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144 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2010
This is an extremely good solution for the price. My application was to provide digital channels to a secondary DVD/VCR combined recorder, which is capable of upscaling to 1080i signals but lacks a digital receiver. This little unit not only revitalised it with the minimum of externally added cable, but also added a decent PVR for very little money. In fairness I wasn't expecting much. Instead I found the DVB-T reception and picture quality to be excellent with very good stereo audio, delivered however at a lowish maximum level. The unit also works well with digital radio channels and can play Mp3, Jpeg and Mpeg files from either its SD card slot or its USB port. Notice that it can ONLY record using the latter. video recording quality is excellent. It records in MPEG-2 at ~14-15 MB/min for programmes broadcasted in 544x576 format or approximately ~26-27 MB/min for the 720x576 format (still nearly 5 hours using an 8 GB USB pen). Adding an external self-powered HDD would result in a PVR of very considerable capacity. However notice that the unit only records on FAT32 formatted drives and the USB DC current output may be insufficient to power some portable HDD. It couldn't with mine, but the unit worked very well with the USB pen and also with an externally powered HD. You may need to reformat it, which can be done by the unit itself in a few seconds using the remote control (press MENU and select Partition/Format). Obviously you will loose all data present on the HD. The reformatted unit can be seen normally by Windows, Linux and Apple PC. For the latter however notice that the default media player (QuickTime Player) does not decode MPEG-2, unless a separate codec is purchased for a small fee. A good idea is to reuse a small capacity cheap or old HD SATA drive for/from a laptop, inserting it in a cheap enclosure that allows for external power feeding. One such unit is made by IOMAX, which allows external power feeding using a standard USB power supply.
Also notice that the arial bypass is active: arial signal is blocked when the unit is switched OFF. I struggled a bit with the arial connector, but I believe this to be more an issue of my old connector than a fault of the unit. As noticed elsewhere, the user manual is not the best of its kind, but I still found some information concise and useful. The GUI instead is more than adeguate in my view. The EPG function is a bit slow to gather data but is actually very complete, once the coloured buttons on the remote control are used properly. These set the daily or weekly EPG views and allow access to more detailed information on each TV programme. The video recording can be operated either in real time and very simply, using the dedicated "RECORD" and "STOP" buttons on the remote, or it can be programmed. This action is perhaps a bit less intuitive, but it is actually very simple. The unit has a general purpose timer that can be programmed for up to 8 entries in order to store actions of different kind, which also include the option for the TV channels time-programmed recording. For this, the best way to proceed is simply to set the EPG in daily view (the default mode), then to highlight the desired TV programme and press the blue button using the remote control. This automatically transfers all the relavant channel information to the timer, leaving only to select the correct RECORDING option (instead of another action such as "TURN ON" for example) and finally to store the programme into an empty entry of the timer register (numbered from 1 to 8). Notice that this procedure seems to work only when the EPG is set in its daily view. I found this the only oddity of this simple unit, but for this price there cannot be complaints... I did not try the teletext functions, since I usually access it from the TV set.

ADDENDUM. On the 8th December (about one year after my purchase) the unit stopped responding to the remote control. I contacted DigiFun who have been extremely helpful. I returned both unit and remote which were replaced immediately with a new set and the technical support was excellent. The new unit has a different SW and a better manual (still not the best of its kind but OK). Overall the new unit operation is more intuitive and easier to use. The programmed recording sequences I indicate in this review does not apply to the newer units and I left them only for people who have the old set. The recording from the EPG menu is now more intuitive only requiring to highlight the programme and to press the red button which is labelled "Book". Final confirmation is then easily done following the on screen instructions. HOWEVER the set can be dispatched with a different remote which lacks the Rec and Stop buttons. Having noticed this I contacted again DigiFun who again were very helpful. They dispatched immediately another old type remote which works absolutely fine. They also told me that they are dealing on this issue with their supplier. All in all I do not feel the need to derate the product from its 5 stars as it is actually better still (but only with the right remote) and faults can happen. But having had the chance to deal with after sale support, I can only praise DigiFun for the excellent service.
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177 of 182 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2010
This is a neat little unit that hides itself behind any TV with a SCART socket. It does not have an analog tuner as the first reviewer suggested and unlike any other Freeview box I've ever used, it just searches for the channels then stores them as 01,02,03,04 etc. It does not pick up the standard channel layout you will be used to. You can manually edit the layout but it still wants to use consecutive numbering. It loses a star for that.

It can record to a connected USB memory from the EPG which is useful and can play back some audio and video files already on a USB stick.

It also contains some built-in games including a version of Tetris!

In summary, a neat tidy unit let down by the poor channel numbering.
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112 of 116 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 10 March 2011
We needed a freeview box for the TV in the kitchen before the switchover next year, I did'nt want a big freeview box on top of the TV with all the wires, so decided on a scart freeview receiver. I found this one and encouraged by the good feedback I ordered it.

I am very impressed so far, we have been using it for almost two weeks now and the picture and sound are very good, its so easy to set up, you just plug it into an available scart socket on the back of your TV and plug in the aerial and the infra red link (which can be located or stuck to the side/front of the TV) so the remote control works. It does an initial search of all stations available on first install and hey presto you are away and working!

The EPG (electronic programme guide) is very good and can show you 7 days ahead and there is even a nifty little button for showing what is on currently on 9 channels at a time (it cycles through them and shows you a thumbnail picture of whats on).

It's no trouble at all and works first time, no freezes at all and responds very quickly to the remote, that's more than I can say of other more expensive Freeview boxes I have had in the past!

The only negative I can think of at the moment is that the red button teletext on BBC channels does not seem to work. But its not a major problem as I would not use this feature on this TV.

I definitely recommend this wonderful little marvel of a Freeview box!
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100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2010
Freeview receivers that record to a medium that can be exported to a PC appear to be unusually rare: saving a collection to hard disk is fine until the disk dies and my Topfield PVR has already munched its way through three hard disks.

Until I saw this unit, I thought Topfield were the only manufacturer with a data export facility and given my experience with Topfield, I am loath to invest in another of their units.

The little piece of kit has a lot of connections, but once these are all correctly in place it is quite intuitive to set up. The automatic channel detection works fine, though, as other reviewers mention, the numbers are not consistent with listing magazine values.

The language of the menu is reasonably good English, but the manual is AWFUL. The packaging claims that the firmware can be upgraded, but there is no website given in the manual and an internet search based on the current firmware version information only resulted in websites I felt should be given a wide berth.

Recording does work, and I have managed to record to a USB stick, a CF card and an SD card (the last two via a card reader through the USB port - I have not tried the dedicated SD port as it is hard to reach in the TV Scart socket whereas a card reader can be put somewhere convenient via a USB extension lead.

Although recording is possible, it is not easy: the recording menu is hidden several submenus deep under wake-up timers (it appears that the designers envisaged us leaving our televisions on with a blank screen overnight so that the box can wake us up in the morning with a cheering message).

The wake-up timer in my unit can accept up to 8 entries. Each entry can turn the machine on, turn it off, change channel, give a message, or start a recording. Recordings can be once, daily, weekly, monthly or annually. The annual setting is a little ambitious, since my machine at least holds the wake-up timers in volatile memory and loses everything if the power is interrupted.

There does not appear to be any way of recording via the EPG, so everything needs to be done manually. Another interesting feature is that 'REC' in red background colour appears on the screen throughout recording.

I've not tried playing any media files not recorded on the kit itself, but recorded content playback is very good quality and FF / RW speeds of up to 20x are provided.

Hope this helps.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2011
Brilliant little gadget that perks up any old CRT TV that has a least one scart socket.
Dead easy to set up and has a powerful gain, so I was able to pick up many Freeview channels just using a simple wire dipole.
Record and pause functions too, if you buy a separate USB memory stick, and playback picture quality is amazing.
For a spare bedroom or study TV it's perfectly adequate, especially if you are wondering what to do with that old analogue TV, short of sending it to landfill.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2012
I bought this unit to convert an analogue only TV. I have not tried the recording functions as they were not the primary purpose for purchase.

Set up was straight forward. Automatic tuning found all the channels that I expected it to find.

Despite the outside of the box and the manual (more of which below) stating that teletext can be received this is not the case. Pressing the text button on the remote brings up a menu on the screen containing one item - which if selected - appears not to do anything. Pressing the red button brings up a `Feature not supported' message.

The manual is abysmal!! The print is extremely small (I couldn't read it without a magnifying glass) and the translated English varies in quality between hard to follow and impossible to understand.

The wording of the on screen menus means that many functions are un-intuitive.

The idea of having a discrete little unit which fits behind the TV is a good one. However this unit is made visually intrusive by an extremely bright and unpleasantly distracting LED mounted in the remote control receiver which has to be placed within sight of the viewer. There is also an LED on the power supply which if plugged into a visible power point is also distracting.

If you don't intend to use this item in a bedroom and can live without Teletext then it may be OK for you. However I am contacting the seller with a view to returning this item for a refund.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2011
I'd read some of the other reviews before buying this and some made it look as though you had to be a real technical wiz to use this. I'm not! But I thought, for the price, I'd take a chance. They must have updated the user manual since some of the other reviews were written, as my manual was in English only, was easy to follow & showed screen displays etc.

Very easy to install. It only took me about 5 minutes to set it all up, programme the channels and be ready to watch tv.

Initially I bought this just to be able to receive digital tv on my old tv as analogue has been turned off where I live and the bulky digibox supplied by the switchover scheme has never worked... This neat small digital receiver gives me all the digital channels I require and so much more...you can record programmes to SD card or USB, play music, view photos or movies from SD card or USB and even has some built in games such as tetris.

I'd recommend this product to anyone.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2010
This is a neat little item that plugs directly into your TV's scart socket. It's very easy to tune and gives the whole range of analogue and digital fv channels. Recording is simple (timer recordings need a little practice)and the quality is excellent. And it's portable.Definitely recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2012
When it works this is a brilliant bit of kit. Unfortunately original failed after one day (cuts off completely when 'warmed up')
A replacement was sent ny DIGI-FUN (who were excellent throughout with comms and returns process) but this also failed within 2 weeks. Currently being returned for full refund under 2yr warranty
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2011
A neat, compact and extremely versatile digital tuner/recorder that sits out of sight behind my LCD TV which has two scart inputs AV1 and AV2. My old Panasonic digital tuner with single recorder goes into AV1 and the SCART FREEVIEW RECEIVER RECORDER DIGITAL TV TUNER SET TOP BOX, USB SD MEMORY CARD READER into AV2, each independently selectable so I can watch one, record another or record 2. Its set up was quick and straightforward tuning in all the channels that the Panasonic had. The manual is not that bad and quite useful - I've had much worse. I do have to use 2 separate remotes but it's not a big deal for me.
I'm not an avid TV watcher but with occasions when two broadcasts overlap this cheap but efficient recorder does all that I need, lacking only ability to record sub titles but they are available live which is good for my poor hearing.It doesn't support use of Red Button for text news/weather. It does have a lot of features for such a low price, one being ability to record on a memory card. Mine is 8GB so several hours, and this can be played via a PC if wished. A separate card adaptor will be needed to use this facility but only £2 extra.
Overall a great little device, and apart from not recording sub titles still gets my 5 stars.
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