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Philips DTR220

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    11 Reviews
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      05.10.2013 21:36
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      Set top box that doesn't live up to it's description.

      I bought this digital freeview box whilst out shopping on an impulse as the switch over was about to happen and I hadn't yet done anything about the compact TV in my bedroom. We'd recently had an aerial upgrade and installed a high quality freeview box in the living room and I didn't want to loose the option of watching Saturday morning cooking shows in bed!


      The Product
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      This digital freeview receiver box from Philips sounds quite impressive for a compact device that is fairly cheap. It is sleek looking in a glossy black with the Philips name embossed into the top with no other decoration or fuss. There are 2 SCART sockets allowing you to connect it to your TV and another device such as a digital video recorder. It also has Dolby Digital-Bitstream to allow a surround sound system to be used and a built-in Pulse Killer Chip (PKC) to stop interference.

      The installation is easy, all you have to do is attach it to your TV via SCART and plug in the aerial cable then follow the on-screen instructions as it scans for TV and radio channels. This typically takes 5 - 10 minutes. Should new channels ever be added, the box lets you know with a pop-up message and it's handled automatically.

      The Electronic Program Guide (EPG) covers 7 days of television and radio on all channels with descriptions.


      Specifications
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      Size: W 199.4 mm, H 33.4 mm, D 95.1 mm
      Weight: 0.4 kg

      Connection: SCART

      Flash memory: 2 MB
      Ram: 16 MB SDRAM

      Power: Mains 230 V AC/50 Hz to 12 V DC
      Power consumption: 7W
      Standby power consumption: 5W

      Parental control: Lock with PIN code

      Demodulation type: COFDM 2K/8K, MPEG-2 DVB compliant
      Network: MFN/SFN, QAM, QPSK
      Input frequency range: 474 to 862 MHz

      In The Box:
      Philips DTR220
      Mains cord
      Remote Control
      User Manual
      2 x AAA batteries


      Price
      ------
      This product cost around £25 when I bought it a few years ago but I have seen it recently for around £15.


      My Experience
      ------------------
      I should start by saying that our house is something of a signal 'dead zone' due to our location. Mobiles, radios and television aerials all have a hard time sending and receiving information and in order to get digital TV we had to have a major aerial upgrade. This resulted in a fairly good TV signal and our main TV freeview box handles most channels very well with signal degradation only happening once the channel number gets into the late teens. It's good enough to watch until the late 20s with a few better quality exceptions.

      Seeing as we now had a massive sci-fi style space array on our roof and this box had a Pulse Killer Chip I was fairly confident about buying it. Unfortunately it didn't quite live up to expectations.

      I can get most BBC channels and a few of the ITV ones without too much distortion and interference, after that it's pretty hit and miss. A small amount of other channels are what I consider watchable but it's similar to viewing an HD video on youtube with a slow connection. The rest are just painful with random BLARPS and EEEEEEs going off every few seconds and either a highly pixelated image or none at all.

      This has led to some pretty hilarious moments when the screen has frozen on an actor making a particularly unfortunate face and the Alien Massacre Sounds start blasting out at high volume. Mostly however it's just annoying when we are really looking forward to watching something, especially when it starts happening just at the end of a program.

      Aside from that it seems to work pretty well I suppose. The menus and EPG are easy to navigate, set-up is quick and the remote control still doesn't need new batteries.

      I would normally give a product with these kind of issues only one or two stars but seeing as I know part of the problem is location I'll be generous and give it three out of five.


      Recommendation
      ----------------------
      I can't recommend this freeview box based on my own experience. If you are considering getting one I would suggest getting your signal strength checked and only risk it if it's 'good' or higher.

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      23.11.2011 20:04
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      Has served me well but with the CRT TV making way for digital tv it is no longer needed.

      Although we have a good range of the latest technology in our household we do also still have an old CRT TV built long before the new digital era. Due to this it was never designed for the digital switchover and therefore we needed a digital reciever for it to be compatible with the new channels.

      The Philips DTR220 was available at the time for around £40, although it can be bought for anything from under £20 to around £40 at the time of writing this review. With such a broad pricing I would suggest you shop around, if you even need this product. With the new digital age upon us and this technology fading away with the non-digital TV's I would expect sales are drying up for such products.

      The reason I bought this digital reciever was a culmination of a number of details. The first was price, £40 was very reasonable and it was a small price to pay for such a large number of additional channels. The looks also sold the DTR220 to me. The sleek black design and lack of clutter on the box meant it were an instant hit visually.

      Although the features of the DTR220 won't excite you, they were impressive things at the time! The seven day electronic programme guide meant you wouldn't miss your favourite shows. There are two SCART sockets on the back of the DTR220, allowing you to connect your TV and then an additional source if you wish.

      Set-up is simple due to the fast installation feature. The DTR220 will automatically scan for channels once prompted, and once up and running you can scan for new channels easily. Although there is an instruction manula included, the diagram for plugging it in was all I required as the set-up was simple to follow on-screen for tuning it.

      Although the digital reciever has a high-gloss black finish it is lightweight and feels cheap because of this. The remote control is also pretty bulky and doesn't have the same quality look as the reciever.

      Overall I would say the Philips DTR220 is consigned to the past as far as digital technology is concerned. If you do still have an old CRT TV then this digital reciever should definately be considered.

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      15.11.2011 21:39
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      A decent box for the money

      I wanted a free view box for my bedroom so I went to Curry's to shop for one. I found the Philips one to be one of the slimmest machines I could find. It was priced averagely compared to the other boxes so I decided to give it a go. It was not my first free view box, I had previously owned a very old chunky Thompson one however this just stopped working one day. The Philips one looked very modern and I was excited to bring it home. I was surprised at how light and small it was compared to my old machine!

      ==Price and availability==

      The box cost me £39.99 and I bought it from Curry's .

      ==Whats in the box==

      The box, mains cord, Remote Control, User Manual
      Batteries: 2 x AAA (for the remote)
      The box is black and small and slim. It measures 4 cm by 20 cm and is 10 wide. It is the perfect companion if you are short of space; which of course most people are these days! The remote is simply designed and easy to handle and control. It does look slightly dated though and is not as sleek and styled as the box itself.

      ==Set up==

      Setting up the box is very simple. All you need to do is plug it in and it is ready to go. There are two scart sockets to connect it up to the television and there is also a digital audio output so you can connect it to your home cinema system. As you will have noticed above, there is no scart lead in the box! I seem to have quite a few of these leads around the house so it was not a problem.
      It auto installs the channels for you which is a bonus and it takes hardly any time at all. To install all the tv and radio channels it took about 4 minutes.

      ==Using the box==

      The box is a great little addition for us and gives us the benefit of so many more channels to choose from. The remote control is extremely responsive and the channel changes really quickly. I remember my old Thompson machine used to take forever to move channels so you would be stuck on a bank screen for a second before switching over.
      I utilise the electronic programme guide more often than I thought I would. This allows me to choose my 7 days television viewing. It is really easy to set and the menu is easy to navigate round.
      Programmes are colourful and bright with crisp clear lines. Since setting up the box, I have not had any trouble with it at all. It always works and I've never experienced any form of interference.

      ==Power==

      Power consumption: 7 W
      Standby power consumption: 5 W (Just another reminder that standby doesn't mean off and electrical items still use power when not turned off properly!)

      ==Overall==

      I'm pleased with the box, set up is easy with an easy to use menu. My programmes are clear and crisp and for £40 I think it is money well spent!

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      03.12.2010 22:33
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      variety at the press of a button

      I had a television in my bedroom and it got to the point where watching the usual five television channels were doing my head in, I would go and watch television in bed and there was nothing on. So I decided that I would ask for a freeview box for my birthday, as it would give me a wider range of channels to choose from without any additional monthly cost, only the one off payment for the box.

      I was given a Philips DTR220, this is a small black, glossy freeview box that is designed to match your black glossy flat screen televisions. I was unsure of the cost of this unit as it was a gift so I look around online and it costs around £35.

      This freeview set top box has two scart connectors for connecting your TV and any video or dvd players that you may also have to connect. The freeview box comes with a programme guide that allows you to see what is on each channel available for the next 7 days. The programme guide is easy to access, all at the press of a button on the remote control.

      I found the freeview box easy to install and after about ten minutes it was connected to my television and installed ready to use. The instructions are easy to follow and there are diagrams that display various set ups to suit each person's individual setup needs.

      I have a good signal on all of the channels and it automatically runs any updates, so that if there are any new channels available, when you next turn the box on the channel is visible and ready to watch.

      The only disadvantage that I have found with this machine is that the remote control's buttons are quite small and I find that I sometimes push more than one button at a time.

      Another thing to watch out for it that when the weather is really bad it interferes with the reception with effects picture, but this is when there is thunder storms which are fortunately not something that happens every day.

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      04.10.2010 11:34
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      Give it a try but beware!

      A while ago my girlfriend and I were looking for a small digibox for the bedroom as we had gotten so used to watching freeview in the lounge that when we went to the bedroom and there were only five channels to choose from it felt like we were stepping back into the dark ages.

      We picked this box up for just under £20 as I used an Argos voucher I had. The promise of an ultra compact digibox was great as we didn't want the bedroom cluttered up with equipment everywhere.

      When the box arrived I set it up straight away in the bedroom. Now, our aerial in the bedroom is a lead which is spurred off the main aerial lead via a splitter. I know this is not really ideal but it has always been perfect for terrestrial and the signal levels in our area are pretty good - infact once when the lead had been pulled out of the splitter and we hadn't noticed, the only difference with the picture on the tv was some interference if one of us walked near the lead when the television was switched on!

      I plugged the aerial into the box and a scart lead from the box to the tv. When I switched the box on the TV switched to the scart input and the auto setup came up. After a few minutes the auto scan had failed to find any channels. I cheked the leads were in the correct sockets which they were, switched off and tried again. Again no channels found.

      I decided to give it a try connected to the aerial socket in the lounge which I know is perfect for freeview as I have a Humax PVR connected in there. Again it found no channels.

      After about an hour of trying I had no luck what-so-ever with getting any channels and I gave up. The next day I returned it for a replacement but i had the same trouble again. I was rather disappointed as the box itself was perfect for the bedroom. It really is a very small digibox measuring a mere 200mm x 95mmm x 35mm, small enough to fit in even the most small of spaces, just right for tucking away neatly.


      The unit, although fairly light felt well built, not too flimsy and as you can see from the picture is a nice sleek modern design. On the back there are two Scart sockets so you can connect to both a television and a recording device is you so desire.

      The remote control, is not so good looking but the buttons are fairly well laid out making it easy to operate. It also seems to function well unlike a lot of budget electrical items where the remotes can be rather ineffective.

      Having had two duff boxes I decided it must be fate telling me not to get this box so I returned it for a full refund, as such I can't really go into the operation of the box or how well it worked etc.

      It certainly seems to be a decent box going by the number of reviews it has had on Amazon etc so this review should servejust as a warning that there may be a dodgy batch out there or indeed it might just have been incredible bad luck on my part.

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        28.02.2010 17:57
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        Jeremy Clarkson can blow it up for all I care!

        I have to admit, I won this box on a competition site and everyone tells me I should be grateful. Why? It was easy to attach, it was easy to load, it was easy to work out all of the instructions. Great. I set it with my vcr so that I could go out only to find when I got home that it only allows recording in Black and White. I am not kidding. In the book it says that it can happen and you can correct it. No, you can't. And you just try calling Philips and asking for help. Not a chance, they don't want to know. You've got it, you're stuck with it. I can't take it back, and the site doesn't want to know, either. I expect that's why they had so many to give away, not enough people out there were willing to buy them. I just wish that I could send it back and get a refund, I'd go get a box that works. I will never buy another Philips anything, their service stinks.

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        14.02.2010 10:30
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        great I love it

        So we're in the age of digital everything and at first I was wondering what it was all about, I'm in my late forties and have seen the television come a long way since I was a little girl.
        I remember it was mostly black and white televisions when I was small and I remember the first family to get a colour television on the street I grew up on, we all used to pile round to the house to watch cartoons in colour on a Saturday, but as we got older colour television became the norm, then it was five channels on the television instead of the usual four channels and then came freeview.
        We really loved that ! , with it's umpteen more channels and music channels to watch what a brilliant invention and now you can get a set top box which will go with your widescreen television. A digital set top box to enhance the picture and give you more viewing pleasure.
        Well is it worth the time and money ? Read on.

        At first I used to think that freeview was great and that the picture couldn't get any better, but technology is ever changing and I love progress, so I had to go and buy a digital gadget just to see what all the fuss way about, I wasn't going to spend lots of money though so I went to Argos and bought a Philips set top box for £39.99 which I thought was a reasonable price to pay for any gadget in my opinion.
        The box isn't very big and can be plugged into your television with a scart lead, it's easy to set up as its all auto, just press menu and set up and your away, the box will tune into the channels for you and then your ready to view.
        The remote is simple and easy to use, not to many buttons to confuse, you just aim and point at the box and press the channel you want to view. That's it.
        The box is black and has Phillips written across the top, it is light and can sit on the television stand without getting in the way as its small, just about 4cm high, 20 cm wide and 10 cm depth, so its quite dinky compared to the freeview box.

        You don't get the scart lead with it but the remote has batteries, once you have set up your digital box and look at the picture there is a clearer view and a more crisp picture to be seen, I was surprised that I could tell the difference, its not an amazing difference but the picture is sharper and the colour seem clearer.
        The box will auto scan for channels so you don't have to worry about keeping re-tuning it .
        It's digitally interactive if you feel the need you have to press the red button on your television, but of course you have to pay for these kind of things, I'm quite happy not to at the moment as I am just enjoying the better viewing and more channels.
        Digital is a way of transmitting TV pictures and sound as computerised bits of information. This takes up much less space in the airwaves (bandwidth), so there is room for more channels and features than the basic five channels available on analogue TV.
        All televisions in the UK are being switched over to digital in the next few years, so sooner or later you'll need to go digital.
        If your television receives more than five channels, it is probably digital already. If not, you will need to adapt it or replace it. Any TV can be adapted simply by connecting it to a set-top box .

        I'm very happy with mine, I liked the price I paid and presume they will go down in price the more time passes, as the freeview box was about £30 when it first came out now you can buy them for £10 so it's worth waiting to see if the prices come down.
        Altogether I think the set top box is great and would recommend it to you if your thinking of going digital.

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          19.05.2009 17:57

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          Great value, the display thing doesn't bother me if the price is right!

          I bought this because it is relatively cheap, small and sleek looking and I am very please with my purchase. The size and weight make it almost invisible on the shelf below my TV and it is intuitive to set up and use. Easy to programme and plug in and get started straight away it is not a convoluted set top box to use like some of the previous models and makes I have owned previously. Once you are set up it also has a 'favourites' function on the remote in order for you to place your favourite channels on the list and access more easily than remembering which channel they are programmed to or scrolling through the whole list of channels.

          The one drawback of this set top box is the display on the TV - once you have changed channel sometimes there is a delay before the display of the channel/programme information comes up but this is a minor matter compared to the other good things about the digibox. A great buy and great value!

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          15.09.2008 14:41
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          Decent budget set-top box

          With the impending digital switchover looming over the horizon, I decided to be well prepared and looked into getting a reasonably priced Freeview box for our bedroom TV. I wanted a well known make which was small and compact.

          As I wanted to find one on a relatively small budget I wasn't expecting to find one with a built in recorder. My only stipulation was that it had to have a 7 day electronic TV guide. So off I went to do my research.

          Having scoured the market for what seemed like weeks and weeks, I decided upon the Philips DTR220 as I had read fairly decent reviews on a few sites and as it wasn't all singing all dancing, came in at an acceptable £29.99 on Amazon. Luckily enough I had some gift vouchers for Amazon which knocked a substantial amount off.

          My first impressions upon unpacking the Freeview box was that it was one of the smallest receivers I have seen (approximately 20cm W x 10cm D x 3.5cm H). It's very compact and managed to sit behind my 19" LCD TV perfectly.

          The remote control is a good size and fits easily in your hand. The keys are laid out in a decent enough way with the number buttons at the lower part of the remote. The font used is very futuristic which adds a welcome change to the box standard numerals found on other remotes. One problem I found to begin with is that it is very easy to pick up and try to use upside down as the remote has a certain amount of symmetry to it with no evident top or bottom. This isn't too much of a major problem though. It takes 2x AAA which have lasted pretty well so far.

          Installation was straight forward enough too. Once the power, Scart (enclosed in the box for a change!) and aerial leads were all plugged in I was able to fire it up and get straight into scanning for programs. This process was also pain free and scanned for channels within 5 minutes.

          The only problem I have found which flaws the box is that when watching certain channels, the picture will momentarily freeze and then catch-up again. It doesn't happen all the time and only really happens on E4 and a few others but it can be frustrating nevertheless.

          Overall, I feel this box lived up to my expectations of a budget set top box and will be well used, but eventually be relegated to a spare room to be used on occasions. Lets hope it still works then!

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          30.04.2008 17:48
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          Cheap to buy, not very reliable.

          I inherited this Philips digi box with a second hand Sony television that I purchased from a friend. As for the problems of the last reviewer when trying to record programmes I haven't experienced this only because I haven't tried to record anything yet.
          As for the basic functions of this top set box, it manages to receive all available Free view channels which is quite good considering I live in an area where the TV signal is not very good. In fact it has improved the picture quality greatly compared to the normal analogue signal that we used to receive. Mind you that wasn't difficult! The cheapest I have managed to find this set box priced at is £25.04 from Dixons. My biggest complaint is that the weather only needs to be slightly windy or if a moped passes by my house the televisions signal is lost or interrupted in some way. I have checked the setup and everything seems to be fine, perhaps it is just the weak signal area that we live in.
          This box does however come with an auto install facility which I discovered actually works with no problems whatsoever. There is also an electronic programme guide which allows you to plan your viewing a week ahead. The last niggling problem that I have been experiencing is that the box freezes up and the only way to clear this is to switch the box off at the supply, this has happened about ten times in the last three months. Overall if i had paid for this digi box I would have returned it to the shop by now.

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            02.03.2008 19:16

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            Judge for yourself. I bought one of these and wrote this to Philips.. "My recordings are being spoiled as your "an update on the channel lists was detected..." box appears and doesn't go without me pushing OK - fine if I am watching live TV but it renders anything being recorded unwatchable.How do I stop this box appearing please?" and I go this useless response from Philips....... "With regards to your query we can advise that the automatic update cannot be switched off and is a feature on the DTR220/05. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. Should you require any further information please contact our Customer Care Centre (details below) quoting customer reference number xx-xxxxxxx." So, given Philips very helpful reply, beware if you ever need to record anything...

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