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Dion VSTBAW10 Freeview Digital

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2 Reviews

Brand: Dion / Type: Digital TV receiver - Up to 50 free-to-air channels

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    2 Reviews
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      29.06.2013 17:54

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      I have just purchased a Dion, it is a great job, i have got all the channels, also the box is so small it is hardly noticeable. it does come with a remote, but not a scart lead, so you have to buy your own. i bought this for £12.00 of ebay, a total bargain. Also got super fast delivery...High quality twin scart digital freeview box. Comes in original box with all accessories inside the box. Box had been opened to check the contentThese are mainly ex-display/open or damaged box units. Most are in excellent as new condition, some may have very minor negligible handling mark. All come complete in original retail box with accessories.Package content1x Twin scart freeview boxRemote controlUser manualNo Scart Leads

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      23.06.2011 15:29
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      5 Comments

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      A good value budget 'digibox'

      Tesco's Dion digital terrestrial TV receiver set top box has solved a particular problem for us, arising from the digital switchover. It has given us a cheap and easy alternative to the analogue service which we've had until recently as a backup to our main cable service. It's also a good basic 'digibox' with some quite sophisticated features that would serve quite well as an 'entry level' Freeview device for the budget conscious.

      ~~Problem solved?~~

      We've had a number of set top boxes in our household over the years, including the original OnDigital box and an early Pace Freeview box which didn't last long. Since signing up to cable we've had no need for these - until the switchover to digital. We just needed a backup to our cable service - nothing too fancy or expensive. The Dion set top box has filled the gap nicely.

      As we have an HD-ready TV with no inbuilt digital tuner, the move to digital would have left us with no service on the rare occasions when Virgin let us down. There would no longer be an analogue signal to fall back on and we don't have a satellite dish or receiver. Replacing the TV would be expensive and wasteful, as it serves us well with multiple channels and very acceptable high definition picture and sound.

      The solution? A cheap and cheerful Freeview box. As we already had high definition and hard disk recording capability, there was no need for anything sophisticated just for occasional use. So a brief search began for a suitable product at a reasonable price.

      Having recently received a Tesco gift card, I did have a quick look around elsewhere to establish a baseline, but soon identified this Dion model available from Tesco. It seemed to match our criteria at a pretty competitive price of c. £18.

      ~~The package~~

      The small box just contained the unit itself, a remote control, User Guide and Quick Start Guide. No doubt in order to keep costs down, neither batteries (two AAA required) nor SCART cable were included. The lack of cable I can just about understand at the price - but batteries...?

      Still, it all looked compact and reassuringly straightforward ...

      ~~Our experience~~

      Briefly, this does everything we need with a minimum of fuss. It just has a single SCART connector, which is all we actually need for live viewing and we happened to have several spare cables from previous devices. The only other connections were the aerial (coaxial RF) and the mains plug. Automatic tuning only took a few minutes and the remote control presented no problems, though perhaps the buttons and labels could be a bit larger(?)

      Considering we're used to HD reception, the sound and vision still seem quite acceptable - certainly fit for backup purposes and reasonable for a budget setup too. According to the documentation, this device supports RGB SCART output, but I haven't felt it necessary to investigate this setting as the picture seems good enough by default, albeit just standard definition.

      For a simple device, this seems surprisingly sophisticated, with the following key functions all supported:

      * All free-to-air non-HD Freeview channels available locally
      * Digital radio stations
      * 7 day TV guide (EPG)
      * Programme information display
      * Digital teletext
      * Subtitles
      * Channel organiser - favourites etc. (not tested)
      * Channel groups (not tested)
      * Parental pin (not tested)
      * Timer (not tested)
      * Low energy consumption standby option (not measured)
      * Over the air software updates (not tested)

      The signal from our existing rooftop aerial is not particularly strong, but auto-tuning quickly found several dozen channels and the reception is surprisingly good. This may vary geographically, of course, but a good digital aerial would doubtless help.

      I have found no real problems using this device. The controls and menu system are fairly intuitive, and the design is quite neat. The programme guide is easy enough to navigate and I was pleased that the volume control on the remote works perfectly with our TV. If I have one minor criticism it is the slight delay in changing channels, a relatively small fault for a basic device.

      The only setting I've had to think about at all was the 'aspect ratio' - which I successfully changed to 16:9 for our widescreen TV. I have to admit to trial-and-error here but there was no technical problem really.

      Finally, we opted for the white version. It was also available in black and shocking pink!

      ~~Disclaimer~~

      This brief non-technical review is based on occasional use only of this product. Our use, following installation, has been limited. While I have no reason to suspect any reliability or performance issues, should any arise over time I may update this item accordingly.

      ~~Dimensions~~

      17 x 10 x 3.3 cm

      ~~Instructions~~

      The user guide supplied is quite clear and well illustrated. In fact the accompanying Quick Start guide was all I needed initially.

      Tesco also provide a telephone helpline : 0845 456 6767

      ~~Price and availability~~

      Available from your local Tesco store or online from Tesco Direct currently for £17.97

      ~~Advantages~~

      * Cheap and cheerful
      * Subscription free
      * Small and light
      * Easy to set up, tune and operate
      * Low energy consumption standby option

      ~~Disadvantages~~

      * Basic set top box
      * Standard definition (not HD)
      * No 'Top UP TV'
      * No record function
      * No SCART cable or batteries for remote

      ~~Verdict~~

      * A good value budget device

      This is a neat, basic digibox that's easy to set up and to use: a good value budget device that's ergonomic and economical, both to buy and to operate.

      ~~Related links~~

      Freeview : www.freeview.co.uk
      Channel Zero : www.ch-zero.tv
      Tesco Direct : http://direct.tesco.com

      ~~Footnote : Channel Zero~~

      Channel Zero is apparently an interactive channel currently available through a range of set top boxes sold by Tesco. Content is supposed to be downloaded while the box is in standby mode, available only in certain areas.

      I eventually gave up on this, assuming that the signal was unavailable via our aerial. In any case, it requires the box to be kept on normal standby and not switched off at the mains or in economy standby. Wouldn't this somewhat negate the product's claim to be a 'low energy consumption' device?

      [© SteveS001, 2011, 2012. A version of this original review may be found on other review sites]

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