Product Type: Sagem set top boxes
Newest Review: ... have plenty of storage space. ------------------------------- My Experience / Features ------------------------------- This free-vie... more
Sky+ Features For Freeview
Sagem DTR 67250T
Member Name: Nothing2Say
Sagem DTR 67250T
Advantages: Pause and rewind live TV. Edit recordings. USB connection. Record a whole series.
Disadvantages: Time to switch on. Cheap feel. Manual scan for new channels
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.
Summary: Feature rich Freeview recorder, but not without troubles.
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