Enough of these reviews have been written already... I just want to bring the average down from the inexplicable 2.5 stars it's at already :)
The price was right, but maybe I should have been more wary about expecting it was possible to get this much technology so cheaply. The basic features are all there, and it's nicely laid out and easy to use, and when it works, it works quite well. However there are, like in most of the preceding comments, a number of flies in the otherwise tasty soup.
Things are somewhat improved with the most recent over-the-air software update (which may take a few days to be re-sent if you have a freshly purchased box), and so the main concept of queueing up programmes in the EPG to be recorded for later viewing is generally reliable... which it certainly wasn't originally (though that may have been something to do with our originally poor aerial), but even over the last fortnight there have been some issues such as a couple of mistimed recording starts (being an hour or so early, though it at least didn't cut short), one corrupt recording that locked the box the first few times I tried to delete it, three or four missed recordings and failed series links, and the ever-present fastforward and rewind glitches (occasionally going so far as to freeze the thing), and couple of silly annoyances like not being able to start an ad-hoc second recording without actually adding it from the EPG rather than using the "one touch record" function.
Plus the incessant disc and fan humming (more audible, across the room, than the laptop I'm typing on right now, and of a more annoying tone particularly because it keeps "revving" up and down as if it's about to explode), the slowwwww startup time, and how it - apparently - uses a good 17 watts *even at standby*.
I'm on the cusp of sending this back, if I can't get a reasonable assurance from Thomson that a fix will soon be forthcoming for these final niggles... and if said promise isn't delivered on promptly. It may cost a little more to get a rival PVR, but it'll also be far better value. I'm not bothered by losing the Top-up ability after all - it wasn't a great part of the purchasing decision, and by all reports it's pretty weak. That or revive our Virgin cable subscription (dormant for a while due to cost) and get their V-Box ... providing that isn't just as flaky as the Thomson device or as underpowered as the older (Pace) Virgin digital cable box.
It's a good choice if you absolutely want the recording ability and extra top-up channels, and haven't got the money for Sky or the ability for cable to be installed... but otherwise, not so great. Make your decisions accordingly.