“ Set Top Box - 160GB Hard Disc Drive - Pause Live TV function - Recording Time: 80 hours - Records 2 Channels at the same time - 7 Days Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) - Digital video broadcasting (DVB) - Twin tuner - Freeview playback approved „
* Prices may differ from that shown
This freebox is great. 160GB of storage for all my favourite TV shows and films. I often record films off the TV that I haven't seen, even if they are rubbish its easy enough to delete them!
I use this box daily even though we also own sky HD+ boxes, The picture quality is obviously not as good, but more so the reason I use it more is because freeview offers most of the channels I would watch on Sky.
Down to the box. Easy to use and setup (Although when purchased I did not read the instructions and removed the cable loop at the back, meaning the twin tuners would not work). If installed correctly I can record a different channel to what i am watching, just like Sky. Once a channel is paused you can rewind back to that pause point or leave it paused and then fast forward through the adverts (Very Useful). The only problem I have with it is I often turn it off and then the hard drive requires a Disk Check, but this is solely my fault, also you can only rewind back to a pause point, unlike sky when you can rewind back to when you tuned into a channel.
What It Is: A freeview box which lets you pause, rewind and record your TV programmes. It also lets you record things in advance and set it to record an entire series at the touch of a button!
Info: This is a one-off cost deal. You don't need a subscription to receive the freeview channels (although later models have 'Top Up TV' card slots which can allow you to access stations such as eurosport for a charge).
This review is based on the 250gb version - same as the model shown above but with about twice the storage capacity (250gb compared to 160gb). You'll probably find that the 250gb will be the more widely available version and, to be honest, is the better option as it let's you store more programmes.
This is the second PVR/DVR (Personal Video Recorded / Digital Video Recorder) that I have owned. The first one was a Thompson 80gb model which went belly-up after about 13 months of ownership.
I brought the 250gb model from Sainsbury's on offer for about £90.00 and I know they go for about the same on eBay.
In terms of good points it is quite small and looks acceptable. It's very simple to use and also very simple to set up. The software inside the machine will update itself every night when you put it on standby.
In terms of bad points, the majority rest with the fact that this is at the budget end of the range for a technology which is relatively new. This means that it won't be 100% solid or reliable. However, as long as you understand and expect this then it shouldn't be a problem. Examples can include occasional freezing and failure to record some programmes. This, however, does not occur regularly enough to upset most folks. It should be noted that these errors seem to occur a bit more frequently if you have this box in a poorly ventilated area as they can chuck out a bit of heat when in operation.
I bought this Freeview recorder after talking to a colleague in work, he was saying how often he uses it and would never be without it. I work nightshift and have done for the last 2 years. I always leave home at 8 in the evening and never bother to look what's on TV as I will always wish I could have watched something that was on. The introduction of services such as BBC iPlayer has helped but I always found myself forgetting to check it.
After checking prices and taking into account the £40 Argos voucher I had, I decided on the Digihome DTR160. I was going to get it on the weekend so during the week I thought I would look to see if there was anything on, that I would like to watch. I was surprised by how many programs and films I would like to see.
The player itself doesn't look the most attractive and is quite large in terms of freeview boxes on sale today, but this has a hard drive and 2 tuners in it which allows you to record 2 channels and watch a recorded program off of the Hard Drive. It doesn't, as some people may think allow you to watch 1 channel and record another 2. It is extremely quiet and you can only really hear it when the hard drive spins up, which I beleive is to keep the EPG up to date. It does do this quite frequently but it doesn't interfere with me and I have it in my bedroom.
There are 2 hard drive sizes available, an 80GB version and the one this review is for is the 160GB version. This gives you a stated 80 hours of recording time on the Argos website, I haven't read the manual so don't know if that's what the manufacturer states.
The software does have problems, things I have encountered so far include:
* The EPG can be slow to scroll through, sometimes taking a few seconds to catch up.
* Pressing the up and down channel buttons too quickly sometimes confuses the player but it will do your selection after a couple of seconds.
*When fast forwarding through recorded programs the player sometimes gets stuck fast forwarding so when you want it to start playing again it will carry on which can advance quite a way in the program if your fast forwarding at 32x.
These are the problems I have encountered, none of them are frequent and are slightly annoying but nothing too serious that makes me not want to use the player.
I have seen people reporting problems with the series link which records a series rather than just a single episode, I have been using this feature quite often and have not encountered any problems with it.
I haven't had a real need to use the pause TV function however I tried it out just to see how it works and it does as is stated. It allows you to pause what you are watching when the phone rings for example and resume from where you left off. Some recorder boxes allow you to rewind live TV, however this box doesn't have this feature.
The player doesn't come with a scart cable in the box, but I don't think many electrical appliances do any more, I suppose they think everyone must have at least one lying about somewhere, they can be picked up for around £5 or less anyway so not that much more if you require one.
Overall I have been very impressed with this player and now find myself telling other people about it and saying that I now couldn't be without it, I can't believe how many good documentaries I would have missed if I didn't have this box.