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Very cheap way of recording digital TV
on 15 August 2011
I wasn't expecting a lot from this. It's only a pound or so more expensive than the cheapest DTV boxes, but claims to offer the extra feature of recording too. I must say I'm pleasantly surprised. It records onto SD card or pen drive, with the 16GB card I've put in allowing up to around 13 hours of very high quality playback.
It needs a bit of careful setting up to get it recording properly. To record, you have to switch the epg into weekly mode by pressing the green button, then select the programme you want to record by pressing select. This takes you into the Timer sub menu, where for some odd reason the default action is just to wake up the box for the programme you have selected. If you move down the menu to 'wake-up' and cycle through til the display shows 'Recorder', then press Select, the box shows a message to say it's been updated. This actually means the recording has been scheduled. Thankfully these settings are then saved, so future recordings are simple.
You can schedule up to 7 recordings, providing there's enough space on your card. The box needs to be left on to record, but obviously not the TV.
It records in mpeg2 format, and once the recording is on the card it can be played back from the DTV box, or in any other device (PC, DVD player) which has a USB input. It also means you can archive programmes by simply copying them onto your PC from the card and either saving them to hard disk or copying them onto DVD.
It's tiny, so is very unobtrusive, and comes with a remote contol breakout and small but usable remote control. No batteries supplied so grab a couple of AAAs before delivery. It's simple to plug in and it collects all the available channels easily.
There's a fair bit hidden inside the menu system, including the ability to play back movies in many formats, including XVID/DivX.
The only downside is that it's not particularly easy to navigate, and playback of recordings is strangely hidden under 'Disk Management' If it wasn't for the need to have some experience of how these things work I'd have given it 5 stars, but for the money, it really is a bit of a bargain.