* Prices may differ from that shown
When I bought this Product
A few years ago I decided I wanted a free-view recorder as I had been using a DVD recorder which was showing signs of wearing out, I bought the Sagem DTR67250 from Argos for around a £100 (I can't remember the exact price as it was a while ago)
I actually no longer use this as my main recorder as I have a Humax free-view recorder which at the moment is currently missing it's hard drive while I wait for a new one to arrive, while I wait I'm using this recorder so that I can still record all my programs.
It also features a 250gb hard drive which was the main reason I chose this particular recorder as I knew I would have plenty of storage space.
My Experience / Features
This free-view recorder was very easy to set up once removed from the box, once plugged into the TV I simply let it do the Channel Search and it found all the available free-view channels.
Pause and rewind Live TV
While watching TV you might have mis-heard a line in a movie or a TV show and normally would have to wait for a repeat to find out what the character said, with this recorder you could rewind the program enough to hear the line again, you could also pause the current program you're watching while you go do something else.
Record two programs at once
This recorder has the ability to record up to two channels at once, although I believe when you are recording two programs at the same time you would have to watch something you have already recorded.
If you are going away on holiday or are just going to be out of the house when a certain program is aired on TV instead of missing it and having to wait for a repeat you can set it to record as a series which I find very useful as it automatically records any further episodes yet to air, although I found that sometimes the box wouldn't always record everything as I sometimes found when I got back from holiday that a certain program had so many episodes missing, although I believe I had less trouble when I updated the firmware on it.
*Pause and rewind live TV
*record two programs at once
*large hard drive
*EPG a bit slow
*Series recording doesn't always work
This recorder has worked well over the last few years apart from the Series recording problems I mentioned above and the electronic program guide being a little bit slow compared to my other free-view recorder, I will be giving this 3 DooYoo stars, I would have given it 4 if I hadn't had the trouble with Series recording.
My husband and I were on the lookout for a new Freeview box as our old cheap £10 one from Asda was on the blink and driving us both mad. We couldn't decide between a Freeview HD box or a Freeview PVR but we decided that we'd get more out of a PVR (personal video recorder) because you don't get a great deal of HD content on Freeview and the convenience of being able to record was a huge plus for me.
My husband was given £100 of Curry's vouchers through work so he added £50 to it and purchased this box the Sagem DTR 67250T - it wasn't the cheapest but I checked online and it had the best reviews so we thought it worth the thirty or so extra pounds. That said, you can now pick this box up for around £120 if you shop around - a real bargain.
As the name suggests it's a 250gb model and holds around 125 hours of recording. It has a twin tuner so you can either record 2 channels at the same time or watch one and record one.
It's VERY like Sky+ in that you can set up series link recording (ie, you can have it tape every Coronation Street or every Simpsons) or just record individual shows. It has a 7 day electronic programme guide so you can set up recordings in advance. All you need to do is move the selection to the show you want to record and press the red record button. That's it. Easy!
Unlike my dad's DVD recorder it saves the names, the information and even the subtitles of the shows which is brilliant. If a show or a movie is split into two parts by the news you can join them together, and do basic editing too. It's absolutely brilliant. Once you have recorded a show you can save it in a named folder (for example - 'movies') or just leave it in the list, watch it and delete it. I have about 20 movies and 30 TV shows on there and it's barely 5% full!
Best of all you can now pause and rewind live TV! So if there is something you missed you can simply rewind it and watch it again. Or you can set the TV to pause, for say half an hour, then watch a TV show with the pleasure of fast forwarding through the ads - bliss!
It's easy to use - so easy in fact that I never needed to read the instructions. It's quiet, despite being a 250gb hard drive, it's fast, and there are no bugs I can see (we've had it four months now). It's really changed how we watch the TV now we have the freedom to record, pause and rewind shows. I often record shows that are on late at night to watch at a more convenient time or when there is little else on.
The unit is well made in black with an orange LCD on the front. The remote is grey with rubber buttons and again not cheap feeling, very sturdy and easy to use. Sure there are probably prettier or more sleek boxes out there but for what it does this box is amazing for £150 or less. It really is great and I've lost count of the people I have recommended buy it!
Just to give you an idea of the tech specs and my thoughts:
Digital TV features:
* Digitally interactive - all red button features, alas, no games though :)
* Digital text - clear and easy to read, white on black.
* Favourite channels list (I have not used this yet because there aren't that many channels on Freeview but it is very similar to Sky).
* Digital video broadcasting (DVB) subtitles available.
* RF loop.
* Auto setup.
* Auto scan for new channels - both of these features are a doddle to use.
* Now and next programme guide - this is accessed by pressing 'OK', but the full EPG is via 'guide' and handily has a 'picture in picture' technology so you never have to miss any of your show whilst you browse the EPG.
* 8 day electronic programme guide (EPG).
* HDMI output.
* 2 SCART sockets (cable included) I use SCART - since this is not a HDMI model.
* Upscales to 720p and 1080i - which means the picture quality on the whole is excellent. Certainly we have noticed far less blockiness on the channels than on our old cheap Freeview box.
* Remote control batteries required 2 x AAA (included) though it is important to note these are quite cheap, so keep some spares in!!
* Size H4.6, W31, D20cm - about the size of a modern DVD player, larger than your average Freeview box, but far smaller than a Sky box.
* Weight 1300g - not really 'set top', but as it doesn't get hot it's fine to sit on furniture or in a TV cabinet.
All in all I would give this 5/5 - I really cannot recommend it enough - what a brilliant little bit of kit, my first experience with 'advanced' TV features and absolutely brilliant for the price. If you are thinking of getting a recordable box, get this one!
This little baby has changed the shape of my sofa! Until last Christmas I could only look on enviously as I heard talk of SKY+ and channel links. Then my lovely sister in law bought us a Sagem DTR 6160T. Now I will admit it's not perfect, well you just have to look at it to see that, I don't think it will be winning any design awards.
In the box: Sagem 67250T Unit, Scart cable and power cable. The Unit itself has plenty of inputs and outputs for video and audio. The setup process was relatively harmless, I just connected the SCART cable and switched my channel to AV and there it was.
What can it do? With the Sagem 67250T you get the full range of free to air freeview channels plus the capability to record up to 80 hours of programmes. With the click of a button you can set be setup to record a programme, it is honestly that easy, you just select a programme on the in screen guide and click a red button - job done. And if the programme is part of a series, it asks you if you want to record the entire series, so no more missing Corrie!
There are other little gems like the "accurate recording" feature which will adjust the recording if the programme is running late or has over run so you won't miss a thing, though unfortunately this is not available on all channels yet.
The in screen guide is average in design, it can be viewed in either a column or a grid, I prefer the grid as you can see all channels at the same time. As you highlight the programmes a quick summary is displayed at the top of the screen, all this while you can still watch TV in the little screen in the corner of the guide.
The remote control has the basic controls you will be used to, plus you will also have the ability to pause or rewind "live" TV which is a fantastic feature if you need to pop out during Dr Who and don't want to miss anything.
On the Downside: As I said before the design of the box is quite old fashioned and the plastic casing feels quite cheap. The LED display is another letdown as it looks like a very old VCR display and why only 3 digits?
Summary: Forget how ugly the Sagem 67250T is and think about all the great features, usually you would be expected to be paying around £200 for these kind of features, but for this beauty you are only going to be paying around £100 - BARGIN
Rating 9/10 only the design lets it down.
When I first held the recorder in my hand I thought how cheap and flimsy it felt. Any excess movement or knocks and I thought it would fall to pieces! I only had cheap budget models before, but they felt much more solid.
Installation and setup was relatively straightforward. The connector for the aerial had been stretched a bit and the aerial cable is a very loose fit in the back. I just use a cheap digital indoor aerial, but it works perfectly. The recorder can be connected to your TV via HDMI, SCART or YPrPb cables. I chose SCART as the HDMI socket is already in use.
The picture is ok, but for some reason it's not as good as my TV which obviously uses the same aerial. Even when I did use the HDMI connection and enabled HD upscaling, the picture is just not as impressive as I was expecting and the colours are much fainter than my TV.
When you first switch the recorder on you will be presented with a welcome screen and then it will search for all available Freeview TV and radio channels. All the channels I was expecting were detected first time. One slight criticism is that if a new channel is launched then you aren't alerted and you have to perform another scan manually in order to receive it. This is a little disappointing as my old Freeview tuner did this automatically.
It takes a long time to initialise when you switch it on from standby mode; the wait is about 20 seconds and in this modern age it feels like a lifetime. It can be a little frustrating if you are itching to get a program recording straightaway.
When it is on it does get quite noisy and makes a scratchy sound. There is a constant hum from the hard drive which doesn't switch off when after a period of inactivity. There is also a little rattle from the drive unit which is quite disconcerting.
The display on the front of the unit is extremely poor for a model in this price range. When in standby mode it displays the time, which is fine. However, when switched on there is little to tell you what's going on. During playback it doesn't display how far through the recording you are. The display just reads Play which is a bit pointless. The number of minutes into the recording would be much more beneficial, which again is something I've got used to on budget models.
Note that there is no top-up TV card slot so you won't be able to watch the extra paid for channels like ESPN and GOLD.
An excellent feature, and the reason why I chose this model, is the fact that I can export recordings to a USB flash drive. This allows recordings to be backed up and moved to your computer to free up storage space. After lots of incompatible error messages I finally managed to get it to work (the drive has to be formatted in FAT32 format). It is a very good feature but the formatting restrictions and 4GB limit on recordings taints it slightly.
The basic features of this model are easy to use and I have no complaints with them. The remote is comfortable and easy to master. The electronic programme guide (EPG) is very user-friendly, scrolling through the channels and moving to future dates and times is straightforward. There is a favourite channels list, channel locking and various display settings which are available but require no further description here.
The unit contains two tuners, which is the standard these days. This means that you can watch one channel and record another at the same time. Another advantage of having dual tuners is the picture-in-picture mode. It allows you to watch two channels at once. You can watch the main channel in full-screen view and a second channel in a small box which can be positioned in any corner of the screen. I find this useful when there are two football or snooker matches on at the same time. I can watch one and keep an eye on the other.
There is a deferred mode that allows you to pause and rewind live TV. The unit automatically saves up to 2 hours of the channel you are currently watching. You can then immediately replay that controversial incident, pause when someone knocks at the door or rewind when you miss what someone says.
Recording programs is also very straightforward. You can simply press record to immediately record the programme on the current channel or you can go to the EPG to select the program you want to record. You can also manually set a timer, but I've had no need to use this feature. Another nice concept is the fact that it records the programme between the actual start and end times. So, if the program started late then the recording will shift to the new time. If the program you're recording is part of a series then the unit will ask if you want to record the whole of the series. This is another neat feature and saves you having to remember to record your programmes each week.
There is an editing feature which is really useful for removing advert breaks from programmes and removing any rubbish that gets picked up before and after the recorded program.
When you have a big bunch of recordings you will inevitably want to organise them. Fortunately there is a feature to help with this. You can create folders, just like you do on your computer, and move, copy and delete recordings in these folders. It really helps to keep the recordings from a series together and separate them from your other programmes.
You can also play music files and display pictures and photos from files on, or imported from, your compatible USB memory stick. The photo display mode is good for showing everyone your latest holiday snaps but I'm not sure on the usefulness of the music player.
Overall this is a Freeview recording unit packed full of really useful features. It feels and sounds very cheap and the front display is awful, but if you can live with these niggles then this is a very good recording unit.
The Sagem digital television recorder is a box that lets me watch and record (or both at the same time) freeview channels in high definition by using the regular roof mounted aerial and without needing to pay any subscription fees. As a bonus, I can pause and rewind live TV. The DTR 6700 T series comes in several sizes, with slightly different model numbers for what is otherwise exactly the same product, and the one I got has a 320GB hard drive.
===Why did I get it===
In the North West of the UK where my family lives, the analogue television signal has just been turned off, leaving them reliant on a somewhat intermittent cable signal and a box that develops faults. So for Christmas, their wish was overwhelmingly for a "box that will let us watch the telly through our aerial".
Being the token geek of the family, and knowing the ailing state of the family video recorder, I took the executive decision that a digital TV recorder (DTR) with built in tuner was more useful than a simple decoder, but only if it were simple enough to use intuitively and had enough functionality that I could just tell it to record a whole season of a show via a simple option to help save on "How do I make it do X" phone calls.
I carefully did my research, noting down a myriad of possible options. Then the snow arrived, I spent a week being snowed in; so after all that, when I went to the shop, there was only one model left, a Sagem DTR. Since the box said that it met my requirements and it wasn't too horribly expensive (£150) and, most importantly, it was Christmas Eve and no other options immediately presented themselves, this was the (Hobson's) choice for me.
===How easy is it to use?===
It's OK actually. I figured this was the most important thing to know, so I'd put it at the top of the review.
In my day job, I do a lot of work with user interfaces, so I'm pretty used to having to figure out how to use widgets by playing around with them first and then only later by reading the manual. For this box, I found a lot of the functionality really easily just by pressing buttons and seeing what they did.
But upon reading the manual, I found lots of extra stuff that I like the sound of, some of which I've tried, but most of which I haven't yet. It's a real case of "Oh, I didn't know I needed that, but now I know about it, I'll wonder how I ever did without it".
The rest of the family seems to be having some successes yet though I think I'm going to have to write a cheat sheet because the instruction manual is a bit impenetrable if you don't already know what it's talking about and has very small print.
The box is slightly smaller than the DVD player that it sits upon. It measures 31cm in width, 20cm in depth and 4.5cm in height. It weighs 1.75kg, but I don't plan on carrying it around much, so that doesn't really make a lot of difference to us.
Most of the sockets are on the back, though the USB one is on the front for easy access. Also on the front is a channel up and down and power off button in case you lose the remote.
===Setting up the box===
All that I needed to do setting up the box was plug it in, put the Coaxial cable from the roof-mounted aerial to the roof in the input (complete with the inevitable static electric shocks from the Coax!), and connect the SCART cable between the box and the television and powered the telly on. Immediately the television proudly displayed... absolutely nothing. I switched between all the inputs, rebooted everything, pulled all the other cables, switched to a different socket and... nothing. Blankness. However, when I changed to use a different SCART cable, thankfully it came to life ready for installation.
The initial installation was extremely painless and easy to understand. I selected the country we were in and it searched for channels automatically and found them all. This worked without any further input from me. In particular, we did not need to have the aerial reconfigured, though I believe the aerial may have been adjusted in the past 5 years when it fell down after a storm.
===The picture quality===
The picture quality seems to be less good than the old analogue signal, though the Antenna Signal information option for the box said the signal quality was 98% and the strength was 99%. It certainly doesn't seem any worse than the cable signal though, which shows a huge number of artifacts (big blocky bits all over the picture).
The box has two tuners. This means that you can record one channel and watch another, or record two channels and watch something else that is saved.
The box has a built in hard drive with capacity 320GB, which offers up to 160 hours of TV recording, though this assumes that you change it to record at a lower quality than the default option. It does not have a DVD drive, but I felt that was unnecessary - the box comes with a USB port that means you can copy recordings onto other USB devices (e.g. an external hard drive that you plug into your computer), though this is apparently for "strictly private use" only, so presumably I can't have my friends over to watch television unless it's live television (for all I know maybe even that isn't allowed and I'll have to ban my friends from watching my telly entirely).
There are several ways to record on this box, each of which have their advantages and disadvantages. There is a simple and obvious record button on the remote, which you can just press when you see something you like. This is easy, but doesn't offer options like linking it to a series. It also means you have to remember to switch it off again afterwards - something I forgot once and recorded 10 hours before I realised!
Another option is to go through the guide and set a specific show to record. If it is part of a series then you get the option to link it to a series and automatically have all the subsequent episodes of that series recorded. You can tell it to record either a given time slot or for the programme itself - that way if it is delayed, it will be recorded at the right time. I've missed so many shows in the past thanks to the clocks changing that this sounds a great idea to me!
A very useful feature is sometimes you can record a show that has already started. That only works if the channel were already active in the tuner, because it automatically stores 2 hours. This also means that you can pause and rewind the show that is currently being broadcast, which I find great.
===Watching recorded programmes===
The recorded programmes are pretty easy to find, at least whilst I only have a few of them to look through. From reading the manual, I've discovered that there are various search options available to look through the recordings, such as ordering by date or by name, but I've not used them yet. Plus I can file them into different folders - something I've no doubt I will completely fail to remember to do, if the state of the folders on my laptop is anything to go by. Being able to export them to another device sounds useful for me since I'll be able to take them on holiday on my laptop that way.
I particularly liked the way that the recordings came complete with the subtitles recorded, even though I hadn't specified it at the time. All I had to do was switch them on just like regular subtitles and they came up.
The box found about 40 freeview channels and radio. These included all five old channels from the analogue days, BBC 3 and 4, ITV2, 3 and 4, Sky 3, Yesterday, Channel 4+1, More 4, GOLD, Dave, E4, Virgin and many others that I have not yet investigated.
Our current family television is an antiquated CRT device which emits a high pitch whistle indicating it does not have too many more years of life yet. So it was important to us to get something that was HD (High definition) capable for when it finally dies. This box offers HDMI upscaling and comes automatically configured for high definition, though you can change this in the configuration options.
===Sound output options===
As our system is so antiquated, we haven't tried any of the extensive options available for sound output. But it offers options to connect to an amplifier using and RCA lead or a IEC958 fibre optic lead. I've only used the television's own speakers so far, since I don't have a sound system.
===Connecting to a television or VCR===
You can connect to a television using the SCART cable provided, vis the HDMI port or via the Y/Pr/Pb ports together with the audio R/L. There seems to be a Coax output as well, though I haven't tried any of these options apart from the SCART one which is by far the easiest (since the television is automatically tuned to anything plugged in to the SCART sockets!)
In my family, locking is asking for trouble because we find it hard enough to remember our cashcard PINs, never mind an extra number. So we haven't used this. But the option is available to lock the entire receiver, or specific channels or programmes with a rating above a certain level (e.g. for adults only).
===The remote control===
As remotes go, this one isn't too bad - I can find most of the options fairly easily, I haven't accidentally pressed the wrong button too many times yet (apart from accidentally stopping the movie I was watching whilst writing this review three times so far), plus it came with batteries included, meaning we didn't have to scramble around looking for some AAA batteries.
There are numbers to allow you to type in the channel number directly, though I can only ever remember about 10 channel numbers maximum. There is a guide button to get you through to the TV guide, which shows what the programme schedule is. There is an information button which gives you details about whatever the show you are watching is. Then there are some volume and programme up and down buttons, a menu button, some menu navigation arrows.
The video player buttons are pretty intuitive - a big red record button makes this easy to find when you are frantically trying to press record - though there's no real need for the panic because of the cunning way it stores what is in the tuner. And the rewind and fast forward buttons work in much the same way as my DVD player, so I didn't have to spend too long getting used to it
Then at the bottom of the remote are on-screen options (a red, green, yellow and blue button), and buttons to quickly access some more common features - the recording list, multimedia content, audio tracks, radio stations, subtitles and teletext.
The TV guide is incredibly useful. I can filter according to the type of programme I'm looking for (e.g. a film) and look at what is on in the next week. Though it does have way too many options to be easy to use and I have accidentally changed the channel several times so far.
You can edit, view and play various multimedia formats, such as audio tracks and photos on both this player and on any external devices (e.g. Cameras, camcorders, memory sticks, external hard drives). The folder renaming is a bit annoying though - you have to use the number keys like when you are writing a text message.
I haven't tried it yet, but the photo slide show option will come in really useful for putting my latest holiday photos on and forcing a captive audience to watch them until they say how great the pictures are.
I think I will find the editing features useful - I find adverts are really annoying and it will be good to be able to cut them out. And some films can definitely do with some really dull bits cutting out of them, so I'll be able to do that too.
===Some useful acronyms for when you want to get a new tv recorder===
DTR - digital television recorder
HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface
CRT - Cathode Ray Tube (you'll recognise this as an old-fashioned telly which is more than a few inches deep!)
Coax - short for Coaxial - it's the type of cable with the circular plug that you use from your rooftop aerial. Don't touch the metal bit on the end if you want to avoid electric shocks.
USB - Universal Serial Bus. If your computer is less than about 5 years old, then it will have some USB ports, which you can use to connect devices (e.g. a keyboard, a printer or this box) together.
SCART - Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorécepteurs et Téléviseurs, which doesn't really tell you much. This is a big 21 pin connector like the one found on the back of your television.
VCR - video cassette recorder. Your old video player.
DVD - Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc. A way of storing data, in this case, generally movies that I play on my DVD player.
===How am I finding it?===
All in all, I'm liking this recorder so far. It seems to do most of what I want. I'll save my final judgement for once I've tried a bit more of the multimedia editing functionality, but in the meantime, I'll give it four stars (because it has a bit of a steep learning curve and I'll have to teach people). It does what it says on the box and what I needed it to do. I'm not honestly sure how much my family will use it without me showing them though.
This box does what it is advertised to do - it lets me watch and record freeview channels by using the regular roof mounted aerial and I don't have to pay any more money to do it. I like the pausing of live TV option for when I really need a cup of tea.
Review may be cross-posted elsewhere.
I have had this digital recorder for about 6 months and am quite happy with it.
It has plenty of space on the hard drive, much more than is really necessary, mine is rarely more than half full, so it is very unlikely that you will run out of space to record your programmes.
The user interface is not bad on the eye and when you are using the programme guide the picture showing on the channel you have selected is visible in the corner, complete with audio, which is great for if you want to check to see what programmes are on later but don't want to have to stop watching the programme you are currently watching.
The recorder also has a USB port on it which is great because it means you can export your programmes to your PC for extra storage, or if you have more than one of the recorder, you can move programmes between the two of them to watch your programmes in a different room.
There are several disadvantages to this recorder however. When the recorder is first switched on, it makes a horrendously loud noise like a PC starting up. However, this does only last for about 30 seconds.
The biggest problem with this item is that when you try to set up a series link on a channel from the channel 4 series, the recorder freezes up and won't do anything until you switch it off and turn it back on again at the mains. Sagem do broadcast updates for the recorders to rectify this, however, the updates are few and far between, and you are not told in advance when they will be broadcast, so my recorder still has the problem.
Over this is a good product, worth the money? I'm not sure. But if you can remember to record any programs on channel 4 every week, then you should be fine, although this is quite a big issue.