Several members here have looked into importing the Panasonic BluRay/HDD recorders, and gave up on the idea for several reasons, foremost being dismal price/performance (you really get absolutely no advantage over buying a garden-variety EH59 import at half the price). Also, it is damn near impossible: Panasonic dealer contracts forbid shipping of country-specific models to customers in other countries. Panasonic is very strict about this in Europe, all requests to ship to North America have been turned down. AFAIK
, no one has asked an Australian dealer, so it is possible a dealer there might agree, but doubtful. (This refers to official authorized Panasonic dealers, not third-party vendors or eBay.)
The EH59 and EH69 "grey market import" DVD/HDD recorders easily available in USA/Canada are "unofficial" imports that Panasonic is not happy about but not particularly interested in preventing sales of, either. These two units are generic models not restricted to the dealer channel of any specific country, so Panasonic looks the other way and allows them to be sold pretty much everywhere. However, sales in North America are not officially supported so there is no warranty and if it breaks no repair service at all, even if you're willing to pay, because Panasonic has not sold an equivalent recorder in USA since 2006 or Canada since 2008. There are no repair parts and Panasonic DVD/HDD repair service went from top-class to non-existent by 2010. Most buyers are willing to risk this situation, because the EH59 is very reasonably priced and not prone to defects or failure.
The BluRay/HDD models are something else again. Even if you could import one, they are too expensive to risk with no repair service available. They are also sort of pointless, since they're incapable of recording North American TV sources in high definition. They depend on their internal PAL-only DVB-T and satellite tuners as sole HDTV signal source, external line inputs are limited to standard-def composite. Some models include S-Video connections, but only the most expensive top models had analog component input via SCART connections and that feature may have been dropped altogether for 2013. Certain camcorders can be connected via USB2 or DV inputs in HiDef, but not external tuners for off-air, cable or satellite. For all practical purposes, a Panasonic BluRay/HDD PAL model imported to USA/Canada would offer no capabilities beyond the EH59 except playback of BluRay discs.
Those in USA/Canada wanting a BluRay/HDD model would likely be happier with one of the semi-pro JVC models like SR-HD1250US
. These are officially distributed in North America with mfr warranties. They have the same HDTV recording limitations (from camcorders only), so unless you need to make a lot of BD dubs from HD camcorders you're probably better off with a much cheaper Panasonic EH59 or Magnavox DVD/HDD.