a USB flash drive or hard disk is connected. You can always use the USB port round the back to avoid this. At the rear, an HDMI output, an aerial input and passthrough and optical S/PDIF and stereo phono audio outputs cover the connection basics.
As a Freeview HD receiver, the HW100 was surprisingly basic. It starts up in a leisurely 25 seconds and takes around 1.5 seconds to change channels. The on-screen programme guide lacks picture-in-picture, covers the entire screen and cuts all audio, so you won’t be able to choose another programme without missing out on the one you’re currently watching.