Customer Review

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is _so_ easy to use!!!, 8 Sept. 2011
This review is from: EchoStar HDS-600RS SlingLoaded TV Anywhere Freesat+ HD digital TV recorder (Electronics)
I own a Humax Freesat box myself, but recommended the Echostar to a technophobic relative so that I could log in using Sling to help them use the box.

They haven't needed any help at all!!! It is far far easier to use than our Humax. Here's what I've spotted so far:

1) The menus look nice, and seem really well designed.
2) When the box is asking you something (e.g. "would you like to record this in HD?" or "the programme you are trying to record clashes with one you have already set, would you like to record it on ITV+1 instead?" etc) it asks in plain simple English which anyone can understand.
3) The remote control is programmable (i.e. it's a learning remote), _and_ comes pre-programmed with codes for 10000s of TVs. A bit like Sky's remote (and unlike Humax's) it has _dedicated_ buttons for the TV's power button, volume buttons, mute button and AV select buttons. This means you don't have to worry about selecting the right function or mode to get the TV volume to work.
4) It's faster to use than the Humax. Especially the guide (EPG) and the library (list of recordings) are much faster to appear.

Main criticisms are the size of the writing on the remote control (the buttons themselves are small too, but because the space between them is good, this doesn't seem to matter, even with large fingers!), and the fact there's no RF modulator output for feeding really old TVs. It's clearly not meant for people with really old TVs (the menus look great on an HDTV!), but I bought an RF modulator separately and plugged it into one of the SCART sockets so my relative could watch the STB in the kitchen too.

I'll have to wait and see if my relative finds it 100% reliable before I can say I'd like one myself. Until the recent software update, I found the Humax 100% reliable, so would never have swapped. Now I've seen how slick a modern box can be, and seen some frustrations with the Humax on the latest software, I think I might be temped - and that's without considering the Sling functionality (which I don't need myself as I already own a Sling box!).

The Echostar is £50 more expensive than the Humax, but when you're spending this much money already, it's probably worth it to avoid the life-shortening frustrations of using a lesser box!

P.S. the five star rating is from my relative, who is utterly delighted with it - she tells me this every time I speak to her! Previously she had seven analogue channels (really, seven: two different ITVs and BBC Ones) and a complicated DVD-R that she rarely used. The Echostar STB is a revelation.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Dec 2011 15:04:00 GMT
Update: in four months use, there was one problem which happened just once: the TV and STB seemed to lose their connection to each other, and the STB needed to be switched off then on again for the TV to "see" it again.

Given that she doesn't own much modern equipment, my relative was unaware of the "switch it off, switch it on again" fix, so this surprised her.

Otherwise, it's behaved faultlessly, and my relative is still delighted with it.

Now that it's cheaper, I wish I could give it an extra star.

Maybe because it's sold as a super high-tech box (which I guess it is), people are missing the fact that it's also absolutely perfect for people who aren't technical at all.

Sorry to sound like a fanboy, but if you knew how technophobic my relative was, and saw how easily she's now using her PVR, you'd understand the enthusiasm. The fact she hasn't needed telephone support from me (which I was ready and expecting to give!) proves the point.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 17:15:41 BDT
bob joylove says:
Spot on, as an "out of the box" PVR this item is so easy to use, and a joy to use.
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