I previously had tried out the Premier AV TV 1108 V-SD, also being sold by Amazon. Both units I owned locked up frequently and recording was only successful in 20-30% of the cases because the units seemed to change channels and switch off randomly the timer settings. These faults occurred on both units I tried (I exchanged the first one for another unit). I believe the Premier and the DVB-T, for which this review has been written, come from the same factory in China: the packaging uses identical cardboard boxes and the remote controls are also identical.
Set up and basic use as a digital tuner is very simple, as is manual recording: press the start button to record, press stop and confirm to end recording. To program recording from the EPG, press the EPG button, navigate to the event you want to record using the 4 navigation buttons, press the red button at the bottom to open the recording memory, check/edit the settings, for example change settings to daily or weekly recording, confirm with "OK" button, watch out for confirmation notice and a red dot marking the approved setting and exit. If you are accidentally trying to record two overlapping events you don't get a confirmation notice and red dot marking. The unit will now record at the set date and time and stop recording as programmed. If there are unscheduled changes due to breaking news or time overruns on live programs (Strictly come dancing), you will loose the end of your recorded film. This can be avoided if you change the settings manually to record an extra 5 minutes or so while the recording timer memory is open, i.e. before confirming the settings.
The DVB-T has 10 recording memory spaces in non-volatile memory, as compared to 8 on the Premier. "Volatile" means if the power supply is disrupted even for a short time all recording settings are erased, this is not the case with this recorder if the internal batteries have been charged for a while (see below). The software on the DVB-T has been somewhat improved, I was able to record events from the EPG a few days in advance, the Premier does this only for events on the same day. The users manual is still completely worthless, with a lot of unreadable small screen pictures and very poor text. Delivery was directly from China and took about 3 weeks, not the usual few days as for a normal Amazon delivery. One annoying problem that I was unable to resolve is the fact that the unit very, very frequently switches itself off if you press any of the buttons on the remote control. This happens about every 2-3 minutes when using the remote control to set recordings, change channels etc. Every time this happens you have to switch on the unit again using the remote control, and repeat whatever menu entries that have not been saved before the unit switched off. The unit even switches sometimes to a different country setting, which means you have to re-scan all channels and change all TV set up settings back to UK. Once recording settings have been saved, recording is reliable as long as the USB stick has been properly inserted. I always do now a short trial recording, which I erase immediately to check that everything works OK.I have tried daily and weekly recording, and it works fine. Antenna signal is now passed through to the analogue tuner of my TV, even if the unit is switched off/standby. On the Premier you had to switch the unit on to get an analogue signal. Recording quality is excellent, but long films get recorded in two separate files which I merge on my computer using "VideoReDo Plus", an excellent program which I highly recommend. It preserves the original MPEG file when editing (merging files, removing advertising, trimming front and back), which makes it very quick and the result is better than using any of the other available editing programmes such as Nero etc. which recode the entire file, resulting in quality loss and increased file sizes. Subtitles seem to work, but I have not tried the BBC red button function, which is a separate channel. Digital radio channels work fine, but I have not tried to record, don't see the point of it either. One hour of video recording takes 1.43 GB memory space. I have bought a 32 GB USB stick on Amazon (£ 17)which provides amble recording space, even while away for a few days. My DVB-T has not locked up so far (1 week usage), but as mentioned it constantly switches off when using the remote control. Overall I would rate it higher than the Premier units I owned before ( I returned both for a refund both because I got fed up with the poor recording function and freezing up). There is certainly some room for improvement, here is my wish list: Resolve the problem with the unit constantly switching itself off, make the unit recognize when a specific transmission starts and stops, rather than simply switching on and off at a programmed time. My old analogue VCR had such a function. Provide a usable user's manual.
Forgot to mention one important item: The time shift option works on this recorder as long as the function has been switched on in the recorder settings first. You need to do this only once as part of the general setup. Recommend you set timeshift to "button" rather than "automatic". It will record everything you are watching if set to automatic, in "button" it only records if you press the "Pause" button. If you are watching live TV and the phone rings or the doorbell goes, just press the "Pause" button. When you return to the TV, just press the Pause button again, and TV will resume where you stopped it, as long as you had a storage medium inserted. The DVB-T selects about 1/3 of the available space for the time-shift function, and you can't manually change that selection. Pressing the "exit" button gets you out of the time shift mode. I found this a very useful function, I tried it on the Premier as well, but could not get it to work there, which could be due to the lack of a useable manual in both cases.
P.S.: After about a month of usage I have to give this recorder a better rating.Recording and TV image quality is excellent, with small file sizes. We recently had a series of short power cuts in the area while I was recording a film. To my amazement the recording timer settings had been preserved and the film had been recorded, starting in a different file after each power cut. This was easily merged using the program "VideoReDo Plus" and the result was quite useable. If I had connected the recorder to a small UIP, all of the film would have been recorded. If the switching off problem could be resolved I would give this recorder 5 stars, but as it is I would give it 4 1/2. A very impressive piece of equipment for an excellent price, which I can highly recommend. Wonder if a HD version of this product might become available in the future?Premier AV TV-1108V-SD Mini SCART Freeview Receiver with Recording via USB Flash Memory StickEVODIGITALS SCART FREEVIEW RECEIVER RECORDER DIGITAL TV TUNER SET TOP BOX USB SD MEMORY CARD READERDVB-T SCART Mini TV Box Freeview Receiver Tuner RecorderBytestor 32GB USB Maxi Flash Drive