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116 Reviews
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digital Stream DHR8203U
I bought this device to replace a Thomson which was so bad it was returned. The Digital Stream however, had no such problems, worked straight out of the box and a dodle to set up. Many have marked down because of fan noise but I have had no problems or reasons for a reduced score. The DHR8203U does change channels rather slowly, this becomes instantaneous if I use the...
Published on 23 Feb. 2011 by Mr. James Peel

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a load of trash the box and Amazon customer care
Like many others who have writen poor reviews about this product I have had the picture constantly freezing, it also can cut out for a few seconds but leave the sound on and this leaves a time delay when the picture comes back on because the sound is then out of sink with the picture. The product would otherwise be an ok purchase but it's worse than a decent bike with no...
Published on 2 May 2012 by wilde01


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digital Stream DHR8203U, 23 Feb. 2011
By 
Mr. James Peel "JimP" (Alfreton, Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
I bought this device to replace a Thomson which was so bad it was returned. The Digital Stream however, had no such problems, worked straight out of the box and a dodle to set up. Many have marked down because of fan noise but I have had no problems or reasons for a reduced score. The DHR8203U does change channels rather slowly, this becomes instantaneous if I use the program +/- button. Programming timer recordings and series link recordings is also easy and, so far, trouble free.
I recently performed the suggested upgrade to 4.03.r7901 using USB memory stick, it was trouble free and worked straight away after reboot, all the updated and new funtions performing as described. Really no complaints with this device and of the four types I have experience of the Digital Stream is by far the best.
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116 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable, excellent but noisy., 31 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
I bought the 500Gb version of this box and it is generally excellent. Latest software downloaded from MIT London's website was very easy to install via a 2Gb USB stick. Picture quality on the HD channels is stunning, if you have never seen HD on your shiny new flat screen TV prepare to be amazed at the difference. SD picture quality is also very good and on a par with my TV's tuner, although I had to amend the Digitalstream's picture settings slightly (a new menu option added in the September update). Recording is reliable and works well, and on playback there are no glitches (unlike my old Vestel based PVR which would occasionally skip and randomly lock up). EPG appears in less than a second and is clear and well laid out, although only shows 7 channels at a time but you can page up and down and skip forward and backward two hours at a time. You can slso skip forward and back by 24 hours at a time, and there is also a search function. You can plug in an external hard disc and copy standard definition recordings to it (no HD due to copyright issues), however the machines uses the Linux XFS filesystem so getting the files onto a Windows PC is a little convoluted if that's what you want to do.

The only downside is the rather noisy fan, even with the latest update it can be noisy. You probably wont hear it at normal TV volumes but you probably will during quiet moments. Thankfully the latest update has changed things slightly and the fan now only comes on when the box gets warm, it used to be on all the time.

Pros:
Stunning picture quality on HD channels.
Excellent picture quality on SD channels.
Easy to use.
Reliable recording (although depends on broadcaster sending signals at correct time, are you listening Channel Five?).
Can record two channels at the same time (and in certain circumstances, even watch a third).

Cons:
Some may think SD picture quality is slightly soft.
Noisy fan when the box gets warm.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressed with this great HD freeview box!, 19 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
Spent quite a while checking out various alternatives and am very happy that I settled for the DigitalStream. It was very easy to set up (including adding the first update). Quality of the recordings and play back is first rate.

I would have awarded 5 stars if it wasn't for the poor remote. However, don't let this put you off! I took the opportunity to consolidate and get a good universal remote to control my TV, DVD and PVR in one. Great investment.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it.It's an absolute treasure., 19 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
This is a dream recorder,Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot having had 2 from topup tv which were often recording 2hrs instead of the 1 hr program or missing 5days of a 7day planned recording,it is a pleasure to be able to rely on this system.the HD picture is a dream,all functions are easy to use and even the SD picture is enhanced.updates are simple to do through the tele when required, and the guide page is quick and easy.The only niggle is that the USB port does not play video.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 1 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
This is a great product. Came pre-loaded with the latest version of the software (January 2011) and so far not experienced any bugs. Picture quality is excellent and is very easy to use. Very difficult to fault the product in any way. Had spent a long time researching the alternatives, and was glad that I settled on the Digital Stream in the end.

My only one quibble is the packaging. i.e. there was none. Amazon dispatched it in original box with address label directly on the box. No damage fortunately, but did expect at least some form of packaging.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the box, 15 May 2010
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This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
Well worth looking at. I bought the 8205 model which has a bigger disk but as far as I know is in all other respects the same as the 8203 model. The menus are much improved. Clearer text and easier menu travel. Bit quirky in places and the manual doesn't always explain it all (do they ever?). But in general it works very well. Set up was a doddle. Upscaling is very good and the HD Freeview pictures are excellent. I'm pleased with it anyway ...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product BUT......, 15 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
This does all it says on the tin, BUT take note, it is NOT the model with a portal to iPlayer, LoveFilm etc - for that you need the Digital Stream DPS-1000 IP Settop Box, although I hope that they add that functionality to this model in a future software update - as it has an Ethernet port, that seems feasible. Another tip - do the software update BEFORE you set it up, as you have to run setup again after the update.. Copy the files from MIT London's site onto the root level of a pen drive (ie all 8 files visible when you look at the drive's file listing on a computer), start up the PVR with the pen drive inserted, and the update will happen automatically, then on completion remove the drive and reboot the PVR.

So, to sum up, I kind of bought this by mistake, but as an HD Freeview PVR it's fab, although all I have to compare it to is a 1st generation DigiFusion box, which was rubbish!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a great little machine, 14 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
I have been known (!) to have problems with installing, connecting and effectively using technological equipment. (Understatement). So I opened the box with great trepidation, followed the instructions, plugged it all and switched it on. Simple! And it worked - beautifully.
Instead of dashing back home to catch a programme or having to choose between 2 or 3 programmes that I really want to watch I can just click on the programme in the guide and record it. I can even record a series without having to set the times, channels etc.
Good to be able to watch in HD too.
Great value for money. So easy a meerkat could do it - I can highly recommend. Thank you
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 11 Feb. 2011
By 
Dr. J. L. D. Pearse (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
For someone like me who didn't want to go the Sky route, this is a great alternative.

The set up was really easy - though I would suggest installing the software update first or you will have to retune the channels. (And having downloaded the software on to a memory stick, remember to unzip it first, or the Digital Stream box will not be able to detect it.)

Sound and picture are fine, though my area does not receive Freeview HD until April 2011.

Control via the remote is relatively straightforward; a case of getting used to which button does what and where it is. It was not obvious (to me at least) that the "Media" button gives access to the list of programmes that have been recorded and the "Schedule" button to the list that have been set to record (or "reserve" in the odd Digital Stream parlance). Like all these things, when you have done it a few times, it becomes almost second nature.

Choosing what to record (from the programme listing) is very easy and it's great not having to worry about whether the recording will end before the programme has actually finished. The "record all in this series" function is very useful. As is the "pause/play" function for time-delaying some or all of a programme if you are interrupted while watching it live. You can also whizz through recordings at 4 choices of speed up to 64x, and have the option of watching a recording from the beginning or from where you last reached in it.

The one very minor drawback is that it takes 32 seconds from waking the box up to actually getting a programme on screen.

Good value.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a load of trash the box and Amazon customer care, 2 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot (Electronics)
Like many others who have writen poor reviews about this product I have had the picture constantly freezing, it also can cut out for a few seconds but leave the sound on and this leaves a time delay when the picture comes back on because the sound is then out of sink with the picture. The product would otherwise be an ok purchase but it's worse than a decent bike with no wheels as you cannot easily repair/find a solution other than to return what is a useless waist of time and money.
Now Amazon customer service, after been given a faulty item they agreed they would send a working one "as new" as I was happy enough with the price and spec etc, we came to an amicable agreement and a working one was sent out prompt. All was good until the minute I plugged it in and it is totally useless, I'd have assumed given the fault with the first they'd have made the effort to get a working model... Clearly Not!
I bought a Warehouse deal, I'm guessing these was sent back faulty never checked properly and sent out with the same faults
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