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Digital Stream DHR8203U Freeview+ HD, 320GB HDD, 3 x USB, Set-top box with CI Slot

3.9 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews
| 13 answered questions

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  • Watch and record up to 50 Freeview Channels (Hard Disc Space: 320GB)
  • Recording Time equivalent to 180hours in SD or 90hours in HD
  • Two digital tuners allowing you to record two channels while watching a third
  • Picture in Picture feature to watch one channel and view another at same time
  • Integrated Common Interface slot for additional Pay TV channels
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Product details

  • Boxed-product Weight: 4.6 Kg
  • Item model number: DHR8203U
  • ASIN: B003LLDK02
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 10 May 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,436 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)

Product Description

Product Description

The Digital Stream DHR8203U is the first Freeview HD PVR (Personal Video Recorder) available in the UK. Not only can you record SD programmes, you can now record HD at the touch of a button. The 8-Day EPG has one touch recording, supports Series-Link to enable whole series recording, and the newly released feature TRAILER BOOKING. This lets you set a recording simply by pressing the green button during a normal advertisement for the programme. There is no subscription cost whatsoever for Freeview HD, unlike other HD options.

Manufacturer's Description

The DHR8203U Freeview+ HD PVR Set Top Box is an exciting product that enables you to record not one but two Freeview channels at the same time onto the built-in Hard Disc of 320GB while watching a third thanks to it's two digital tuners. It has an 8 Day Electronic Programme Guide which is easy to use so you don't miss out on your favourite programmes while you're out. It has some great features like Split Recordings, Picture and Text, High Definition for superior picture quality and Dolby Digital Plus for excellent sound quality, Auto re-tune, Power Saving Mode, and Picture in Picture which enables you to watch one channel while previewing another. This product also comes with one HDMI connection, two scart sockets, three USB connections, a Common Interface Slot enabling you to watch Pay TV channels and an Ethernet port so you can connect to the Internet.

A stylish and compact Set Top Box that has many great funtions and features with versatile connectivity to enhance your viewing experience.



Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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By Dr. J. L. D. Pearse VINE VOICE on 11 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase
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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